Physics and Astronomy
Wonder and curiosity have always been among the main factors driving humans to understand physical phenomena and describe the laws of physics. The knowledge and insight gained in the process can then be used to influence nature, laying the foundation for technological innovation.
Historically, physicists have studied particularly the structure of matter, the fundamental interactions between the smallest particles and the way in which systems evolve over time. Physics discoveries in the first half of the last century led to the technological revolution of the second half of that century. Approaching phenomena analytically and being able to reduce complex problems to manageable models are skills that are especially needed in this field in order to be able to do research and innovate.
Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes
The Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes in Physics and Astronomy are designed to train students to generate new knowledge and thereby contribute to solving problems in physics, today and in the future. These issues exist in a wide variety of fields, such as the origin of the universe, the development of life, the energy problem, the development of the environment and the climate. They often share the fact that solving them requires the collaboration of researchers from various disciplines, such as physics, chemistry, biology and medicine. This interdisciplinary approach is most successful when each participant has a sound knowledge of one of these subject areas. Being able to quickly familiarise yourself with new fields is a skill that is inherent in physics research.
Within the Department of Physics and Astronomy, the Director of Education is responsible for the Bachelor’s programme in Physics and Astronomy. The Bachelor’s programme is administered by the Julius Institute, but researchers in all research groups contribute to the teaching of the programme.
The research groups of the Department are also involved in the following Master’s programmes:
Utrecht University also offers an Honours programme in Physics and Astronomy. This is a selective, extracurricular programme that starts in the second year of the Bachelor’s programme. Its aim is to introduce students to advanced research at an early stage in their studies. Annual intake to the programme is limited to 6-8 talented and highly motivated students.
The administration of the Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes is supported by the Student and Academic Affairs Office of the Faculty of Science.