Study programme

Nanomaterials Science is a two-years (120 EC) research-oriented programme with a strong emphasis on physical chemistry and materials science. EC stands for European Credits, where 1 EC equals 28 hours of work.


The curriculum consists of a 61 EC course part and a 59 EC research part. It is possible to start the programme in September or in February. Each academic year is divided into four periods.

The programme addresses three main research themes: 'Colloids and Bio-inspired materials', 'Catalysts and Energy Materials', and 'Nanophotonics and Quantum Materials'. These three themes are reflected in the courses and research opportunities. Students have the freedom to combine elements of different themes to tailor their study programme.

Course part (61 EC)

The course part consists of: 

  • Compulsory courses (8,5 EC)
  • Elective courses (52,5 EC). You can opt to spend up to 30 EC of your electives to
    • an internship (either two of 15 EC or one of 30 EC)
    • or to a profile (see below for details)

In the course list below you can find an overview of the different course options including descriptions of the specific courses.

Research part (59 EC)

In our research-oriented Master programme, your research project has a central role, meaning you will devote a significant part of your time to it. You can choose a research topic of your own interest within one of the groups affiliated with the Debye Institute. You will shape your own research project and participate as a group member in the group’s team meetings and discussions. The research project can already start a 10 weeks after the start of the programme. Within the research part you will also write your master's thesis and learn to give presentations and discuss the progress and relevance of your research.

Thesis examples

  • Morphological Considerations in Templated Porous Ag Catalysts for Electrochemical CO2 Reduction”, Karen van den Akker, Materials Chemistry and Catalysis

  • Photonic films from surfactant-coated cellulose nanocrystals in toluene for pressure and humidity sensing”, Steven Remiens, Soft Condensed Matter & Biophysics

  • Near-Infrared Emitting Yb3+-doped CsPbX3 (X = Cl, Br) Perovskite Nanocrystals for Luminescent Solar Concentrators”, Liselotte Nass, Condensed Matter and Interfaces

For more examples see the websites of the participating groups:

Educational methods

In our programme, most of your time is devoted to carrying out research. By definition on your Master's research project, but most students also choose to use 30 EC of their electives for one or two Internships outside Utrecht University (either in companies, research institutes, or universities abroad). The course work consist of lectures and tutorials and an occasional small (group) project. Roughly, you require 2 days a week for every course including about 50% of contact hours (lecture, tutorials, group work) and 50% self-study.

    Extra opportunities

    Utrecht University offers several programmes for students looking for an extra challenge. These programmes are followed on top of your regular Master’s programme and go beyond the regular curriculum. Do you want to know more about extracurricular opportunities? 

    Read more about the honours programmes