The Master of Physics programme provides students with a thorough general knowledge of physics as well as an in-depth knowledge in a range of specialist areas. Students prepare a Master's thesis in a research domain related to nuclear physics, solid state physics, soft matter physics or theoretical physics, all areas in which the research groups within the Department of Physics and Astronomy have significant expertise.
This is an initial Master's programme and can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis.
The Department of Physics and Astronomy at KU Leuven is a research-based institute that generates substantial research funding. Consequently, many research positions are available, and more than half the students obtaining a Master's degree in physics eventually start a PhD programme in one of the department's research groups.
A number of graduates prefer to pursue a second Master's degree, with medical radiation physics, environmental sciences and statistics being the most popular subjects. There are also excellent career opportunities in industry (e.g., ICT, material research, electronics), consulting, government, banking (statistics) and higher education. Virtually all newly graduated physicists find employment quickly after obtaining their degree.
The master students will grow into independent and critical scientists. Masters of physics will have developed sufficient knowledge and skills to participate in competitive national or international PhD programmes. Moreover the acquired research methodology will prepare the student for employment as a scientist in any chosen profession.
The curriculum is constructed in a way that the student can specialize in an area of choice by joining one of the research groups of the department. This specialization can be in the field of experimental nuclear physics, solid state physics at the nanometer scale, soft matter physics of in the field of theoretical physics. A major part of the curriculum consists of research resulting in a master thesis. The subject of the thesis is chosen by the student during the course of the second semester of the 1st Master year.
The Erasmus programme of the European Union offers an excellent opportunity for Belgian students who would like to combine their study with experience outside the KU Leuven. All research groups of the department have a network of European collaborators and we advise interested students to integrate this exchange with their thesis research during their second Master year. Choices concerning the Erasmus programme need to be made in February of the 1st Master year. Address the study advisers to obtain specific information on this European programme !
At the end of the Master programme the student:
* has a broad knowledge of modern physics;
* has specialized in one of the following important areas of physics: solid-state physics, nuclear physics, theoretical physics or physics of soft matter;
* is familiar with the most recent developments in the research area of the chosen specialization of the master thesis;
* is able to carry out research in a professional and multidisciplinary research team under the supervision of experts;
* is able to independently solve advanced physics problems by choosing the appropriate experimental and/or theoretical method, develop the method and report on it in a correct way;
* has developed the literature research skills to be able to process and present insights and results from international scientific research to both specialists and peers;
* is able to reflect critically, communicate and discuss the social role and the ethical dimension of scientific research in general and physics research in particular;
* has mastered scientific English to such a level that he/she can deliver written and oral reports;
* is able to use the scientific methodology in his/her own learning process while acquiring new concepts inside as well as outside physics. This is a vital skill for lifelong learning.
* has insight into the role of physics research in the society of the twenty-first century
* is able to place a contemporary discussion on physics research into a historical framework and formulate his/her own opinion.
Non-native English students are required to submit a TOEFL or IELTS certificate.
TOEFL (Computer-based test 213 pt., Internet-based test 79 - 80 pt., Paper-based test 550 pt.) or IELTS (6.5 - 7 pt.)
Applicants who are non-native speakers of English must provide evidence of English language proficiency.
* Applicants with a KU Leuven degree: Applicants that already successfully completed an English-taught programme at K.U.Leuven, do not have to take an English proficiency test.
* Applicants with a university degree earned in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom or the USA: the certified diploma and transcripts suffice, provided they confirm that the entire university study was completed in English. Absolutely no other diplomas will be accepted as evidence even if the applicant has followed an exclusively English-taught programme.
* Other applicants should submit a satisfactory score on an internationally recognized test of English language proficiency:TOEFL (minimum score 575 paper-based, 233 computer-based, 90 internet-based) or IELTS (minimum score 7). No other proficiency tests will be accepted, and absolutely no application will be considered without such a test certificate.
For applicants from outside Belgium, comparability of the diploma is not always easily established.
Certified copies of transcripts and diplomas are required for all applicants. These documents also suffice for applicants from
* universities that have an exchange agreement with the Faculty of Science of KU Leuven
* universities that are in the global top 200 in the most recent Times Higher Education or QS rankings
Additional documentation is required for applicants from other universities as it is impossible for us to reliably assess the comparability. In those cases the admission board will take a positive decision only if supporting information is provided:
* a complete list of course titles for which you have obtained a credit should be part of this. Indicate the course size (in ECTS-credits) and the result you obtained, preferably according to the ECTS-scale; if a different scale is used, please provide an summary explanation on the meaning of the scores.
* for the courses that you deem most relevant as a preparation for the master that you are considering, provide a short (about one half to one page) description according to the standard guidelines for an ECTS-study guide.
The Admissions Board evaluates all applications and has the final say on the admissibility of the student, taking into account the relevant information.
No work experience is required.
Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS we offer you the chance to receive up to £10,000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.
The University of Leuven is a modern university, located within the vibrant city of Leuven in the centre of Belgium and close to Brussels, the centre of Europe.