BSc Physics


Program Description

How does nature work? How can we use its concepts? By making models and formulating natural laws, we can describe and predict the natural world.

Physics is a 'hard' science: it is concerned with hard figures, precise and pure measurements. These are used to produce models and explain natural phenomena.

The Bachelor's program in Physics lasts three years. During your first year, you will study basic subjects such as mechanics, special relativity, and electricity & magnetism. You will also take practical courses. During this year, you can choose between four tracks:

  • Biophysics & Medical Physics
  • Energy & Environmental Physics
  • Nanophysics
  • Particle Physics


Physics graduates have excellent opportunities in the job market. You can work as a researcher at a company or an institute, or for example as a consultant because you will have the analytical skills that are both needed and wanted to solve complicated questions in such environments.

Why study this program in Groningen?

  • At the University of Groningen, you will study under researchers who have gained a worldwide reputation in their field. The linked Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, for example, is ranked in the top 15 of its kind worldwide.
  • The first semester of this program offers you the opportunity to orientate broadly. You can easily switch to the Bachelor's program Astronomy after the first semester or Applied Physics within the first year.
  • The University of Groningen is the only Dutch university who offers a Physics Bachelor's program in English.
  • Our faculty is the home of the 2016 Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry, Ben Feringa, and the Nobel Prize winner in Physics, Frits Zernike.



  • Electives semester 1: introduction Astronomy; introduction Energy and Environment 1; Medical Physics; Physics of Modern Technology; Physics of Quantum Universe
  • Electives semester 2: Biophysics; introduction Energy and Environment 2; Nanophysics
  • Electricity and Magnetism
  • Linear Algebra
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Mechanics and Relativity
  • Physics Laboratory 1 & 2
  • Python for Physicists


The Groningen science and engineering programs stand out for their academic excellence. The work pace in the first year is generally high and the courses' contents demanding. The first-year curriculum concentrates on laying a sound basis for our engineering and natural science disciplines. This allows our students to choose their specialization tracks already in the second half of the first year.

Credits per year: 60 ECTS; most courses are 5 ECTS.

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is optional
  • Maximum of 30 EC

Exchange: All our science and engineering programs offer study abroad possibilities at a number of partner institutions. Our partners include top-100 universities in Europe (for example in Germany, the UK, and Sweden) and in the USA, China, South-East Asia, and South America. Our exchange programs have a typical duration of one semester and count toward your final degree.

Entry requirements

Admission requirements

Specific requirements More information
additional subject

Mathematics and Physics.

This is merely an indication of the required background knowledge. The admissions board determines whether the specific contents of this/these course(s) meet the admission requirements of the bachelor program for which you applied.

language test Proficiency in English is an admission requirement for all English-taught degree programs.
previous education

Secondary education equivalent to Dutch pre-university education is required.

This is merely an indication of the required general level of applicants' previous education.

Language Requirements

Exam Minimum Score
IELTS overall band 6.5
TOEFL internet-based 90

Application deadlines

Type of student Deadline Start course
Dutch students 01 May 2021 01 September 2021
EU/EEA students 01 May 2021 01 September 2021
non-EU/EEA students 01 May 2021 01 September 2021

Tuition fees

Nationality Year Fee Program form
EU/EEA 2020-2021 € 2143 full-time
non-EU/EEA 2020-2021 € 14000 full-time

The Dutch government intends to halve the statutory tuition fees for specific groups of first-year bachelor's students starting from the 2018/19 academic year.

Job prospects

Research, advising or teaching… there are many fields open to you! Physics consists of a broad Bachelor's program, after which you can specialize with a Master's degree program. You can then pursue a career in business or continue in the academic world.


If you opt for the business sector, you could pursue a career in industry, helping to develop technological innovations. Automation companies also like to employ physicists. The SME sector, consultancy, and engineering firms are also increasingly looking for physicists.


Once you have your Master's degree, you could find employment with research institutes such as TNO (Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research) and the KNMI (Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute). You can also carry out Ph.D. research at a university.

Not the same as the technology

Large organizations such as banks and insurance companies like to employ physicists because of their analytical skills. As a physicist, you can formulate a model to describe, predict and solve an issue. This is useful in positions that involve conducting analyses. There was a period during which McKinsey, the global consultancy firm, preferred to recruit only physicists!

Job examples

  • Product developer
  • Technical innovator
  • Researcher
  • Analyst
  • Consultant


Our Bachelor's degree program in physics is connected to the following research institutes of the University of Groningen.

Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials

Basic research on materials is directed towards unraveling the relations between the properties that determine their functionality and their chemical composition and structure. The quest for an in-depth understanding of these constitutive relations often leads to unexpected boundaries signifying fundamental gaps in our knowledge. Although the structure-property relationship is in itself a truism, the actual linkage between (micro) structural aspects in a material and its physical/chemical properties are elusive. The reason is that various properties are determined by the collective behavior of molecules, atoms and electrons and their behavior may be extremely non-linear on different time and length scales.

The classic materials triangle concerns an integrative approach in the three aspects of structure, property and chemical composition. The Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials adds an extra dimension to this traditional view by an unconventional linkage to the field of biomolecular sciences, which includes the design aspects as well.

Van Swinderen Institute

The aim of the Van Swinderen Institute for Particle Physics and Gravity is to study the fundamental forces of Nature with implications for our Universe. These investigations connect through close similarities in physics from Planck-scale physics (quantum gravity) via sub-atomic scales (particle physics) to cosmic dimensions. There are both theoretical as well as experimental efforts in more specialized topics such as the test of fundamental symmetries and forces, LHC and Beyond the Standard Model physics, holography, string theory, and inflation.

ESRIG - Energy and Sustainability Research Institute Groningen

Although ESRIG is a Research Institute, bundling strengths leads to new educational possibilities as well in the Master phase the Energy and Environmental Sciences (EES) program has been operational for several years, under the responsibility of IVEM and CIO. At present, this program offers two tracks: The IVEM track ("Energy and Environmental Sciences"), and the CIO-track ("Experimental studies of greenhouse gases and climate history"). The IVEM track will be extended by elements of SSG research. The CIO-track will be enforced and broadened by the other experimental groups inside ESRIG.

As ESRIG is the central institute for energy and environmental studies, ESRIG scientists take the lead in both the track design and the actual teaching.

Kapteyn Astronomical Institute

The Kapteyn Astronomical Institute is the department of Astronomy at the University of Groningen. The Kapteyn Astronomical Institute uses the most advanced instrumentation on the ground and in space, as well as the most advanced computing facilities. Kapteyn staff are involved in the operation as well as planning and construction of major astronomical instrumentation efforts, again on the ground and in space. Master students at the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute work in research groups which are currently shaping 21st-century astronomy and astrophysics. The Kapteyn Institute has close connections with the two major national foundations dealing with astronomical instrumentation: ASTRON and SRON.

KVI-Centre for Advanced Radiation Technology

The mission of the KVI- Center for Advanced Radiation Technology (KVI-CART) is to perform basic research on subatomic and astroparticle physics and application-driven research on accelerator physics and physics in medicine. We work, in close collaboration with the scientific community, healthcare, and industry, on long-term solutions for science and society. Through the development of state-of-the-art detection techniques, KVI-CART fosters the cross-fertilization between basic and application-driven research. KVI-CART educates young researchers in physics and medical technology at BSc, MSc and Ph.D. level.

Last updated Jun 2020

About the School

The University of Groningen has a rich academic tradition dating back to 1614. From this tradition arose the first female student and the first female lecturer in the Netherlands, the first Dutch astr ... Read More

The University of Groningen has a rich academic tradition dating back to 1614. From this tradition arose the first female student and the first female lecturer in the Netherlands, the first Dutch astronaut and the first president of the European Central Bank. Geographically, the University is rooted in the Northern part of the Netherlands, a region very close to its heart. Read less
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