BSc in Applied Physics


Program Description

Physics is concerned with describing and predicting natural phenomena. Applied physics is concerned with applying physics in technical solutions. Design and construction are important aspects of this.

Applied physics is at the heart of society. It forms the basis for many of the products we use in daily life. The program has a strong interdisciplinary orientation, with an emphasis on combinations of subjects: physics with design studies, nanotechnology, new materials and systems, and control engineering

Applied physics involves studying not only how phenomena come about, but also how to use them for technical solutions. The program focuses on theory and practice.

Critical appraisal skills

Applied physics is an academic subject, which means that you acquire not only knowledge but also skills such as presentation, working in a team and setting up and conducting research. We teach you critical appraisal skills, which you will learn to apply to your own and other's work.

Tough subject

Applied physics can certainly be described as a 'tough' subject. In order to study it, you need to have an affinity for sciences and you need to have an enquiring and creative mind that wonders how things work.

Why study this program in Groningen?

  • In Groningen, you can study Physics alongside Applied Physics, and you don't have to choose between them right away. Groningen is the only university in the Netherlands to offer a broad Bachelor's program that allows you to explore various natural sciences.
  • In Groningen, you will be taught by researchers who have gained a worldwide reputation. The linked Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials is ranked in the top 15 of its kind worldwide.



  • Calculus 1, 2 & 3
  • Electives semester 1: introduction Astronomy; introduction Energy and Environment 1; Medical Physics; Physics of Modern Technology; Physics of Quantum Universe
  • Electricity and Magnetism
  • Heat & Transport
  • Linear Algebra
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Python for Physicists
  • Various Practicals


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 their second Bachelor's 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.

Internship: This program offers you the opportunity to carry out a research project of a variable number of months at a company in the Netherlands or abroad, as part of your thesis. Our choice of industry partners ranges from large multinationals (such as Shell, Philips, Unilever) to dynamic small and medium enterprises in the Groningen area.

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.

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

Applied Physics is a broad Bachelor's program, after which you can specialize with a Master's degree program. You can then continue in the academic world or opt for a career in the business world. Many applied physics graduates find work developing new products.


Many applied physics graduates choose a job in the industry, contributing to technical innovations and product development. In the SME sector, consultancy and engineering firms are also increasingly looking for applied physicists.

Research and advising

When you have your Master's degree you can carry out Ph.D. research at a university. You could also work for a research institute such as TNO (Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research) or the NLR (National Aerospace Laboratory of the Netherlands). Other openings include managerial and policy positions in a range of fields, for example in environmental protection or the service sector.

Not quite the same as the technology

Applied physicists, like 'ordinary' physicists, are sought after by large organizations such as banks and insurance companies, which value their analytical skills. Management consultancy firms frequently recruit applied physicists too.

Job examples

  • Analyst
  • Consultant
  • Researcher
  • Technical innovator


Our Bachelor's degree program in applied 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.

emission reduction, development, and evaluation of (inter)national climate policies, the societal and ethical context of scientific/technical transitions towards sustainability.

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 programme 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.

In the Bachelor phase, the curriculum of Physics and Chemistry will start with an "energy and environmental" track form the year 2010-2011 onwards. As ESRIG is the central institute for this subject, 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.

Centre for Advanced Radiation Technology (CART)

The mission of the Center for Advanced Radiation Technology (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, CART fosters the cross-fertilization between basic and application-driven research. 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
Groningen , Leeuwarden + 1 More Less