MSc in Physics - Research in Physics, Quantum Matter and Optics



What will I learn?

This specialisation connects to the Leiden research programme on quantum optics and quantum matter. You will learn how fascinating material properties emerge from a combination of quantum mechanical confinement, electron-electron interaction, and/or the electron spin property. Furthermore, you will become a specialist in the quantum properties of light and the rich physics of photon-matter interaction.

What does this master’s programme entail?

The programme covers two themes:

  • Condensed Matter Physics studies the electronic, optical and mechanical properties of quantum solids, typically on the nanometer scale and at low temperature. Research topics include superconductivity (discovered in Leiden), low-dimensional systems, molecular electronics, and strongly correlated materials. You will get familiar with the state-of-the-art experimental techniques that are at the core of the Leiden research programme.
  • Quantum Optics studies the quantum properties of light, entanglement and its role in photon-matter interaction, again typically on the nanometer scale. Research topics include photon detection, plasmonics, cavity quantum electrodynamics and quantum nanomechanics with the goal to create, manipulate, control and understand quantum systems that are at the heart of future quantum technologies.

The specialisation consists of 120 European Credit Transfer System (EC) points and includes mandatory courses and electives (60 EC) and two research projects (60 EC).

Programme overview

The two-year Master of Science programme is divided approximately 50/50 between experimental research and theoretical courses. The curriculum of the Quantum Matter and Optics specialisations consists of:

  • Mandatory courses (18 EC)
  • Electives (45 EC)
  • Two research projects (60 EC total)

At the start of the Master’s programme, you are required to create a study plan: this plan includes a complete list of planned courses and projects for two subsequent academic years in consultation with the Study Advisor Physics.

Career prospects

The Research in Physics, Quantum Matter and Optics specialisation is an excellent stepping stone for pursuing a PhD degree.

Acquired skills and competence

The goal of each programme is to train you as an independent researcher, and to develop the necessary skills and proficiency to advance your career. After graduating you will have excellent knowledge of fundamental Physics and highly developed curiosity-driven research skills. You will be a creative and independent scientist who is ready to continue in research. The research specialisations are an excellent stepping-stone for graduates with the ambition and aspiration to pursue a PhD degree.

The Quantum Matter and Optics specialisation is geared towards pursuing a future career in research, either in industry or in academia, but also offers career possibilities that build upon the general analytic and problem solving skills that you acquire during you MSc Physics programme.


After completing the Physics master's programme you will have a broad array of career prospects. All students with a Master of Science in Physics are admissible to a PhD programme. If you have the desire to apply your knowledge of Physics outside the university, there are ample job possibilities in high-tech industry, software and consultancy companies worldwide, or a career as a teacher, science communicator or science policy maker.

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Science

Study options

Full Time (2 Years)

Tuition fees
€18,016.00 (15,91,941) per year
Application deadline

Expected April 2024

More details

Start date

Expected September 2023


Leiden University

Rapenburg 70,



2311, Netherlands

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Applicants need a BA or BSc degree (or equivalent) to be admitted to any of Leiden University’s master’s programmes. English-language proficiency: IELTS - 6.0; Toefl (internet based): 80 (component score: 20); Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE), or C1 Advanced (CAE): Cambridge component score of 169.

For international students

  • A copy of a valid passport or ID card
  • A copy of a Dutch residence permit (if applicable)
  • CV (résumé)
  • Language proficiency (if applicable)
  • Copies of diplomas and transcripts
  • Letter of motivation

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


Get in touch