Chemistry

Develop real world applications for today and tomorrow

Are you interested in finding out how to use inexpensive organic materials to capture CO2 or discovering whether carbon can form a fifth bond? Are you keen to find new methods of seeing through non-transparent material, such as using laser measurements to trace tumours? Or how about developing new analytical methods to determine low levels of bioactive proteins in complex biological samples?

The Master’s programme in Chemistry is a challenging degree programme for students who already have a solid background in chemistry and who are eager to expand their knowledge and experience. Chemistry is not an isolated discipline: it forms the bridge between biology at one end of the spectrum (biomolecular chemistry) and physics at the other end (physical-theoretical chemistry). A Master’s in Chemistry can lead to an exciting, well-paid career with extensive opportunities for pursuing your ambitions.

Joint degree programme with the University of Amsterdam
Chemistry is a joint degree programme of the University of Amsterdam and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Courses are taught at locations of both universities. UvA and VU jointly issue a degree certificate to graduates. As a Chemistry student in Amsterdam you benefit from expertise, networks and research projects at both universities and affiliated research institutes.

jointdegree2

The Master's is a two-year programme (120 ECTS) taught in English. The Master’s programme consists of your individual specialization track combined with your chosen profile.

Your programme is depending on the specialization you choose. In general it consists of the following components:

  • introductory courses
  • advanced courses
  • optional courses 
  • research project in the field of your specialization (including a Master’s thesis)
  • a literature survey 
  • a colloquium
  • ethics and portfolio academic skills

General programme
General overview of the two year master programme

The curriculum in this Master’s programme mainly takes place at the University of Amsterdam.  For in-depth information about the structure and the courses, please visit the website of the University of Amsterdam.
 

Organizations and companies in the chemical sector are always on the lookout for talent. There are many different career opportunities, depending on your choice of profile and specialization track.

A job as a researcher
Research positions are available with institutes like TNO or Solvay. Industrial giants like AKZO Nobel and DSM are eager to hire chemists. 

A job as a manager or consultant
Are you more interested in a job in public administration or business? You can find work in industry or in government institutions. These are often posts in the chemicals industry, with inspection services or consultancy firms, where there is an emphasis on management and/or policy aspects and where communication with professionals from different backgrounds is an important skill. Government posts might include jobs with ministries or enforcement agencies.  

A job in education or communication
Students who opt for the education profile often find work as teachers. If you choose to follow the communication profile, then you could find work as a public relations officer, a science journalist or an education officer at a publishing house or museum.
                         
Chemists are employed in the following sectors:

chemdiagram

Continuing your studies
Graduates with excellent grades can apply for one of our PhD student positions. This is normally awarded for four years, during which the student is expected to complete a research project. The main task of a PhD student is to conduct research resulting in a thesis.

Many PhDs end up in research positions, or in managerial posts at universities, large companies, government institutions, or banks. 

Career consulting
If you are a KNCV member, you can request a free career consultation   

Examples of careers

Consultant at Ernst & Young
Bas van Stralen'The jump from theoretical chemistry to Finance is easy to explain. I enjoy performing analysis and working with mathematical models. Plus I get the opportunity to develop professionally and personally. I missed the personal factor when I worked doing pure research. Did you know that some methods used to evaluate financial tools are based on Brownian motion, something Einstein described?' Read more...





Clinical chemist at Isala clinics
After earning my doctorate at ACAS (now called BioMolecular Analysis (BMA)), I began training to become a clinical chemical engineer at the Isala clinics in Zwolle. Clinical chemistry combines applied science, complex medical issues and management. Read more...

Researcher Biotechnology, Synthon B.V.
During my internship, I researched chiral molecules. Often only one isomer is a useable material, while the others can be hazardous. So these need to be separated out in order to perform determinations. The assignment comprised studying six different techniques for two model substances that were in the Synthon development pipeline then. The diversity and challenge are exactly what drew me to this position. Read more...

Are you curious about how our alumni are getting on? Read the stories of Rob, Gert-Jan, and Bianca, Floris en Tanja

Each track encompasses compulsory (theoretical) courses, a research project including a Master's thesis, a literature thesis and a colloquium, as well as optional courses or a work placement. The first year focuses on your knowledge of chemistry theory. The second year is devoted to your specialization or career profile. 

The three tracks you can choose from:

  • Analytical Sciences
  • Molecular Sciences
  • Science for Energy and Sustainability

You also choose a career profile:

  • Research. Focuses on the research in the field of your specialisation interest. (English)
  • Social. Focuses on policy, management and entrepreneurship in the field of Chemistry. (partly in Dutch)
  • Communications. Focuses on science communications theory and research, as well as in practice. (partly in Dutch)
  • Education. Provides teacher training for Dutch pre-university or vocational education. (partly in Dutch)

International researchers
VU Amsterdam employs internationally acclaimed researchers and its research facilities are world renowned. Prof. Evert Jan Baerends of the department of theoretical chemistry is one of the world’s 100 most cited researchers.


Small-scale programme
Chemistry at VU Amsterdam has all the advantages of a small-scale programme. Lectures and lab work take place in small groups. Everyone knows each other and students feel ‘at home’ quickly.

Cooperation with the University of Amsterdam
This Master's programme is offered by VU Amsterdam in collaboration with the University of Amsterdam. Both universities have an excellent international reputation, with several research groups playing leading roles in various fields of science. Their collaboration has resulted in a range of high-quality Master of Science programmes. Thanks to this cooperation, students can enjoy the expertise of two universities, as well as benefiting from the existing networks and collaborative projects at both.

We provide joint courses, covering an extensive range of subjects and research themes in organic chemistry, analytical sciences and physical sciences.

If you would like to know more

Contact and information days
Order the brochure  

Prof. Baerends

Prof. Baerends"We research theories from quantum mechanics and density functional theory which can help to describe the movements of electrons in a molecule. This lets us develop models that can be programmed into computers so that a given molecule’s characteristics can be mapped out: spectroscopic and bonding qualities, reactivity etc. We have designed a program that is being sold to universities and companies throughout the world via one of our spin-off companies (SCM, Scientific Computing and Modelling)."

Overview Chemistry: joint degree with UvA

LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION

English

DURATION

2 years

TUITION FEE

APPLICATION DEADLINE

1 July for Dutch students. Please note: EU/EEA and non-EU/EEA students* * are required to apply with our joint degree partner, the University of Amsterdam

START DATE

1 September
1 February

STUDY TYPE

Part-time, Full-time

SPECIALIZATIONS

Analytical Sciences / Molecular Sciences / Science for Energy and Sustainability / Atomic Scale Modelling of Physical, Chemical and Biomolecular Systems (AtoSiM)/ Science, Business and Innovation

FIELD OF INTEREST

Natural Sciences

Anton Koers

Internship@University of Auckland, New Zealand

Anton Koers"My Bachelor’s project supervisor had an inspiring story which led me to explore an internship abroad. Doing research at the University of Auckland (New Zealand) was very appealing, making it an easy choice. Working at another university gives you a sneak peek into someone else’s lab, so you can learn from them. You make a ton of contacts; these might well prove enormously useful if you conduct joint projects in the future."

Sustainable Chemistry
The division of Organic Chemistry works on eco-friendly synthetic methods and novel products that are pursued in the context of sustainability by using the element phosphorus more effectively and by reducing/eliminating phosphorus waste.

Molecular switches
Our theoretical chemists have provided a proof of principle for molecular switches, based on DNA base pairs. This work is based on state-of-the-art computer modeling as well as insight into how electrons move in these tiny switches. Potential applications range from chemical bonding theory via smart materials to biochemistry.

Designing fully automated methodologies
How do you determine low levels of bioactive proteins in complex biological samples? The Biomolecular Analysis and Spectroscopy research group designs fully automated methodologies that integrate the isolation of the target proteins, the inline digestion into smaller peptides and the high sensitivity analysis of the peptide mixture.

Each Master’s programme concludes with a graduation project or internship. This can be an individual project or a group project. Internships proposed by the student need approval in advance from a member of staff, who will also be involved with supervising the project. For details, please contact the Master’s coordinator. 

There are four principal routes through the Master's programme, called career profiles. Each specialization track within a career profile can be tailor-made to a student's personal requirements. At the initial planning stage, and with advice from the master coordinator, the optimal personal programme can be defined. Each career profile and specialization includes a striking balance between compulsory courses, optional courses and research training. The first year of your master is focused on the specialization you choose, the second year is focused on the career profile of your interest. 

You can choose between the following career profiles:

  • Research. Focuses on the research in the field of your specialization interest. (English)
  • Social. Focuses on policy, management and entrepreneurship in the field of Chemistry. (partly in Dutch)
  • Communications. Focuses on science communications theory and research, as well as in practice. (partly in Dutch)
  • Education. Provides teacher training for Dutch pre-university or vocational education. (partly in Dutch)
"I studied organic chemistry on HBO level. But I realised, lab work really wasn’t my thing. I was more interested in calculations. The combination of chemistry and math was much more appealing. Theoretical Chemistry (TC) combines aspects of math, physics and chemistry. This is where my strengths lie. During my internship, I was working on the cutting edge of theoretical and organic chemistry. I found TC so fascinating I wanted to pursue it further."

Deficiency program
"The fundamental approach of chemistry is what I find so attractive. You start from nothing, and delve deeply into the material. Since this programme is much more theoretical than my HBO programme, and concerns another facet of chemistry, I did a six-course pre-Master’s programme. I definitely had to do some catching up in math and theoretical chemistry. It wasn’t too hard to handle, and certainly not more difficult for me than it was for the university’s Bachelor’s degree students."

Big challenge
"The biggest difference with the HBO is that you have more material to cover. On the HBO level, I could get away with starting to study a couple of days before an exam. Now, I really need to keep up with the course material. This is a big challenge. Another difference is that you have to be more self-sufficient. Instructors are happy to help you, but you have to take the initiative. Not that many students have chosen TC. It means we’re a close-knit team."

Paul Jansen

Internship@Sandia National Laboratory Livermore, San Francisco (USA)

Paul Janssen "I am now living in the country where Burger King® rules and Coca Cola™ is the drink of choice. I’m doing an internship in the US. San Francisco has a great climate and mellow atmosphere, making it an amazing place to be. But, of course, I’m really here for the science."

Analytical Sciences - MSc track in Chemistry

Tracks

Chemistry offers the following tracks:

  • Analytical Sciences
  • Molecular Sciences        
  • Science for Energy and Sustainability      

Other research master possibilities

In the two-year track Analytical Chemistry of the Master’s programme Chemistry, a joint degree programme with Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, you will focus purely on aspects of analytical chemistry, such as modern analytical techniques, general concepts and strategies for analysis and various application fields.  

Analytical chemistry plays a crucial role in many areas of science and society. Chemical compounds in a variety of materials and environments must be identified and quantified for, for example:

  • the development of new pharmaceuticals,
  • the unravelling of complex biological systems
  • the design of new sustainable materials and chemical processes

Analytical chemistry provides the methods and techniques that make this possible. Its impact is not restricted to chemistry alone: progress in medicine, biology, environmental and material sciences is strongly dependent on the availability of new analytical tools as well. 

Is Analytical Sciences in Amsterdam the study for me?
It is, if you:

  • have a solic background in chemistry
  • are eager to expand your knowledge and skills in the area of analytical chemistry
  • want the advantages of a small-scale programme, where students and staff all know each other.

What does Analytical Science in Amsterdam have to offer me?
This Master's track is unique in the Netherlands, in that it focuses purely on (all aspects of) analytical chemistry - a specialisation for which there is currently a great demand on the labour market. It covers:

  • a large range of modern analytical techniques, such as chromatography, mass spectrometry, spectroscopy and laser-based approaches
  • general concepts and strategies for analysis, from sampling to data treatment
  • various application fields, such as biochemical, industrial, pharmaceutical and forensic analysis
    The track also offers the possibility to focus specifically on environmental chemistry and analysis.

The track also offers the possibility to focus specifically on environmental chemistry and analysis.

STUDY PROGRAMME

This two-year Master’s programme consists of obligatory courses and elective courses, a research project and a literature study. In your first year you take the four obligatory courses and you choose at least two elective courses. Your whole second year is dedicated to your research project and literature study.  

Courses
The track programme has the following compulsory courses:

  • Seperation Sciences (6 EC)
  • Mass Spectrometry (6 EC)
  • (Bio)Molecular Spectroscopy (6 EC)

Elective courses
You choose at least two of the following elective courses:

  • Environmental Chemistry (6 EC)
  • Bio-analysis and clinical diagnostics (6 EC)
  • Chemical Analysis for Forensic Evidence (6 EC)
  • Environmental Measuring Techniques (6 EC)
  • High-Throughput Screening (6 EC)
  • Advanced Spectroscopy (6 EC)
  • Protein Analysis (6 EC)
  • The Analytical Chemist in Industry (6 EC)
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (6 EC)
  • Advanced Separation Sciences (6 EC)
  • Advanced Statistics for Analytical Sciences (6 EC)

For detailed information on the courses, check the Course Catalogue

Research project
The programme's research training takes place in the form of a research project, conducted either within one of the participating research groups or in industry. The project includes a written Master's thesis and an oral presentation.
A few recent examples of Master's theses in Analytical Sciences are:
Chemistry Master's theses can be found in the digital theses library of the UvA Faculty of Science.

Literature Study
In addition to the research project you also do a literature study on a subject of your own choosing. You will present your results in an oral presentation to the staff of the division or institute and your fellow students. 

General programme
The two-year master's programme consists of compulsory courses, optional courses, literature thesis and a research project.

General programme specialisations

Curriculum Schedule

PeriodCompulsory coursesOptional courses 
Sept - OctSeparation sciences (6 EC)Bio-analysis & clinical diagnostics(6 EC)
Nov - DecMass spectrometry (6 EC)High throughput screening(6 EC)
JanFundamentals of analytical sciences (6 EC)

Feb - Mar(Bio) Molecular spectroscopy (6 EC)Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (6 EC)
Apr - May
Omics procedures in molecular diagnostics (6EC)Protein analysis (6 EC)
June (Bio) Analytical luminescence spectroscopy (6 EC) 

MSc+ Talent programma
Highly talented and motivated students can combine the Analytical Sciences track with the MSc+ talent programme. This programme, offered by COAST, kick-starts your career as an analytical chemist. It provides you with:
• a scholarship of €4.400 - €5.000 per year
• stimulating courses on a variety of analytical topics, taught by professors as well as industry experts (1 Saturday per month + 4 summer courses)
• challenging laboratory internships at well-known (multinational) companies
 
"This programme enables you to develop yourself as an analytical chemist in a way that regular students cannot.”
(Eliane van Dam, graduated 2015)

“Joining the MSc+ programme has been one of my best decisions so far. The Saturday classes and conferences I attended have been incredibly educational and give me much more confidence in my abilities not only in science but also in networking.”
(Fleur van Beek, graduated 2016)

 
For entry requirements and other information, please check: ti-coast.com/mscplus

Accreditation and title
This track is a specialisation of the Master's programme Chemistry, which has been accredited by the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO). This means that upon successful completion of the programme (a total of 120 EC), you will receive a legally recognised Master's degree certificate in Chemistry from the University of Amsterdam and the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and the title Master of Science (MSc).

CAREER PROSPECTS

Graduates of the Master's programme Chemistry typically pursue careers:

  • as PhD students at chemistry institutes around the world, progressing from there to careers in academia or industry
  • in research, within industry (e.g. Philips, ASML, Shell and DSM)
  • in research, within research institutes (e.g. TNO, KNMI and SRON)
  • as teachers, within high schools or universities
  • as (technical) policy officers, within (science-oriented) governmental and non-profit organisations
  • in business (e.g. ICT companies, energy companies, investment banks, consultancy firms)
  • as writers, for (science-oriented) media
  • as entrepreneurs. 

APPLICATION AND ADMISSION

Entry requirements
The track Analytical Sciences in the Master's programme Chemistry is open to:
• Applicants with an academic Bachelor's degree in Chemistry or a comparable discipline
• Applicants with a Bachelor's degree in Chemistry or a comparable discipline from a university of applied sciences (HBO) - after completion of a premaster’s programme of max 30 EC.

Additional information for international students
International applicants must also fulfil general entry requirements regarding academic background, academic average and proficiency in English. 

Please note: For the MSc in Chemistry, International Students (non-Dutch degree) are required to apply with our joint degree partner, the Universtiy of Amsterdam. 

Pre-Master's Programme in Chemistry
Generally, candidates with a Bachelor’s degree from a (Dutch) university of applied sciences (HBO) can be admitted to the MSc Chemistry only after completion of a Pre-Master's Programme ("schakelprogramma").
This Pre-Master's Programme of max 27 EC is offered in the first semester. After successfully completion, admission to the MSc Chemistry will be granted by 1 February.
The Examination Board decides on the content of the Pre-Master's Programme for a candidate. The standard programme (27 EC) for the Analytical Sciences and the Molecular Sciences tracks is shown in the table below. 

Course
Period*
EC
Track**
Mathematics
1-2
6
all
Thermodynamics
2-3
6
all
Structure & Properties of Organic Molecules
1-2
6
AS
Organic Chemistry
1
3
MS
Inorganic Chemistry
2
3
MS
Chemical Bonding
1
3
all
English Academic Course
1-2
3
all
Literature Assignment
1-3
3
all


*: Period 1: Sept-Oct; Period 2: Nov-Dec; Period 3: Jan.
**: AS = Analytical Sciences; MS = Molecular Sciences

PROGRAMME CONTACTS

Programme related questions
For programme-related questions, please contact the Track coordinator, dr. Wim Kok, at: msc-analytical-sciences@uva.nl

Location
Science Park 904 | 1098 XH Amsterdam
+31 (0)20 525 8626 

Organic chemistry, biochemistry, and organometallic chemistry are the foundation for a fundamental understanding of the relationship between molecular structure and performance. This field supplies society with the molecules and materials we need for our health, transportation, energy, agriculture and communication. Understanding how molecules function is one of the most important worldwide challenges in chemistry.

The two-year track Molecular Sciences in the Chemistry Master’s programme, a joint degree programme with the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, covers areas in Chemistry that traditionally are associated with Organic and Inorganic Chemistry, Catalysis, Physical Chemistry and Theoretical Chemistry.

Is Molecular Sciences the study for me?

It is, if you:

  • have a solid background in the core disciplines of chemistry
  • are interested in using the molecule as the starting point for gaining fundamental insights about materials and chemical, biological and physical processes
  • want to move from understanding chemical and physical processes, to predicting and controlling them
  • are eager to apply your knowledge and skills in areas of fundamental importance to society such as energy, sustainability, health and materials sciences
  • want the benefits of a small-scale programme in which students and staff are in close contact.

What does Molecular Sciences have to offer me?

This track covers areas in Chemistry that traditionally are associated with Organic and Inorganic Chemistry, Catalysis, Physical Chemistry and Theoretical Chemistry. The track allows you to become an expert in

  • designing new compounds with specific properties, often with the aid of computational methods
  • devising efficient methods for the synthesis of new compounds
  • developing clean and selective catalysts
  • using the interaction of light and matter to observe and control chemical and physical processes
  • developing and applying methods in computational and theoretical chemistry in research of structure, dynamics and function in atomic, (bio)molecular and multi-scale systems.

The programme is embedded in various leading national and international research institutes, such as the Research Priority Area Sustainable Chemistry of the University of Amsterdam, the Amsterdam Center for Multiscale Modeling (ACMM, part of CECAM) and the LaserLab Amsterdam (part of LaserLab Europe). These collaborations provide you with direct access to a broad pool of experts in relevant fields of study.

STUDY PROGRAMME

Programme outline
In this two-year track in the Master’s programme Chemistry you are required to choose 5 courses from the following list of topics. As there are no restrictions on the choice of courses, you have the unique possibility of an in-depth specialisation in one particular area or a tailor-made programme in which various areas and methods are combined. Your whole second year is dedicated to your research project and literature study.

Courses (choice of 5)

Molecular Design
•    Physical Organic Chemistry
•    Molecular Computational Chemistry
•    Supramolecular Chemistry and Nanomaterials
 
Synthesis

•    Synthetic Organic Chemistry
•    Nuclear Magnetic Resonance
•    Bio-Organic Chemistry
 
Catalysis
•    Coordination and Organometallic Chemistry
•    Homogeneous Catalysis
•    Heterogeneous Catalysis
 
Theory and Modelling
•    Quantum Theory of Molecules and Matter
•    Statistical Theory of Complex Molecular Systems
•    Understanding Molecular Simulation
•    Understanding Quantum Chemistry
 
Spectroscopy
•    Quantum Optics
•    Advanced Experimental Techniques
•    Ultrafast Laser Physics

Elective courses
•    Green Chemistry
•    Catalysis for Sustainable Energy
•    Density Functional Theory for Chemists
•    Scientific Computing
•    and all courses from this track mentioned above, as well as the other MSc Chemistry tracks including ATOSIM.

The interaction between research and teaching forms the basis for a high-level academic programme optimised to your personal  interests. You design your own programme in consultation with the Track Coordinator, and submit it to the examination board for approval.

Research project 
The programme's research training takes place in the form of a major research project, usually within one of the participating research groups. The project includes a written Master's thesis and an oral presentation.

Literature study
In addition to the research project you also do a literature study on a subject of your own choosing. You will present your results in an oral presentation to the staff of the division or institute and your fellow students. 

Curriculum schedule

Accreditation and title
This track is a specialisation of the Master's programme Chemistry, which has been accredited by the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO). This means that upon successful completion of the programme (a total of 120 EC), you will receive a legally recognised Master's degree certificate in Chemistry from the University of Amsterdam and the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and the title Master of Science (MSc).

CAREER PROSPECTS

Graduates of the Master's programme Chemistry typically pursue careers:

  • as PhD students at chemistry institutes around the world, progressing from there to careers in academia or industry 
  • in research, within industry (e.g. Philips, ASML, Shell and DSM)
  • in research, within research institutes (e.g. TNO, KNMI and SRON)
  • as teachers, within high schools or universities
  • as (technical) policy officers, within (science-oriented) governmental and non-profit organisations
  • in business (e.g. ICT companies, energy companies, investment banks, consultancy firms)
  • as writers, for (science-oriented) media
  • as entrepreneurs

APPLICATION AND ADMISSION

The track Molecular Sciences in the Master's programme Chemistry is open to:

  • Applicants with an academic Bachelor's degree in Chemistry or a comparable discipline
  • Applicants with a Bachelor's degree in Chemistry or a comparable discipline from a university of applied sciences (HBO) - after completion of a pre-master’s programme of 27 EC.

Additional information for international students
International applicants must also fulfil general entry requirements regarding academic background, academic average and proficiency in English.
Please note: For the MSc in Chemistry, International Students (non-Dutch degree) are required to apply with our joint degree partner, the Universtiy of Amsterdam. 


Pre-Master's Programme in Chemistry
Generally, candidates with a Bachelor’s degree from a (Dutch) university of applied sciences (HBO) can be admitted to the MSc Chemistry only after completion of a Pre-Master's Programme ("schakelprogramma").
This Pre-Master's Programme of max 27 EC is offered in the first semester. After successfully completion, admission to the MSc Chemistry will be granted by 1 February.
The Examination Board decides on the content of the Pre-Master's Programme for a candidate. The standard programme (27 EC) for the Analytical Sciences and the Molecular Sciences tracks is shown in the table below. 

Course
Period*
EC
Track**
Mathematics
1-2
6
all
Thermodynamics
2-3
6
all
Structure & Properties of Organic Molecules
1-2
6
AS
Organic Chemistry
1
3
MS
Inorganic Chemistry
2
3
MS
Chemical Bonding
1
3
all
English Academic Course
1-2
3
all
Literature Assignment
1-3
3
all


*: Period 1: Sept-Oct; Period 2: Nov-Dec; Period 3: Jan.
**: AS = Analytical Sciences; MS = Molecular Sciences

CONTACT

For programme-related questions, please contact the Track Coordinator, dr. Steen Ingemann Jorgensen, at: msc-molecular-sciences@uva.nl

Location
Science Park 904 | 1098 XH Amsterdam
+31 (0)20 252 8626

Science for Energy and Sustainability (SES) is an interdisciplinary track within the Master's programmes Chemistry and Physics and Astronomy. It combines ‘hard’ scientific research with the analysis of societal issues, business models and government regulations. It is a joint degree programme with the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam so you will benefit from the expertise, networks and research projects at both universities. 

Is Science for Energy and Sustainability in Amsterdam the track for me?
It is , if you:

  • are interested in sustainable chemistry and catalysis
  • want to become (more) aware of the scientific, technological and societal challenges for our future
  • want to learn how to advance renewable energy resources, promote sustainable development, and use resources more efficiently
  • want to study the development of technological solutions to global energy and sustainability problems, as well as the societal context of global developments in this field
  • want to pursue a career that focuses on developing sustainable solutions to our current pressing global situation with regard to energy, climate and sustainability.

What does Science for Energy and Sustainability in Amsterdam have to offer me?
The track Science for Energy and Sustainability is an outward-looking programme, geared towards the cutting edge of energy and sustainability research. It gives you the skills and knowledge to move from understanding the state-of-the-art, to actually developing new sustainable technologies that can be implemented in society.

The programme allows for a very flexible curriculum containing mostly chemistry or additional physics or business oriented courses; As such it covers a broad area of hot topics, such as:

  • bio-based economy
  • green chemistry
  • photophysical and photochemical energy conversion
  • renewable energy technologies 
  • biosolar cells and catalysis for sustainable synthesis and energy conversion.

STUDY PROGRAMME

Programme outline

This two-year Master’s programme consists of obligatory courses and elective courses, a research project and a literature study. In your first year you take all your courses. Your whole second year is dedicated to your research project and literature study.

Courses
Compulsory courses 

  • Current Sustainable Energy Technologies (6 EC)
  • Project Sustainable Future (6 EC)

Besides these core courses, four restricted choice courses (24 EC) are required. For example:

  • Green Chemistry (6 EC)
  • Biosolar Cells (6 EC)
  • Environmental Chemistry (6 EC)
  • Heterogeneous Catalysis (6 EC)
  • Catalysis for Sustainable Energy (6 EC)
  • Homogeneous Catalysis (6 EC)
  • more physics-related courses (such as Photovoltaics, Nuclear Fusion/Fission, Photosynthesis for Energy)
  • more society-related courses (such as Bio-based Economy, Management of Sustainable Innovation)

Elective courses
24 EC can be used for elective courses and to fulfil specific requirements, e.g. for advanced courses. 

For detailed information on the courses, check the Course Catalogue

Research project
The programme's research training takes place in the form of a research project, conducted either within one of the participating research groups, at another university (in the Netherlands or abroad), or in industry. The project includes a written Master's thesis and an oral presentation.

Literature study    
In addition to the research project you also do a literature study on a subject of your own choosing. You will present your results in an oral presentation to the staff of the division or institute and your fellow students.

Curriculum schedule

Accreditation and title
Science for Energy and Sustainability is a track of the Master's programmes Chemistry and Physics. These programmes have been legally accredited by the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO). This means that upon successful completion of the programme (a total of 120 EC), you will receive a legally accredited Master's degree in either Chemistry or Physics and Astronomy and the title of Master of Science (MSc).

CAREER PROSPECTS

The programme trains students to become independent researchers in the emerging field of Energy & Sustainability, which is expected to undergo a fast growth over the next decades. 
Graduates are qualified to pursue a PhD degree. They are also well equipped to pursue a career as a chemist or a physicist in industry, in business or other relevant sectors, such as energy companies. The broad education, covering both science and business/management aspects particularly enable graduates to participate in advisory and policy functions of companies and governments with respect to science, energy and sustainability matters. 

APPLICATION AND ADMISSION

Entry requirements
Applicants should hold an academic Bachelor's degree in Chemistry or Physics, or in another science discipline directly related to energy and sustainability with at least 90 EC of physics-/chemistry-related Bachelor courses.

Upon entry, you choose whether to pursue a Physics-oriented or Chemistry-oriented version of the track.
All applicants must attend an intake interview with the programme manager. After you have applied for this track, you will receive information on how to schedule an appointment with the track coordinator.

Additional requirements for international students
International applicants must also fulfil general entry requirements regarding academic background, academic average and proficiency in English. 

Please note: For the MSc in Chemistry, International Students (non-Dutch degree) are required to apply with our joint degree partner, the Universtiy of Amsterdam. 

CONTACT 

Programme-related questions

For programme-related questions, please contact the track coordinator, dr. Bas de Bruin, at: msc-science-for-energy-and-sustainability@uva.nl

Location
Science Park 904 | 1098 XH Amsterdam
+31 (0)20 525 8626

Danny Broere

Student

Danny Broere picture"The diversity of the students in the track positively surprised me. I met people from all over Europe and made several good friends."

Dutch students

The requirements are split up into Masters’ specialization specific requirements and general requirements.

Specific requirements master’s programme

  • Students with a Dutch preliminary education
    The Master’s in Chemistry is open to students: 
    - with a Bachelor's degree in Chemistry 
    - with a Bachelor's degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences 
    - with a Bachelor's degree from a relevant Dutch hbo programme
  • HBO (HLO) graduates
    If you are a hbo graduate you do not have to take a premaster’s assessment to gain admission to the Master's programme in Chemistry. Instead, the Master's coordinator will hold an intake interview with you. When you fulfill all requirements, the Master's coordinator will provide you a declaration stating that you do not need to take the premaster’s assessment. Send in this declaration with your application form.
    Please visit our website for information on entering the programme with a higher vocational degree in Laboratory Science (HLO).
  • Minor
    If you are a hbo student and you would like to follow one of our minor programmes, please subscribe as a bachelor student.
  • Students with an international preliminary education
    Direct admission tot the Master's programme in Chemistry is possible with a Bachelor's degree in Chemistry. Students with a Bachelor's degree in a related subject will have to satisfy certain entry requirements depending on the course they have in mind. The Master's programme provides opportunities to fill specific gaps in your knowledge.

General language proficiency requirements
VU Amsterdam requires allapplicants to take an English test and to submit their score as a part of the application. Exceptions are made for students who have completed their education in Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia or who have obtained an international Baccalaureate or European Baccalaureate diploma.

Contact

All students must first have an intake interview with the Master coordinator. Please contact the master coordinator of your specialization (see below).

You can apply online for admission to a master’s programme at VU Amsterdam. Applications for admission to the master’s programme, and the application fee payments must have been received by VU Amsterdam no later than:

StudentsDeadline     
Dutch students from institutions other than VU Amsterdam
(starting dates: 1 September and 1 February)
1 July
1 December
Dutch students from VU Amsterdam
(starting dates: 1 September and 1 February)
1 July
1 December
Dutch students with an international degree
(starting dates: 1 September and 1 February)
1 June
1 December

Important notice for Dutch students in the application procedure (Studielink)

Please note that starting in 2016-2017 the Master’s programme Chemistry is a joint degree programme with University of Amsterdam. You can apply for the Master’s programme at the UvA or at VU Amsterdam. Courses are given at the two Faculties of Science. Graduates receive a diploma accredited by both universities.

For general information about the Master's programme in Chemistry, you can contact the study advisor:

Ambi Oosterhout
T:+31  20 5251625    
E: a.d.oosterhout@uva.nl

For specific questions about a Master’s specialization, please contact the corresponding Master's coordinator. 

SpecializationContactPhoneEmail
Analytical SciencesDr. Henk Lingeman
+31 (0)20 59 87539h.lingeman@vu.nl
Molecular SciencesDr. E. Ruijter
+31 (0)20 59 87482e.ruijter@vu.nl
Science for Energy and Sustainability
Dr. N.R. (Shiju Raveendran) Shiju+31 (0)20 52 56515r.n.shiju@uva.nl

General information about VU Amsterdam

Please phone us at +31 (0)20 598 5000 (Monday – Friday, 10:00 to 12:00). You may also e-mail us at study@vu.nl.
Would you like to read the key points of the Master's programme? Order the brochure. Or find out more about the Master's programmes and visit our information days.

International students

The requirements are split up into Masters’ specialization specific requirements and general requirements.

Specific requirements master’s programme

  • Students with a Dutch preliminary education
    The Master’s in Chemistry is open to students: 
    - with a Bachelor's degree in Chemistry 
    - with a Bachelor's degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences 
    - with a Bachelor's degree from a relevant Dutch hbo programme
  • HBO (HLO) graduates
    If you are a hbo graduate you do not have to take a premaster’s assessment to gain admission to the Master's programme in Chemistry. Instead, the Master's coordinator will hold an intake interview with you. When you fulfill all requirements, the Master's coordinator will provide you a declaration stating that you do not need to take the premaster’s assessment. Send in this declaration with your application form.
    Please visit our website for information on entering the programme with a higher vocational degree in Laboratory Science (HLO).
  • Minor
    If you are a hbo student and you would like to follow one of our minor programmes, please subscribe as a bachelor student.
  • Students with an international preliminary education
    Direct admission tot the Master's programme in Chemistry is possible with a Bachelor's degree in Chemistry. Students with a Bachelor's degree in a related subject will have to satisfy certain entry requirements depending on the course they have in mind. The Master's programme provides opportunities to fill specific gaps in your knowledge.

General language proficiency requirements
VU Amsterdam requires allapplicants to take an English test and to submit their score as a part of the application. Exceptions are made for students who have completed their education in Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia or who have obtained an international Baccalaureate or European Baccalaureate diploma.

Contact

All students must first have an intake interview with the Master coordinator. Please contact the master coordinator of your specialization (see below).

Please note: For the MSc in Chemistry, International Students (non-Dutch degree) are required to apply with our joint degree partner, the University of Amsterdam.

There are several possibilities for obtaining funding. Among them are:

  • VU Fellowship Programme (VUFP)
  • Holland Scholarship Programme (HSP)
  • Orange Tulip Scholarship (OTS)
  • Fulbright scholarship
  • STUNED Scholarship Programme
  • Indonesia Endowment Fund of Education (LPDP)
  • Netherlands Fellowship Programme (NFP)
  • Direct Loan Programme 

Information about scholarships, fellowships and grants

Scholarship program for Analytical Sciences students

Highly talented and motivated students can combine the Analytical Sciences track with the MSc+ talent programme. This program, offered by COAST, kick-starts your career as an analytical chemist.

For general information about the Master's programme in Chemistry, you can contact the study advisor:

Ambi Oosterhout
T: +31 20 5251625      
E: a.d.oosterhout@uva.nl

For specific questions about a Master’s specialization, please contact the corresponding Master's coordinator.
SpecializationContactEmail
Analytical SciencesDr. H. Lingeman
h.lingeman@vu.nl 
Molecular SciencesDr. E. Ruijter
e.ruijter@vu.nl
Science for Energy and SustainabilityDr. N.R. (Shiju Raveendran) Shiju
r.n.shiju@uva.nl

Practical information for international students

Would you like to know more about our courses, scholarships and application & registration procedure? Please contact our International Office.

VU Amsterdam
E admissionsfs@vu.nl

General information about VU Amsterdam

Please phone us at +31 (0)20 598 5000 (Monday – Friday, 9:00 to 12:00). You may also e-mail us at study@vu.nl.
Would you like to read the key points of the Master's programme? Order the brochure. Or find out more about the Master's programmes and visit our information days.

Stefan Lehmann

Internship@the University of Bristol laser lab, United Kingdom

"I approached Prof. Maurice Janssen with my idea, since I wanted to study physical chemistry. He put me in touch with the laser lab at the University of Bristol, and Andrew Orr-Ewing’s research group. My research involved allowing chlorine gases to react with other gases in a vacuum chamber."

Silvia Ferro

Student Chemistry Track: Science for Energy and Sustainability

Silvia Ferro
'After completing my Bachelor’s in Chemistry, I felt I needed to do something to contribute to the transition to renewable energy. Our planet needs it now more than ever. In the Science for Energy and Sustainability track I really get to broaden my thinking about the world around us'... read more

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