The Nanomaterials Science Master's Programme curriculum (120 EC) consists of four parts:

On the one hand, the mandatory courses offer all students a background in chemical concepts useful for their research project and introduce on the other hand students to the profession of an academic researcher and the demands of the labour market. The mandatory courses are:

  • Advanced Spectroscopy (7,5 EC)
  • Academic Context (6,5 EC)
  • Introducing Natural Sciences (0,5 EC)
  • Dilemmas of the Scientist (0,5 EC)

The course codes can be found in the course list of the Nanomaterials Science programme

The primary elective courses address the main themes of the master’s programme and interests of the research groups of the Debye Institute of Nanomaterials Science. Each research group has chosen one particular course that covers the concepts and ideas needed to perform and develop the research project in that area. As not every student will be interested in the themes covering the research of the Debye Institute, he or she can choose three (primary) courses out of a list of Debye courses meeting his/her interest. The student’s interest can move from pure chemistry to a mixture of physics and chemistry.

Catalysis and chemical synthesis

  • Organometallic Chemistry & Homogeneous Catalysis
  • Advanced Organic Synthesis
  • Synthesis of Heterogeneous Catalysts and Related Materials

Colloid Science

  • Nonequilibrium systems and transport phenomena
  • Colloid Science
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Soft Condensed Matter Theory


  • Advanced Microscopy
  • Solids and Surfaces
  • Photovoltaic Solar Energy Physics and Technology
  • Photon Physics

Course codes can be found in the course list of the Nanomaterials Science programme

The research project culminates knowledge and practical experimental skills leading to the master’s thesis. The project and courses are often followed simultaneously in order to provide the student 'on the spot' learning. There is no restriction to combine your research project with courses.

The secondary electives are meant to broaden the interest and skills of the student. Students can gain work experience in industry by performing an internship on a specific research theme, or get an educational training to become a high school teacher. In addition the student can choose an interdisciplinary profile of 30 EC or simply take courses that match his or her interest.

Secondary electives: there are several options to choose (see structure figure of the Nanomaterials Science programme). Secondary elective courses can be taken up to a maximum of 30 EC.

 The options are:

  • A 30 EC internship outside Utrecht University. Internships can only start if the mandatory and primary elective courses and the research project of 52,5 EC have been finished

  • A Profile (30 EC)

  • Any MSc course offered by the Graduate Schools of Natural and Life Sciences or other courses, with permission from the programme directors

  • Extra courses (30 EC). MSc courses offered by the Graduate Schools of Natural Sciences and Life Sciences (GSNS and GSLS) or other courses for which permission from the programme coordinator is required

  • Courses required to fulfil the admission requirements in the case of deficiencies (not more than 15 EC). The programme director decides which of the courses, aiming to catch-up skills and/or knowledge, need to be taken during the master’s programme. Deficiencies will be stated in the Letter of Admission.


Students who like to teach in the bachelor’s curriculum, aiding the course lecturer, can get a short professional training by taking the Teaching Assistant Training course (FI-MTT). One EC on top of the programme will be awarded for your activities. The course broadens many skills i.e. enhancing interactivity in a class room setting, learning to cope with group dynamics, leaning from your own experiences and is an asset for future employers. The course is taught twice a year.