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Mathematics and Theoretical Physics

Are you fascinated by abstract mathematics and theoretical physics? Do you long for a more precise understanding of the fundamental laws of physics? Do you wonder about the deep role of topology and geometry in theories of nature, such as gauge theory and quantisation?

Mathematical disciplines like Lie theory, differential geometry and representation theory are entangled with modern theoretical physics. Nowadays mathematicians study integrable systems from condensed matter physics, while physicists study Lie groups from mathematics. Researchers of mathematical physics (also at the UvA) have recently discovered unexpected connections between seemingly unrelated fields, such as string theory, quantum gravity, number theory and group theory.

This double Master's degree programme in Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at the UvA gives you the opportunity to study both fields and to search for answers to deeply fundamental questions. It will put you in the unique position to be able to communicate high-level research between these areas. Moreover, at the UvA you are taught and supervised by mathematics and physics professors of international recognition, such as Miranda Cheng, Nicolai Reshetikhin and Erik Verlinde.

The programme

Doing this double degree programme means that you do both the Master Mathematics and the Master Physics and Astronomy (track Theoretical Physics) and thus you first need to be admitted into both separately. Then you can choose between three 180 EC trajectories that will each give you the Master's Degree Mathematics and the Master's Degree Physics and Astronomy. The three trajectories basically combine:

1) Theoretical Physics and Algebra and Geometry
2) Theoretical Physics and Analysis and Dynamical Systems
3) Theoretical Physics and Discrete Mathematics and Quantum Information

See the TER of Mathematics and of Physics and Astronomy for details on the current programme.

Compulsory courses

  • Student Seminar in Theoretical Physics
  • Differential Geometry
  • Topology in Physics
  • Quantum Field Theory 1 and 2
  • Condensed Matter Theory 1 and 2

Constrained choice and elective courses

In addition tot the compulsory courses you choose constrained choice courses in Theoretical Physics (12 EC) including String Theory and General Relativity, and in Mathematics (52 EC). The courses in Mathematics depend on your choice of trajectory (see above) but include Lie Groups, Functional Analysis, Quantum Information Theory, Riemann Surfaces, Graph Symmetries and Combinatorial Designs, and Dynamical Systems. Due to the Mastermath programme, a wide variety of choices exists.

Master's project and thesis

You will conclude your Master's programme with an integrated research project (72 EC). Your progress will be supervised by staff members from both study programmes. The project culminates in your Master's thesis and an oral presentation of your results during a public colloquium.

Entry requirements

A student interested in this programme should be admitted into the Master's programme Mathematics and into the Master's Programme Physics and Astronomy (track Theoretical Physics). Student should therefore satisfy the entry requirements of each of these programmes. Please see the web pages for the individual programmes for details.


Please apply for the Master's programme Mathematics and the Master's programme Physics and Astronomy (track Theoretical Physics) in order to get the opportunity to follow this double degree programme.