For the full program description with the content of all courses please click here.

At the start of the programme the students choose one specialization as their major theme. For this purpose the multidisciplinary field of nanoscale research is subdivided into five major themes: (i) nanophysics (NP), (ii) nanochemistry (NC), (iii) nanoelectronics (NE), (iv) biophysics (BP) and (v) bionanotechnology (BT).

In the first year the students follow a common program at the KU Leuven, where they are offered a set of nanoscience and nanotechnology fundamental courses, general interest courses, the core courses of the programme, and some electives to prepare them for the specialization in their major.

Principal Theme per university

Principal theme






Leuven                       Common first year
Grenoble x x     x
Dresden     x x  
Chalmers x   x    

Each second year consortium partner (Grenoble, Chalmers, Dresden) offers specialization courses in at least two of the major themes as well as broadening courses for the other themes (see scheme).

A major in one particular theme is not identical at all locations: since a crucial quality of the programme is the strong connection between research and education, the programme themes at each partner reflect local research strengths. Students will greatly benefit from this connection between state-of-the-art research and education within the Master’s programme

The curriculum consists mainly of course modules taught by research specialists and a research project within one of the many research groups at the consortium.. The weights (according to the ECTS, European Credit Transfer System) of the course modules are given below (see programme structure below).

The Nanoscience and nanotechnology fundamentals (max 12 ects, KU Leuven) introduce the students to basic disciplines in which they have had no training and which are essential for the core courses in Year 1 and specialization courses in Year 2. For example, a physics student will follow the fundamental course of biochemistry. If a student does not need any fundamental course, he/she may choose more elective courses.

The General interest courses (6-9 ects, KU Leuven) are necessary to impart non-technical qualities to the nanoscientists. It includes a compulosry course on Dutch language and culture.

The Core courses (30 ects, KU Leuven) contain the basic knowledge within the four main disciplines: nanotechnology, nanoscience and biochemistry/physics. Every student follows these courses irrespective of her/his specialization.

The Lecture Series on Nanoscience and Nanotechnology  (3 ects) are organized on a monthly basis by the consortium partners, given by national and international experts on subjects such as “ethics of nanotechnology developments”, “opportunities for nanotechnology applications” and “the risks of nanotechnology”. Nanoscience and nanotechnology are relatively new subjects, and as such they are accompanied by many uncertainties as to their impact on modern society. We consider this an important aspect of the educational programme. Students need to be aware of the challenges, risks and promises of nanotechnical developments and to contribute to finding answers to open questions. They are expected to attend all of the lectures and to prepare a short report of about 4 pages on one of the lectures of their own choice. The lectures are broadcasted to the four consortium partners.

The Major courses (21-33 ects, Leuven and Grenoble, Chalmers or Dresden) prepare for the master thesis project. They consist of courses with a general character as well of courses highly specialized and directly related to the master thesis research. The students can choose 6-18 credits profiling elective courses in the first year at the K.U. Leuven from three course modules (Nanophysics/Nanochemistry, Nanoelectronics , Biophysics/Bionanotechnology). Then the students follow 15 credits compulsory specializing courses at the second year university.

The Broadening courses (15 ects, Grenoble, Chalmers or Dresden) allow the students to choose courses from the other themes of the master, which allow them to broaden heir scope beyond the chosen specialization . Students can choose from a large set of courses offered at the second year university.

The Master thesis research project (30 ects, Grenoble, Chalmers or Dresden) is intended to bring the student in close contact with a multinational and multidisciplinary research environment of a research institute in academia or in industry. The student will be assigned a relevant research project and work in close collaboration with PhD students, postdocs and professors. The research project is finalized with a public presentation of a Master’s Thesis at the second year university, and is also evaluated by an external examiner at the KU Leuven.

For more details and the list of courses per trajectory and major option, click here