Universiteit Leiden

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Study programme

When deciding what to study you undoubtedly read a lot of information about your study programme. Leiden University employs various systems to provide information about programmes and courses and to facilitate communication between lecturers and students.

The e-prospectus contains information about all the courses within your study programme. Here you can find all you need to know about your programme. Via Blackboard you can communicate with your lecturers and submit assignments.

 The Course and Examination Regulations (OER in Dutch) and the Rules and Regulations set by the Boards of Examiners (R&R) can be found on the page Faculty and study programme regulations.

Leiden Observatory’s two-year master’s programme in Astronomy offers access to cutting edge research in modern astronomy. Main focus areas are the formation and evolution of galaxies, from high-redshifts to the nearby universe, exoplanets, and the birth and death of stars, including the lifecycle of dust and gas. Students are prepared for a wide variety of careers with seven Astronomy master's specialisations to choose from:

Programme structure

The Astronomy master´s programme takes 2 years and totals 120 credits (EC); 1 EC equals 28 hours of study load. The programme is individually tailored for each student in a Study Plan and always includes the following components.

Each student takes a selection of Astronomy Core Courses, General Astronomy Courses, Instrumentation-related Courses, Specialist Courses and non-Astronomy Courses in subdisciplines related to the chosen master's specialisation. An overview of all available courses can be found in the e-Prospectus.

First Research Project or internship
Astronomy master's students in the Research, Cosmology, Instrumentation and Data Science specialisations need to complete a First Research Project (30 EC). Students following the Education, Science-Based Business or Science Communication & Society specialisations will complete a practical internship.

Master's Research Project
An essential element of all Astronomy master's specialisations is the Master's Research Project (30 EC), which ultimately results in the Astronomy Master's Thesis leading to the MSc degree. It is carried out under individual supervision of a member of the scientific staff of Leiden Observatory. Where relevant, the First and Master's Research Projects must have different topics and the Master's Research Project can only be started after succesful completion of the First Research Project.