Leiden university is proud of its reputation of combining top-quality scientific research with excellent teaching in a wide variety of disciplines, as illustrated on the university website. In astronomy, the Leiden Observatory offers the full range of educational programs leading to (graduate) MSc and Ph.D. degrees as well as to (undergratuate) BSc degrees. Barring the occasional exception, classes in the undergraduate program are taught in Dutch. However, all graduate courses are in English.
The undergraduate program at Leiden Observatory takes three years to complete. Each year includes courses and lab classes corresponding to 60 European Credit Transfer System (EC) units, 1 EC being the equivalent of 28 hours of work on average. The first year focuses on both mathematics and physics. In the second year, physics remains a major component whereas the other focus shifts from mathematics to astronomy. The third year is mostly astronomy and includes the Bachelor research project as a major component.
We have no major/minor combinations. Instead, we offer to interested the possibility of completing a double bachelor with either physics or mathematics, with a workload about 30% heavier than just astronomy. You can even test this out with a double program in the first year only. Those who complete a double bachelor with a suitable research project have direct access to the master programs of either field.
More information on the contents of the undergraduate astronomy program is available in Dutch on our webpages. Foreign nationals considering application to our astronomy BSc program will find the necessary information at the Studyinleiden
Leiden Observatory offers a two-year (120 EC) MSc program for students with a bachelor's degree in astronomy, physics or a related field. Within the MSc program, we identify four different tracks (Research, Education, Communication, Science-Based Bussiness) that prepare for a variety of professional career opportunities. Most students opt for the research track, which provides a choice of advanced courses in astronomy and physics or mathematics combined with two distinct research projects, as illustrated by this year's astronomy MSc program. Almost immediately from the beginning, MSc students are involved in front-line research, have access to all our facilities, and occupy their own desk at the Sterrewacht. Participation in the Observatory research programs in particular guarantees a high degree of individual guidance for our MSc students. A limited number of grants and awards, including the prestigious J.H. Oort and Leiden University Excellence Scholarship Awards is available for exceptionally gifted students. In addition, paid assistantships become occasionally available; these are advertised only locally. Please visit our MSc in Astronomy website for a more complete overview of all available online information.
Students who have completed an MSc degree in astronomy, physics or a related field are encouraged to enroll in our individually tailored PhD program. In the Netherlands, unlike most other countries, PhD students are employed as civil servants, are paid a regular salary and are eligible for both social security and retirement benefits. Openings for specific Ph.D. positions become available throughout the academic year, and are posted on this website.
Applications can only be made for specific Ph.D. job openings, not for the program as such. It is therefore necessary to tender separate applications for each Ph.D. position of interest. More information can be found on our Ph.D. program webpage. Do not forget to take a look at the Leiden Observatory research program to get an impression of the variety of research topics.Please ignore this next section Leiden MSc programme in Astronomy - TEST