Universiteit Leiden

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Astronomy (MSc)

Students in our Astronomy programme are trained by leading experts in cutting-edge astronomical research. We incorporate in our educational programme observations and data from the world’s foremost ground- and space-based telescopes as well as theoretical, computational and astrochemical modelling, large scale simulations, and laboratory experiments that mimic conditions in space. This two-year master’s programme trains students to become experts in various fields of astronomy. We offer seven challenging specialisations, all of which can be tailored to suit your specific interests and ambitions. This will prepare you for a wide variety of careers within academia, industry and the public sector.

Why study Astronomy at Leiden University?

  • Leiden Observatory has a very strong international reputation. The Observatory staff consists of award-winning experts leading in their research field, such as Kavli-Award winning Prof. Ewine van Dishoeck.
  • We maintain close relations with astronomical institutes such as SRON, ASTRON and ESA-ESTEC. As a master’s student you will get direct access to the world's best astronomical research facilities.
  • Leiden University offers a welcoming environment and an open international community. Over 40% of the population of our master’s programme consists of international students and we have a large international staff.
  • For promising candidates from outside of the European Union, we are offering a €4.350 reduction of our tuition fee (this amount is subject to change each year).

Find out more reasons to choose Astronomy at Leiden University.

Jeger Broxterman

2nd Year Student from The Netherlands

Jeger Broxterman

I love studying Astronomy at Leiden University. The program provides a one-of-a-kind opportunity to explore the most exciting and fundamental questions regarding the entire universe. I value the freedom and flexibility that the programme offers that enables me to pursue my own interests. In addition, as a student it is possible to contribute to cutting-edge research and have access to state-of-the-art data from international collaborations. As a student, I feel valued and I truly appreciate the amount of personal interaction with the staff. They are always willing to listen to you and help with any suggestions you may come up with.

Simin Tong

2nd Year Student from China

Simin Tong

Leiden University is definitely a place that you want to study at! With its campus scattering over the whole city, you will see a lot of local culture and historical architecture as you switch between buildings. The Master’s programme offered by the prestigious Leiden Observatory is one of the best Master’s programmes in Astronomy globally. There are various tracks that you can choose according to your own interest. The well-structured courses provided here allow you to explore different fields not only in Astronomy, but also in other relevant disciplines. The extensive research training conducted under the guidance of experienced and patient faculty members, starting from the first year, helps you gain experience and academic skills that are necessary to achieve your career goals.

Rojita Buddhacharya

1st Year Student from Nepal

Rojita Buddhacharya

When I was deciding on a Master’s programme my mentors strongly recommended me to go to Leiden. By the end of my first semester here I understood why: it is one of the best universities to grow as an astronomer. All professors and teaching assistants are highly supportive of students and they inspire us to ask questions. Working on my research project is even more fun: I was surprised by how friendly and encouraging my supervisor is, and I get many chances to discuss research questions and problems. There are also always opportunities to participate in lectures and presentations by world-famous scientists. The University is thoughtful of our mental well-being as well. They also provide proper guidance to choose career paths: both academic and non-academic. That’s why I love being in Leiden.

Immersed in research from day one

From the very start of your master’s programme, you will be involved in the research that is carried out at Leiden Observatory. Depending on your chosen specialisation you will carry out either one or two research projects, both of which will span at least half a year, one in each year of your master's programme. Every student will receive personal supervision by a member of our scientific staff and has access to a workspace in one of the flex-offices at the institute. While working on your research projects, you will work alongside your peers, as well as PhD students, postdocs and staff members. During your research projects you will become part of one of the existing research groups of Leiden Observatory and you will experience first-hand what it is like to carry out scientific research at an international astronomical institute. This experience will be invaluable if you decide to pursue an academic career. Succesful completion of this master's programme will give you a competative advantage in PhD applications worldwide, since Leiden Observatory is widely known to turn out master's and doctoral students of the highest quality.

Read more about our Astronomy master's programme.

Discover why our students choose the Astronomy master's programme

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World-class education in a vibrant student city

Leiden University is the oldest university of the Netherlands. It’s buildings are located at several locations throughout Leiden, all at easy biking distance from each other. The centre of Leiden is small but lively, with plenty of places to meet up with your fellow students after class. It is also very easy to get from Leiden to other Dutch cities, with Amsterdam, Utrecht and The Hague only a short train ride away. Leiden is also within biking distance of the beach, where you can swim or go for a walk in the unique dune landscape along the Dutch coast.

Read more about Leiden as a student city. 

Astronomy: the right master’s programme for you?

Are you are interested in astronomy research within or outside academia? Do you want to add value to society through scientific and technological progress? Are you keen on solving complex matters and are you up for a challenge? Then our Leiden University Astronomy master’s programme is designed for you.

Read more about the entry requirements for Astronomy.

Chat with a student

Do you have a question about studying at Leiden University or student life in Leiden? Do you want more information about the Astronomy programme? Chat with a current student for answers to your questions!

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