Research in Physics, Cosmology (MSc)
Why Leiden University?
By integrating world-class scientific research and education, you will become a professional physicist with an internationally recognized degree.
Combining two research areas in one master’s specialisation
The two-year programme is run jointly by the Leiden University Astronomy and Theoretical Physics departments. It is named after Willem de Sitter (1872-1934), who was director of Leiden Observatory at the time when the expansion of the universe was first discovered, and one of the first to study the ramifications of Einstein’s theory of general relativity in cosmology.
Strong skill set
During the programme, you learn to perform academically sound research and evaluate scientific information independently and critically. Without exception, you actively participate in current research within the institute and are individually supervised by our international scientific staff. Students with a Leiden degree in Astronomy become strong communicators and collaborators and can easily operate in an international setting. You will acquire extensive astronomical research experience and highly advanced analytical and problem solving skills.
Education at a world class research institute
Leiden Observatory has a strong international reputation and is widely known to turn out masters and doctoral students of the highest quality. Students are trained by world-renowned astronomers including Kavli and Spinoza prize winner Prof. Ewine van Dishoeck, further Spinoza prize winners Prof. Marijn Franx and Prof. Xander Tielens, European Research Council (ERC) grant holders Prof. Ignas Snellen and Prof. Huub Röttgering and NWO-Vici grant holders Prof. Joop Schaye and Prof. Henk Hoekstra. Therefore, you can expect research at the cutting edge of modern astronomy as an integral part of the Astronomy master’s programme.
Access to the world’s best observational facilities
Leiden astronomers have access to the foremost observational and computer facilities in the world, including the Hubble Space Telescope, ESO’s Very Large Telescope, ALMA, Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope, XMM-Newton, Chandra, JVLA, LOFAR and others. On a daily basis, Astronomy master’s students work with data directly obtained from Leiden research at these facilities. The Leiden Observatory also hosts unique astrochemistry and optics laboratories that are also open for master student’s research projects.
Faculty of Science
The Faculty of Science is a first-class research faculty with an excellent position in the basic disciplines of science. The current research and education programmes span the entire spectrum of science ranging from Mathematics and Statistical Science, Computer Science and Data Science, Astrophysics, Physics, Chemistry and Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences to Biology and Environmental Sciences. Our science community is driven by their curiosity and desire to increase basic knowledge, for science and to contribute to the great societal challenges of today and tomorrow. Core values are scientific impact, technological innovation and relevance to society.
Study at a world-class university
Leiden University is the oldest university in the Netherlands and enjoys an excellent worldwide reputation built up over more than four centuries. Since 1575 we’ve provided sound personal education for hundreds of thousands of students. We’ll do our utmost to give you the best possible support. And if you can and want to do more, we’ll challenge you every step of the way. For many years, we’ve been among the leaders in Dutch university rankings and we are currently to be found in a variety of top international rankings too.
More reasons to choose Leiden University