Universiteit Leiden

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Leiden Observatory


Leiden Observatory provides full education programmes in Astronomy both at the bachelor’s and master’s level.

By effectively integrating world-class scientific research and excellent education, we deliver professional astronomers with internationally recognized academic Bachelor of Science (BSc) and Master of Science (MSc) degrees. Leiden Observatory also offers a post-graduate programme leading to a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree. Cutting edge research infrastructure, a welcoming environment and an open international atmosphere with highly approachable renowned staff are key elements of our education programmes.

Bachelor’s programme

The three-year bachelor’s programme in Astronomy starts with an extensive focus on mathematics and physics. It gradually works towards theoretical and practical astronomy and culminates in a fully independent astronomy research project at Leiden Observatory. During this stage, students are are embedded within the institute’s international research community and provided with full access to the institute’s facilities.

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Master’s programme

Our 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. In four research oriented specializations (Research, Cosmology, Instrumentation and Data Science) and three practically oriented specializations ((Education, Business Studies en Science Communication & Society), students are prepared for a wide variety of careers.

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Strong skillset

During the education programmes at Leiden Observatory, students learn to set up academically sound research and evaluate scientific information independently and critically. All our students 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 who can easily operate in an international setting. They have acquired extensive astronomical research experience and highly advanced analytical and problem solving skills.


For more information on our bachelor's and master's programmes, contact the Education Office Astronomy. For more information regarding the Leiden Observatory postgraduate programmes, contact the secretariat.

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