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Theory of Spectroscopy and Molecular Properties (TSMP)


Admission requirements

Elective course in the MSc Chemistry.
For students with a BSc MST with a major in Chemistry/materials or equivalent BSc. This is a very theoretical and advanced MSc course. Prior knowledge of quantum mechanics and density functional theory and a strong background in physics and mathematics is required. Successful completion of the MSc course Computational Chemistry and Molecular Simulations (4423CCAMS) is strongly recommended.


The course describes how to compute some spectroscopic and molecular properties by quantum-mechanical calculations. The main topics are time-independent perturbation theory, static molecular properties as energy derivatives, time-dependent perturbation theory and dynamic properties, Fermi's Golden Rule, Maxwell's Equations, radiation-matter interactions, minimal coupling Hamiltonian, electric-dipole approximation and optical transitions, introduction to time-dependent density functional theory.

Course objectives

At the end of the course students

  • will have a fundamental and theoretical understanding of how molecules interact with electro-magnetic fields,

  • know how an absorption spectrum might be calculated using time-dependent density functional theory and what approximations are often used,

  • have basic fundamental understanding of the electro-magnetic fields, molecular properties and equations of motions,

  • are able to give a presentation and an in-depth discussion about these concepts and recent research literature using these computational tools,

  • are able to study an advanced theoretical subject dealing with advanced vector calculus and multi-variable (functional) derivatives.


Schedule information can be found on the website of the programmes.

You will find the timetables for all courses and degree programmes of Leiden University in the tool MyTimetable (login). Any teaching activities that you have sucessfully registered for in MyStudyMap will automatically be displayed in MyTimeTable. Any timetables that you add manually, will be saved and automatically displayed the next time you sign in.

MyTimetable allows you to integrate your timetable with your calendar apps such as Outlook, Google Calendar, Apple Calendar and other calendar apps on your smartphone. Any timetable changes will be automatically synced with your calendar. If you wish, you can also receive an email notification of the change. You can turn notifications on in ‘Settings’ (after login).

For more information, watch the video or go the the 'help-page' in MyTimetable. Please note: Joint Degree students Leiden/Delft have to merge their two different timetables into one. This video explains how to do this.

Mode of instruction

Lectures and exercises made available via Brightspace. Time will be allocated for questions, discussions, and for addressing the more detailed mathematics questions and problems prepared beforehand. Depending on the number of students participating, more flexible forms of the schedule and lectures can be decided, in agreement with the students.

Assessment method

Oral examination (70%) and presentation (30%) about a recent research article.
Details of schedule and location of the exam will be discussed and decided in agreement with the participating students.

Reading list

The course is based on a reader that will be made available through Brightspace.


From the academic year 2022-2023 on every student has to register for courses with the new enrollment tool MyStudyMap. There are two registration periods per year: registration for the fall semester opens in July and registration for the spring semester opens in December. Please see this page for more information.

Please note that it is compulsory to both preregister and confirm your participation for every exam and retake. Not being registered for a course means that you are not allowed to participate in the final exam of the course. Confirming your exam participation is possible until ten days before the exam.

Extensive FAQ's on MyStudymap can be found here.


Dr. M. F. Somers, Dr. F. Buda


Assignment deadlines are communicated via Brightspace.

This biennial course will not be given in 2023-24. Shown above is the course description for 2022-23 as reference. The course is scheduled again for academic year 2024-25.