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Scientific Computing and Programming (SC)


Admission requirements

Suitable for students with a BSc in MST with a major in Chemistry or Materials. Other candidates should have a solid background in physics and mathematics.


In this course you will learn to handle UNIX computer systems, build simple shell scripts to combine programmes, at least one of the often used programming languages and you will gain knowledge and experience on basic numerical techniques that are often used in the field of Scientific Computing. This course is very multi-disciplinary and will be held through self-study. More information:

Course objectives

At the end of the course, depending on the modules, students:

  • will have experience in using Linux / UNIX systems

  • are able to solve basic problems and program in at least one programming language

  • have a fundamental understanding of numbers and basic numerical algorithms on computers

  • have a fundamental understanding of the x86 computer architecture and some basic parallelization skills using OpenMP

  • are able to automate and work with computers self-reliant using available resources on the internet


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

Self-study of chosen modules with a test or handing in answers to the exercises depending on the module. Linux module is compulsory. Student can choose 3 other modules from the following: C programming, Python scripting, Fortran programming, Numerical Methods (NM) or High performance Computing (HPC).

Assessment method

Depending on the module; a programming test (Linux, C ,Python and Fortran) or grading of the exercises of course material (NM and HPC).

Reading list

The course is based on material online available from within the university networks:


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.


Mark Somers