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Astronomy and Education

Structure of the Programme

The Astronomy and Education specialisation prepares students for a career in physics teaching and results in the teacher qualification (eerstegraads lesbevoegdheid) required for employment as a physics teacher in Dutch secondary schools. It is a joint programme offered in collaboration with the Leiden University Graduate School of Teaching (ICLON). The 2-year programme consists of an Astronomy component (60 EC) to be followed during the first year and an Education component (60 EC; only taught in Dutch) to be followed in the second year. In addition, you can also participate in the World Teachers Programme to prepare for international teaching (60 EC, partly taught in Dutch).

Please note that entrance requirements for the Astronomy and Education specialisation include proof of Dutch language proficiency. This also holds for the World Teachers Programme. Applicants who have not been educated in the Dutch school system will have to take a Dutch language test (Toelatingsexamen Universiteit Leiden – gevorderd).

Programme first year: Astronomy (60 EC)

Level EC
Astronomy Core Courses, at least 500 12
Astronomy Courses of any type 400-500 6-12
Non-Astronomy Courses 400-500 6-12
Research Project
Master's Research Project in Astronomy 600 30

Programme second year: Education (60 EC, in Dutch)

Level EC
Learning and Instruction 1 & 2 300-400 8
Teaching Methodology 1 & 2 400-500 10
Education Theory 400 5
Design Research 600 7
Teaching and Practice 1 & 2 - 30

Programme second year: World Teachers Programme (60 EC, in Dutch/English)

Level EC
Learning and Instruction 1 & 2 (in English) 300-400 8
Teaching Methodology 1 & 2 (in Dutch) 400-500 10
Education Theory (in English) 400 5
Participatory Action Research (PAR, in English) 600 7
World Teachers Programme Seminars - -
School Practice (bilingual or international school) - 15
International Internship - 15

Master Study Plan

At the start of the master’s programme, students are required to draw up the Master Study Plan: a complete list of planned courses and projects for two subsequent academic years in consultation with the Study Advisor Astronomy. To select courses, consult the course list for academic year 2017-2018 (see below) and the preliminary course list for academic year 2018-2019.

Learn more

Courses 2017-2018

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Astronomy Core Courses

Origin and Evolution of the Universe 6
Galaxies: structure, dynamics and evolution 6
Interstellar Medium 6

General Astronomy Courses

Computational Astrophysics 6
Large Scale Structure and Galaxy Formation 6
Star and Planet Formation 6

Instrument-related Astronomy Courses

Astronomical Telescopes and Instruments 6
Astronomy from Space 3
Detection of Light a + b 6
Detection of Light a 3
High Contrast Imaging 3
Project Management for Scientists 3

Specialist Astronomy Courses

Astrochemistry 3
Compact Objects and Accretion 3
Databases and Data Mining in Astronomy 3

Inter-faculty Electives

Science and the public: contemporary and historical perspectives 6
Science Methodology (SCM) 4

Non-Astronomy Courses

These courses can be selected from the courses offered by the following Leiden University master's programmes:

Career Orientation

Career orientation
During the Astronomy master’s education programme, we support you in making choices that are relevant to your future career. You will be stimulated to think about your ambitions and potential and to reflect on how to reach your goals. By actively exploring the possibilities, you enable yourself to make motivated study and career choices.

We organise various activities to help you think about questions like:

  • What are my strong skills and what skills can I still learn?

  • In which subjects do I want to specialise?

  • What subject will I choose for my Master Research Project?

  • Which electives fit my future ambitions?

  • Which type of job would I like to do after my Astronomy master’s?

  • What kind of employer would I like to work for?

Events Click here for the Astronomy career event calendar. This calendar contains an up-to-date overview of all career events relevant to Astronomy master’s students, including:

LU Career Zone
The Leiden University Career Zone is a website that offers support to Leiden University students and alumni, both during their studies and career. It offers advice, information and tools, including professional tests to draft your personal profile and job aplication tips.

Soft skills
In the Astronomy course descriptions in this e-Prospectus, behaviour-oriented skills are listed for each course. Although these soft skills cannot be measured like course objectives, being aware of the skills you acquire is important. They determine how you approach your work and your life and are therefore highly relevant to shaping your study path and future career.The soft skills you will come across in the Astronomy course descriptions include:

  • Problem solving - recognizing and analyzing problems, solution-oriented thinking

  • Analytical skills - analytical thinking, abstraction, evidence

  • Structured thinking - structure, modulated thinking, computational thinking, programming

  • Complex ICT-skills - data analysis, programming, simulations, complex ICT applications

  • Project management - planning, scope, boundaries, result-orientation

  • Responsibility - ownership, self-discipline, bear mistakes, accountability

  • Motivation - commitment, pro-active attitude, initiative

  • Self-regulation - independence, self-esteem, aware of own goals, motives and capacities

  • Verbal communication - presenting, speaking, listening

  • Written communication - writing skills, reporting, summarizing

  • Collaboration - teamwork, group support, loyalty, attendance

  • Flexibility - adaptability, dealing with change, teachability, eagerness to learn

  • Critical thinking - asking questions, checking assumptions

  • Creative thinking - resourcefulness, curiosity, thinking out of the box

  • Integrity - honesty, moral, ethics, personal values

Questions about your study and/or career path? Make an appointment with the Astronomy Study Advisor.