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Astronomy and Science Based Business

Structure of the Programme

The specialisation Astronomy and Science Based Business (SBB) offers students the possibility to combine the Astronomy curriculum with training in management, business and entrepreneurship. Students are encouraged to enhance their skills and competencies for pursuing entrepreneurial business opportunities created in science and research. The 2-year programme consists of an Astronomy component to be followed in the first year, and a Science Based Business (SBB) component to be followed in the second year.


This master's specialisation requires separate and mandatory registration through the online registration form in the Science Based Business e-Prospectus.

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: Management Track (60 EC)

Within the SBB component in the second year, students can choose between the Management track and the New Technology Ventures track (see below).

Level EC
Strategy 400 5
Marketing 400 3
Financial Management 400 3
Technology and Operations Management 400 4
Business Research Methods 500 5
Business Electives 400-600 0-20
Astronomy Courses 400-600 0-20
SBB Business Studies Internship 600 20-40

Programme second year: New Technology Ventures Track (60 EC)

Within the SBB component in the second year, students can choose between the Management track (see above) and the New Technology Ventures track.

Level EC
NTV1: Entrepreneurial Opportunities 400 5
NTV2: The Entrepreneurial Process 400 5
NTV3: Business Planning 400 5
Business Research Methods 500 5
Business Electives 400-600 0-20
Astronomy Courses 400-600 0-20
New Technology Ventures Assignment 600 20-30

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

Instrumentation-related Astronomy Courses

Astronomical Telescopes and Instruments 6
Astronomy from Space 3
Detection of Light a 3
Detection of Light a + b 6
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:

Science & Research Based Business Programme

For more information on courses and programme, please see the SBB e-prospectus and the SBB website

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.