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The Leiden master’s programme in Astronomy consists of four research-oriented specialisations and three combined specialisations. Please find below an overview of all Astronomy courses on offer in 2018-2019. For a preliminary overview of Astronomy courses on offer in 2019-2020, click here.

For information on courses and requirements of each specialisation, please follow the links below:

For information on courses and requirements of each specialisation, please follow the links below:

Courses 2018-2019

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Astronomy Master's Research Projects

First Research Project Astronomy 30
Master's Research Project Astronomy 2 30

Astronomy Core Courses

Origin and Evolution of the Universe 6
Stellar Structure and Evolution 6
Large Scale Structure and Galaxy Formation 6

General Astronomy Courses

Computational Astrophysics 6

Instrumentation-related Astronomy Courses

Astronomical Telescopes and Instruments 6
Radio Astronomy 6
Detection of Light a 3
Detection of Light a + b 6

Specialist Astronomy Courses

Astronomical Spectroscopy 3
High-energy Astrophysics 3
Modern Astrostatistics 3
Numerical Recipes in Astrophysics 6

Inter-faculty Electives

Science and the public: contemporary and historical perspectives 6

Course Levels

  • Level 100
    Introductory course, builds upon the level of the final pre-university education examination.
    Characteristics: teaching based on material in textbook or syllabus, pedagogically structured, with
    practice material and mock examinations; supervised workgroups; emphasis on study material and
    examples in lectures.

  • Level 200
    Course of an introductory nature, no specific prior knowledge but experience of independent
    study expected.
    Characteristics: textbooks or other study material of a more or less introductory nature; lectures, e.g. in
    the form of capita selecta; independent study of the material is expected.

  • Level 300
    Advanced course (entry requirement level 100 or 200).
    Characteristics: textbooks that have not necessarily been written for educational purposes; independent
    study of the examination material; in examinations independent application of the study material to
    new problems.

  • Level 400
    Specialised course (entry requirement level 200 or 300).
    Characteristics: alongside a textbook, use of specialist literature (scientific articles); assessment in the
    form of limited research, a lecture or a written paper. Courses at this level can, to a certain extent, also
    be on the master’s curriculum.

  • Level 500 Course with an academic focus (entry requirement: the student has been admitted to a
    master’s programme; preparatory course at level 300 or 400 has been followed).
    *Characteristics: *study of advanced specialised scientific literature intended for researchers; focus of the
    examination is solving a problem in a lecture and/or paper or own research, following independent
    critical assessment of the material.

  • Level 600
    Very specialised course (entry requirement level 400 or 500)
    *Characteristics: *current scientific articles; latest scientific developments; independent contribution (dissertation research) dealing with an as yet unsolved problem, with verbal presentation.

The classification is based on the Framework Document Leiden Register of Study Programmes.


The Astronomy pre-master’s programme is designed specifically to eliminate relatively minor deficiencies in the prior education of applicants lacking specific knowledge or experience required for successful participation in the Astronomy master’s programme.

Click here for more information on the Astronomy pre-master's programme