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Astronomy and Education

Structure of the Programme

The Astronomy and Education specialisation prepares you 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 two-year programme consists of an Astronomy component (60 EC) in the first year and an Education component (60 EC; only taught in Dutch) in the second year. Alternatively, you can participate in the World Teachers Programme (WTP) to prepare for international teaching (60 EC, partly taught in Dutch).

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

Programme first year: Astronomy (60 EC)

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

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

Level EC
Learning and Instruction 1 & 2 8 300-400
Teaching Methodology 1 & 2 10 400-500
Education Theory 5 400
Design Research 7 600
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) 8 300-400
Teaching Methodology 1 & 2 (in Dutch) 10 400-500
Education Theory (in English) 5 400
Participatory Action Research (PAR, in English) 7 600
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 2018-2019 (see below) and the preliminary course list for academic year 2019-2020.

Learn more

Courses 2018-2019

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Astronomy Master's Research Project

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

Instrument-related Astronomy Courses

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

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
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.

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

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.