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The Leiden Institute of Chemistry organises two MSc programmes: MSc Chemistry and MSc Life Science & Technology.

The Master’s programme of Chemistry consists of the following specialisations:

  • Research in Chemistry

  • Chemistry and Education

  • Chemistry and Business Studies

  • Chemistry and Science Communication & Society

Details about their programmes and organisation can be found at:

MSc Programmes at the Leiden Institute of Chemistry

For our current research activities visit:

Leiden Institute of Chemistry

For the course schedule visit:

MSc schedule Chemistry and Life Science and Technology

Programme structure

MSc Chemistry

All master students must follow a basic theoretical training comprising of at least

Academic Development 6 EC:

  • Academic writing 2 EC

  • Academic development elective 4 EC

Core courses 24 EC in one of the two research areas of the institute

Futhermore, all students must take the compulsory co-curricular component "WORK" for career orientation.

Additional training within the specialisations:

Research in Chemistry

The research specialisation offers the student the opportunity to spend two full years on training and specialisation not only to become an independent and creative researcher, but also someone who can use their analytical skills to resolve challenges in their career in science or in society. The majority of the students with an MSc in Research in Chemistry will continue their career in a PhD position.

  • Essay & colloquium 6 EC

  • Research training projects 60-80 EC

  • Electives 24-4 EC

Chemistry and Business Studies

The specialisation Chemistry and Business Studies (BS) offers students the possibility to combine chemistry with knowledge, insights and skills in the area of management and business.
Students are encouraged to broaden their horizon, to form an opinion on and prepare for a career in industry and to enhance competences for pursuing business opportunities created in science and research.

  • Research training projects 30-50 EC

  • Business Studies programme 40 EC

  • Electives 20-0 EC

More information

Chemistry and Science Communication and Society

The specialisation Chemistry and Science Communication and Society (SCS) offers students the possibility to combine chemistry and science communication. Students are prepared for a career in popularisation of science or for a career as a scientist with a communicating mind-set.

  • Research training projects 30-50 EC

  • Science Communication and Society programme 40 EC

  • Electives 20-0 EC

More information

Chemistry and Education

The specialisation Chemistry and Education (EDU) prepares students for a career as chemistry (scheikunde) teacher qualified to teach in Dutch secondary education.

  • Research training projects 30 or 40-60 EC

  • Education programme 60 or 30 EC

More information

Compulsory courses

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2
Research training project 20/60
WORK (Career Orientation & Competence Reflection) 0

For Research Only

Essay & Colloquium 6

Academic Development

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2


Academic writing (AWR) 2

Electives - minimum 4 EC

IP Law in Science 5
Playful and Creative Science 6
Science Methodology (SCM) 4
Leading and Managing People 5
Wetenschapsjournalistiek (SCS) 4
Science Journalism 4
SCS: Scientific Narration and Visualization 3
Oriëntatie op Onderwijs 4
Sciences and Humanities 4
Science and the public: contemporary and historical perspectives 6

Chemical Biology Core

The research area Chemical Biology offers eight core courses. Students select at least four core courses.

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2
Supramolecular Chemistry (SUP) 6
Molecular Cell Biology (MCB) 6
Reactivity in Organic Chemistry (ROC) 6
Chemical Biology (CB) 6
Modern Organic Chemistry (MOC) 6
Enzyme dynamics: NMR spectroscopy and kinetics (EDNMR) 6
Medicinal Chemistry & Drug Discovery (MCDD) 6
Computational Techniques for Chemical Biology (CTCB) 6

Energy & Sustainability Core

The research area Energy & Sustainability offers eight core courses. Students select at least four core courses.

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2
Computational Chemistry and Molecular Simulations (CCMS) 6
Surface Science (SUS) 6
Organometallic chemistry and homogeneous catalysis (OCHC) 6
Density Functional Theory in Practice (DIP) 6
Heterogeneous Catalysis (HET) 6
Electrochemistry (ELE) 6
Photochemistry (PC) 6
Photosynthesis and Bioenergy (PBE) 6

Elective courses

  • Dependent on the chosen specialisation, a number of elective courses can be selected within the rules specified in the OER appendix.

  • Students may chose additional core courses as elective courses.

  • The list below is not exhaustive. For more information visit the programmes website

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2

NOTE All core courses may be chosen as electives!

Master students Chemistry may also choose additional core courses from their research area, courses from the other research area, and core courses from MSc Life Science and Technology as elective courses.

Bionanotechnology (BNT) 6
Molecular Nanotechnology (MNT) 6
Synthetic Organic Chemistry 5
Biological and Biomedical Informatics (BBI) 6
Biomaterials (BMAT) 6
Cell Membranes and Membrane Transport (CMMT) 4
Metals and Life (MAL) 6
Molecular Aspects of RNA Viruses (MRV) 4
Antibiotics: Synthesis, Mechanisms of Action and Resistance (ASMAR) 4
Cross-domain chromatin organisation (CDC) 4
In-vivo biomolecular interactions underlying diseases (IBID) 6
Protein Folding, Misfolding and Design (PFMD) 6
Quantitative Imaging in Life Sciences (QILS) 4
Bioinorganic Catalysis (BIOC) 6
Chemical Immunology (CHI) 6
Macromolecular Crystallography (MAC) 6
Spectroscopy on Chemical Reactions and Environments (SCRE) 6
Integrated Cell Biology (ICB) 2
Scientific Computing and Programming (SC) 6

Biennial courses given every even year

Theory of Spectroscopy and Molecular Properties (TSMP) 6
Quantum Reaction Dynamics (QRD) 6

Biennial courses given every odd year

Solid State NMR (SSNMR) 6
Dynamics of Molecule-Surface Reactions (DST) 6
Molecules of Life (MOL) 6

Career orientation

Career preparation in Chemistry

In addition to offering you a solid university education, Leiden University aims to prepare you as well as possible for the labour market, and in doing so contribute to the development of your employability. In this way, it will become easier for you to make the transition to the labour market, to remain employable in a dynamic labour market, in a (career) job that suits your own personal values, preferences and development. 'Employability' consists of the following aspects that you will develop within your study programme, among others:

1. Discipline-specific knowledge and skills
Knowledge and skills specific to your study programme.

2. Transferable skills
These are skills that are relevant to every student and that you can use in all kinds of jobs irrespective of your study programme, for example: researching, analysing, project-based working, generating solutions, digital skills, collaborating, oral communication, written communication, presenting, societal awareness, independent learning, resilience.

3. Self-reflection
This concerns self-reflection in the context of your (study) career, including reflecting on the choices you make as a student during your studies, what can you do with your knowledge and skills on the labour market?
In addition, reflecting on your own profile and your personal and professional development. Who are you, what can you do well, what do you find interesting, what suits you, what do you find important, what do you want to do?

4. Practical experience
Gaining practical experience through internships, work placements, projects, practical (social) assignments, which are integrated into an elective, minor or graduation assignment.

5. Labour market orientation
Gaining insight into the labour market, fields of work, jobs and career paths through, for example, guest speakers and alumni experiences from the work field, career events within the study programme, the use of the alumni mentor network, interviewing people from the work field, and shadowing/visiting companies in the context of a particular subject.

Employability in the curriculum

During your master studies you will acquire knowledge on various topics, all depending on the subjects you choose. At the same time, you will further develop your academic skills, such as logical thinking, creativity, perseverance, communication and personal development. These skills can be used in numerous and diverse ways and will help you in your further career. The compulsory component WORK helps you to prepare for the job market. WORK has been developed because former and current Chemistry and LST students expressed their need for this preparation in feedback systems such as the National Student Survey.

1: Start WORK-ing

After you complete a competency test at the LU career zone, you analyse your results and write a short report of 400 - 600 words. This assignment has to be submitted by October 1st (for September cohort) or March 1st (for February cohort).

2: WORK to do

Within the first 1.5 year of your MSc studies (for EDU students within 1 year), you must attend 6 events of choice. After each event you need to submit your report on Blackboard within 10 days after the specific activity. Details and templates for the reports can be found in the “WORK to do” section on Brightspace.

3: Ready to WORK?
When you are finishing up your major MSc research project, you take the LU career zone 'work values' test and write a self-reflection report on what you learned in your project and how you view yourself now.

4: Apply for a job
In the final stage of your MSc programme, you take the Career Service workshop 'CV, LinkedIn profile and cover letter'. We will provide example advertisements of various job vacancies, but you can bring your own if you are ready to apply for a job.

Activities to prepare for the labour market co-curricular or outside the curriculum

Every year, various activities take place, within, alongside and outside of your study programme, which contribute to your preparation for the labour market, especially where it concerns orientation towards the work field/the labour market, (career) skills and self-reflection. These may be information meetings on decision moments within your programme, but also career workshops and events organised by your own programme, the faculty Career Service or your study association.

Career Service, LU Career Zone and career workshops calendar

Faculty Career Service The Career Service of your faculty offers information and advice on study (re)orientation and master's choice, (study) career planning, orientation on the labour market and job applications.

Leiden University Career Zone Leiden University Career Zone is the website for students and alumni of Leiden University to support their (study) career. You can find advice, information, (career) tests and tools in the area of (study) career planning, career possibilities with your study, job market orientation, job applications, the Alumni Mentor network, job portal, workshops and events and career services.

Workshops and events
On the course calendar you will find an overview of career and application workshops, organised by the Career services.

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2
WORK (Career Orientation & Competence Reflection) 0