Astronomy and Cosmology

Cosmology is positioned at the interface between Observational Astronomy and Theoretical Physics. The Leiden Observatory offers this specialisation in collaboration with the Leiden Institute of Physics.


This specialisation is open to students with a Bachelor’s degree in Astronomy or Physics from a recognised university. Graduates from this programme will be well placed to function in positions in industry, research or society.

The MSc curriculum consists of 60 EC (1 year) course work, and two significantly different research projects (24+36 EC) supervised by different staff members. The minor research project will typically start early in the first year, and the major one (Master’s thesis) during the course of the second year.

Detailed programmes may differ slightly depending on whether the students are enrolled in the Physics or Astronomy MSc programmes, but will in all cases include a common core curriculum of cosmology courses.

What and who?

Check out the cosmology website, and meet the teachers. Or read the formal details in the so-called master’s Course and Examination Regulations (OER) for Astronomy and Physics.

Each student’s choice of courses is discussed beforehand with the De Sitter programme coordinator and the respective study advisors.

Reasons to choose Astronomy and Cosmology in Leiden

  1. Leiden Observatory is a vibrant university astronomy department with a distinguished history. It has both a strong international reputation, and is widely known to turn out masters and doctoral students of the highest quality.
  2. The favorable student-staff ratio guarantees a high degree of interaction with and personal attention from the senior staff.
  3. The Leiden programme is particularly known for its emphasis on the interface between observation and theory: interpretation, modeling and simulation.
  4. Leiden astronomers have access to the foremost observing facilities and the largest high performance computer facilities in the world.
  5. The Observatory provides an international atmosphere. It has close ties with other astronomy institutes in Europe and the U.S. Many students, postdocs and staff come from abroad, and there are regular visits by guests from all over the world.
  6. The institute provides a very welcoming, informal atmosphere, in which social activities flourish.

Master details

  • This is a specialisation of: Astronomy
  • Degree Master of Science in Astronomy
  • Mode of study Full-time
  • Duration 2 years
  • Start date September or February
  • Language of instruction English
  • Location Leiden
  • Croho/isat code 60200

Introduction: Astronomy and Cosmology

Play Research in Astronomy, Cosmology - Leiden University

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