Astronomy and Instrumentation

Training the next generation of instrument builders

Leiden Observatory offers a challenging master’s specialisation programme, focusing on the interrelations between astronomical research and the state-of-the-art instruments that are required to carry it out. The two-year programme, leading to the MSc degree in Astronomy, is built on world-class astrophysics research as well as high-tech industry expertise, and consists of a coherent set of relevant courses and two research projects, in which students participate and gather hands-on experience.

Overall goal

The overall goal is to better understand the physical principles and performances of astronomical instruments, and to contribute to the development of new ideas and concepts for future instruments and technologies. Moreover, courses go beyond pure astronomy and space applications to enable students to use their knowledge and skills in neighbouring areas of science and technology – including instrumentation for environmental and medical applications.

After graduation

The programme ensures that graduating students have experience in areas relevant for high-tech industry in the Netherlands and elsewhere. After graduation, students will have obtained in-depth knowledge of current state-of-the-art approaches to developing high-tech instruments. Furthermore, they will be prepared to work with engineers on instrument-development and being able to bridge the gap between engineering and science.

Why Astronomy and Instrumentation in Leiden?

  1. Leiden Observatory is one of the few places in the world that offers a programme with a special focus on astronomical instrumentation.
  2. Students get unique hands-on lab experience and immediately participate in cutting-edge instrument projects for ESO (VLT, E-ELT) and ESA (JWST, Euclid).
  3. State-of-the-art courses are taught by scientists and researchers of international fame.
  4. Training is in small teaching groups, which ensures close interaction between students and research staff.
  5. Exclusive scholarship (Walraven Scholarship) is available for excellent international master’s students.
  6. Students have the opportunity to carry out research projects at nearby institutes and high-tech companies.
  7. Leiden Observatory closely collaborates with industry and other research organisations (Airbus Defence and Space, ESA-ESTEC, SRON, TNO, ASTRON).

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, February
  • Language of instruction English
  • Location Leiden
  • Croho/isat code 60200

Introduction: Astronomy and Instrumentation

Play Astronomy and Instrumentation - Leiden University

Find your master's at Leiden University