Astronomy and Science Communication and Society
The master’s track in Science Communication and Society comprises a one-year astronomy research component and a one-year communication component. It offers students the opportunity to combine previous research training with programmes in different aspects of science communication, such as journalism, new media, museology and information visualisation.
The Leiden MSc in Astronomy focuses on
- Knowledge and understanding of the origin, structure, and evolution of galaxies, including processes in their nuclei, as well as the universe they are part of;
- Knowledge and understanding of the origin, structure and evolution of stars, including the interstellar medium, circumstellar gas and dust, and planetary systems.
These goals are approached by means of courses teaching knowledge of the various fields and insight into their mutual connections, and by means of research projects in which the student focuses on one or more aspects of ongoing research carried out by staff and postdocs.
The Leiden programme is particularly known for its emphasis on the interface between observation and theory: interpretation, modelling and simulation.
Students of this master’s specialisation have an excellent opportunity to broaden their studies outside their own specialist field, and during the work placement are able to try out the interesting opportunities offered by a career as scientific communicator or scientific journalist. The experiences and insights gained will be of benefit to those who intend to continue in an academic environment, for example as a PhD candidate in their own specialist field. The ability to communicate about science is an essential skill which all scientists should have mastered!
For further information, please visit the Science Communication and Society site (in Dutch).
Reasons to Choose Astronomy in Leiden
1. The Leiden Astronomy Department (the ‘Sterrewacht’) is the largest and oldest in the Netherlands. It has a strong international reputation, and it is widely known to turn out graduates and PhDs of the highest quality.
2. Research at the cutting edge of modern astronomy is an integral part of the MSc programme. Research students graduate with a broad knowledge of astronomy and astrophysics, but may specialise in observation, theory or instrumentation. Other specialisations allow the student to specialise in business and management, communication or education.
3. The Sterrewacht provides a thoroughly international atmosphere. It has close ties with other astronomy institutes in Europe and in the U.S. Its students and staff have access to the most advanced observation facilities in the world. Many students, postdocs and staff come from abroad, and there are regular visits by guests from all over the world.
4. The large number of faculty staff and the relatively small number of students guarantee students a high degree of interaction with and personal attention from the senior staff.
5. With its modest size and open, international character, the Sterrewacht provides a very congenial, informal atmosphere, in which social activities flourish.
6. The Leiden programme is particularly appreciated for its emphasis on the interface between observation and theory: interpretation, modeling and simulation.