Research in Astronomy
The Master’s specialisation in Research in Astronomy is the best option for students who aspire to a scientific career in astronomy (or in a related field).
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 of which they are a part;
- 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 how they are related, and through 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, modeling and simulation.
The Research in Astronomy specialisation is the best option for students who aspire to a career in astronomy, or a related field. In addition, the specialisation offer two more narrowly focussed research streams:
a. The Stream Instrumentation enables application-minded students to gain new insights in astronomy by creating advances in instrumentation. A major factor contributing to progress in astronomy is the development of ever more advanced instruments for use on the ground or in space. There is a constant need to improve techniques for higher precision, better sensitivity, and greater spectral coverage. Leiden University and Delft University of Technology collaborate in presenting this unique training program at the crossroads of research and technology. This stream is offered in collaboration with Delft University of Technology. More details are given at the Instrumentation website.
b. The Stream Cosmology targets combines research in astronomy with research in physics. It covers all aspects of modern astrophysical research (observation, interpretation, simulation, and theory), but is expected to appeal especially to more theory-minded students. In offering this program, Leiden Observatory collaborates with the internationally renowned Leiden Institute of Physics. More information at the Cosmology website
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.