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Astronomy and Education

Structure of the Programme

The Astronomy and Education specialisation prepares you for a career in physics teaching and results in the teacher qualification (eerstegraads lesbevoegdheid) required for employment as a physics teacher in Dutch secondary schools. It is a joint programme offered in collaboration with the Leiden University Graduate School of Teaching (ICLON). The two-year programme consists of an Astronomy component (60 EC) in the first year and an Education component (60 EC; only taught in Dutch) in the second year. Alternatively, you can participate in the World Teachers Programme (WTP) to prepare for international teaching (60 EC, partly taught in Dutch).

Please note that entrance requirements for the Astronomy and Education specialisation include a proof of Dutch language proficiency. This also holds for the World Teachers Programme. Applicants who have not been educated in the Dutch secondary school system will have to take a Dutch language test (Toelatingsexamen Universiteit Leiden – gevorderd).

Programme first year: Astronomy (60 EC)

EC Level
Astronomy Core Courses, at least 12 500
Astronomy Courses related to the research topic 6-12 400-500
Non-Astronomy Courses 6-12 400-500
Research Project
Master's Research Project in Astronomy 30 600

Programme second year: Education (60 EC, in Dutch)

Level EC
Part 1
Leren en instructie 1 3 300
Vakdidactiek Natuurkunde 1 5 400
Pedagogiek 5 400
Praktijk 1 17
Part 2
Leren en instructie 2 3 400
Innovaties in onderwijs 3 400
Vakdidactiek Natuurkunde 2 5 500
Vakdidactische verdieping 7 600
Praktijk 2 15

Programme second year: World Teachers Programme (60 EC, in Dutch/English)

Level EC
Learning and Instruction 1 & 2 (in English) 8 300-400
Adolescent Psychology (in English) 5 400
Subject Methodology (in Dutch) 10 400-500
Participatory Action Research (PAR, in English) 7 600
World Teachers Programme Seminars - -
School Practice (bilingual or international school) 15 -
International Internship 15 -

Master Study Plan

At the start of the master’s programme, students are required to draw up the Master Study Plan: a complete list of planned courses and projects for two subsequent academic years in consultation with the Study Advisor Astronomy. To select courses, consult the course list for academic year 2019-2020 (see below) and the preliminary course list for academic year 2020-2021.

Learn more

Courses 2019-2020

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Astronomy Master's Research Project

Master's Research Project 30

Astronomy Core Courses

Interstellar Medium 6
Large Scale Structure and Galaxy Formation 6
Origin and Evolution of the Universe 6
Stellar Structure and Evolution 6

General Astronomy Courses

Computational Astrophysics 6
Galaxies: structure, dynamics and evolution 6
Star and Planet Formation 6

Instrument-related Astronomy Courses

Astronomical Telescopes and Instruments 6
Astronomy from Space 3
Detection of Light a 3
Detection of Light b 3
High Contrast Imaging 3
Project Management for Scientists 3
Radio Astronomy 6

Specialist Astronomy Courses

Astrochemistry 3
Astronomical Spectroscopy 3
Deep Learning in Astronomy 3
Modern Astrostatistics 3
Observational Cosmology 3
The Aromatic Universe 3

Inter-faculty Electives

Science and the public: contemporary and historical perspectives 6
Science Methodology (SCM) 4

Non-Astronomy Courses

These courses can be selected from the courses offered by the following Leiden University master's programmes:

Education Programme

For more information on courses and programme, please see the Education Prospectus

Career Orientation

Career orientation
During the Astronomy master’s education programme, we support you in making choices that are relevant to your future career. You will be stimulated to think about your ambitions and potential and to reflect on how to reach your goals. By actively exploring the possibilities, you enable yourself to make motivated study and career choices.

We organise various activities to help you think about questions like:

  • What are my strong skills and what skills can I still learn?

  • In which subjects do I want to specialise?

  • What subject will I choose for my Master Research Project?

  • Which electives fit my future ambitions?

  • Which type of job would I like to do after my Astronomy master’s?

  • What kind of employer would I like to work for?

Events Click here for the Astronomy career event calendar. This calendar contains an up-to-date overview of all career events relevant to Astronomy master’s students, including:

LU Career Zone
The Leiden University Career Zone is a website that offers support to Leiden University students and alumni, both during their studies and career. It offers advice, information and tools, including professional tests to draft your personal profile and job aplication tips.

Soft skills
In the Astronomy course descriptions in this Prospectus, behaviour-oriented skills are listed for each course. Although these soft skills cannot be measured like course objectives, being aware of the skills you acquire is important. They determine how you approach your work and your life and are therefore highly relevant to shaping your study path and future career.

Questions about your study and/or career path? Make an appointment with the Astronomy Study Advisor.

Course levels

Level 100
Introductory course, builds upon the level of the final pre-university education examination.
Characteristics: teaching based on material in textbook or syllabus, pedagogically structured, with
practice material and mock examinations; supervised workgroups; emphasis on study material and
examples in lectures.

Level 200
Course of an introductory nature, no specific prior knowledge but experience of independent
study expected.
Characteristics: textbooks or other study material of a more or less introductory nature; lectures, e.g. in
the form of capita selecta; independent study of the material is expected.

Level 300
Advanced course (entry requirement level 100 or 200).
Characteristics: textbooks that have not necessarily been written for educational purposes; independent
study of the examination material; in examinations independent application of the study material to
new problems.

Level 400
Specialised course (entry requirement level 200 or 300).
Characteristics: alongside a textbook, use of specialist literature (scientific articles); assessment in the
form of limited research, a lecture or a written paper. Courses at this level can, to a certain extent, also
be on the master’s curriculum.

Level 500
Course with an academic focus (entry requirement: the student has been admitted to a
master’s programme; preparatory course at level 300 or 400 has been followed).
Characteristics: study of advanced specialised scientific literature intended for researchers; focus of the
examination is solving a problem in a lecture and/or paper or own research, following independent
critical assessment of the material.

Level 600
Very specialised course (entry requirement level 400 or 500)
Characteristics: current scientific articles; latest scientific developments; independent contribution (dissertation research) dealing with an as yet unsolved problem, with verbal presentation.

The classification is based on the Framework Document Leiden Register of Study Programmes.