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The Leiden Institute of Chemistry organises two MSc programmes: MSc Chemistry and MSc Life Science & Technology.

The Master’s programme of Chemistry consists of the following specialisations:

  • Research in Chemistry

  • Chemistry and Education

  • Chemistry and Business Studies

  • Chemistry and Science Communication & Society

Details about their programmes and organisation can be found at:

MSc Programmes at the Leiden Institute of Chemistry

For our current research activities visit:

Leiden Institute of Chemistry

For the course schedule visit:

MSc schedule Chemistry and Life Science and Technology

Programme structure

MSc Chemistry

All master students must follow a basic theoretical training comprising of at least

  • Academic writing 2 EC

  • Science Methodology 4 EC

  • Core courses 24 EC in one of the two research areas of the institute

Futhermore, all students must take the compulsory co-curricular component "WORK" for career orientation.

Additional training within the specialisations:

Research in Chemistry

The research specialisation offers the student the opportunity to spend two full years on training and specialisation not only to become an independent and creative researcher, but also someone who can use their analytical skills to resolve challenges in their career in science or in society. The majority of the students with an MSc in Research in Chemistry will continue their career in a PhD position.

  • Essay & colloquium 6 EC

  • Research training projects 60-80 EC

  • Electives 24-4 EC

Chemistry and Business Studies

The specialisation Chemistry and Business Studies (BS) offers students the possibility to combine chemistry with knowledge, insights and skills in the area of management and business.
Students are encouraged to broaden their horizon, to form an opinion on and prepare for a career in industry and to enhance competences for pursuing business opportunities created in science and research.

  • Research training projects 30-50 EC

  • Business Studies programme 40 EC

  • Electives 20-0 EC

More information

Chemistry and Science Communication and Society

The specialisation Chemistry and Science Communication and Society (SCS) offers students the possibility to combine chemistry and science communication. Students are prepared for a career in popularisation of science or for a career as a scientist with a communicating mind-set.

  • Research training projects 30-50 EC

  • Science Communication and Society programme 40 EC

  • Electives 20-0 EC

More information

Chemistry and Education

The specialisation Chemistry and Education (EDU) prepares students for a career as chemistry (scheikunde) teacher qualified to teach in Dutch secondary education.

  • Research training projects 30 or 40-60 EC

  • Education programme 60 or 30 EC

More information

Compulsory courses

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2
Academic writing (AWR) 2
Research training project 20/60
Science Methodology (SCM) 4
WORK (Career Orientation & Competence Reflection) 0

For Research Only

Essay & Colloquium 6

Chemical Biology Core

The research area Chemical Biology offers eight core courses. Students select at least four core courses.

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2
Supramolecular Chemistry (SUP) 6
Molecular Cell Biology (MCB) 6
Reactivity in Organic Chemistry (ROC) 6
Chemical Biology (CB) 6
Modern Organic Chemistry (MOC) 6
Enzyme dynamics: NMR spectroscopy and kinetics (EDNMR) 6
Medicinal Chemistry & Drug Discovery (MCDD) 6
Computational Techniques for Chemical Biology (CTCB) 6

Energy & Sustainability Core

The research area Energy & Sustainability offers eight core courses. Students select at least four core courses.

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2
Computational Chemistry and Molecular Simulations (CCMS) 6
Surface Science (SUS) 6
Organometallic chemistry and homogeneous catalysis (OCHC) 6
Density Functional Theory in Practice (DIP) 6
Heterogeneous Catalysis (HET) 6
Electrochemistry (ELE) 6
Photochemistry (PC) 6
Photosynthesis and Bioenergy (PBE) 6

Elective courses

  • Dependent on the chosen specialisation, a number of elective courses can be selected within the rules specified in the OER appendix.

  • Students may chose additional core courses as elective courses.

  • The list below is not exhaustive. For more information visit the programmes website

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2

NOTE All core courses may be chosen as electives!

Master students Chemistry may also choose additional core courses from their research area, courses from the other research area, and core courses from MSc Life Science and Technology as elective courses.

Biomedical Informatics (BMI) 6
Metals and Life (MAL) 6
Molecular Nanotechnology (MNT) 6
Synthetic Organic Chemistry 5
Biomaterials (BMAT) 6
Bionanotechnology (BNT) 6
Molecular Aspects of RNA Viruses (MRV) 4
Chemistry and Physics of Solids (CPS) 6
Design and Self-assembly of Biomolecules (DSB) 6
Integrated Cell Biology (ICB) 2
Quantitative Imaging in Life Sciences (QILS) 6
Bioinorganic Catalysis (BIOC) 6
Chemical Immunology (CHI) 6
Cross-domain chromatin organisation (CDC) 4
In-vivo biomolecular interactions underlying diseases (IBID) 6
Spectroscopy on Chemical Reactions and Environments (SCRE) 6
Science and the public: contemporary and historical perspectives 6

Biennial courses given every even year

Solid State NMR (SSNMR) 6
Theory of Spectroscopy and Molecular Properties (TSMP) 6
Quantum Reaction Dynamics (QRD) 6

Biennial courses given every odd year

Scientific Computing and Programming (SC) 6
Dynamics of Molecule-Surface Reactions (DST) 6
Molecules of Life (MOL) 6

Career orientation

During the MSc Chemistry we want to provide you with the best possible preparation for the job market. In addition to knowledge, it is important that you develop skills, gain practical experience, orientate on positions & careers, and reflect on your own profile and development. Besides substantive knowledge, it is also important to be aware of the so-called transferable skills that you develop outside and during your education. These are, for example, your cognitive skills such as critical thinking and communication. Altogether, awareness of these factors contributes to your development as a professional and offers good preparation for the labour market.

As a Chemistry student, you will face many choices during and after your MSc programme, such as your specialisation, research direction, electives and the choice of whether or not to pursue a PhD after graduation. To help you with such decisions, the programme includes the co-curricular component WORK. See the course description below for more details.

Besides the WORK component, the study programme includes many other factors that prepare you for your future. So-called transferable skills are mainly developed during the research projects but are also part of many theoretical courses. Students in the flexible MSc programme of Chemistry are encouraged to find their own path and work towards their own goals. The programme supports this development by organising the WORK component and other activities focused on your future.

Nevertheless, questions about this subject may arise during your studies, such as: How can you use the knowledge and skills you gain within and outside your study program in the labor market? Which direction do you choose within your study and why? What are you already able to do, and what skills do you still want to learn? How do you translate the courses you choose into something you would like to do later?

You may have already discussed this with the study adviser, mentor, the Science Career Service, fellow students or made use of the Leiden University Career Zone. All kinds of activities are organized where you get the chance to orientate yourself on the job market and gives opportunities to reflect on your own development, possibilities and (study) career profile as well. Central to this are the questions: "What are my capabilities?", "What do I want?" and "How do I achieve my goals?".

In the Prospectus, learning objectives have been formulated for each subject, the purpose of which is to inform you which components are covered in the development of your (study) career profile and preparation for the labour market. Various activities are also organized that help you in making all kinds of career choices and to develop skills.


Activities offered in and beyond the WORK component include the following:

  • Company visits and company dinners organised by the student associations CDL and s.v. LIFE

  • Alumni lectures, including yearly 'To PhD or not to PhD' evening

  • Student mentor groups for first year MSc students

  • Mentorship by faculty staff

  • Workshops Science Career Service

  • Career colleges by Science Career Service

  • Self-reflection on competencies (strengths and weaknesses) with individual feedback from the Science Career Service (at the start of the programme)

  • Development of a personal work values profile with individual feedback from the Science Career Service (after major research project)

  • CV, cover letter and job application coaching

  • Science Career Event (Leiden University)

  • BCF Career Event

Science Career Service

Science Career Service, one of the utilities of the Science faculty, offers information and advice on study (re)orientation, career planning and personal professional profile as well as preparation for the job market, such as job applications. Facilities provided to students include online information, walk-in consultations, workshops and individual counselling sessions. In addition, Science Career Service offers expertise and support to programmes that want to strengthen the connection between their curriculum and the job market. This can vary from providing specific guest lectures/workshops to advising on integrating career orientation programmes into the curriculum.

LU Career Zone

The Leiden University Career Zone is the website for students and alumni of Leiden University to support their (study) career planning. You will find advice, information, video recordings of webinars and tools such as professional tests to get an idea of your personal profile. You can also explore positions and sectors, you will find tips about CV, job application, LinkedIn and there is a vacancy platform that you can make use of.

Mentor Network

Leiden University likes to prepare students and young alumni well for the job market. For this we use the knowledge and experience of Leiden alumni. To bring students and young alumni with questions about their careers into contact with experienced alumni, Leiden University has established the Mentor Network. Students and young alumni can register for free.


Do you have questions about your (study) career choices and has the above information not been able to help you further? Your study adviser ( is always available to discuss your plans and concerns.

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2
WORK (Career Orientation & Competence Reflection) 0