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Astronomy and Physics (double bachelor)

The combined Astronomy & Physics education programme takes three years and comprises courses from the Astronomy and Physics bachelor's programmes (212 EC in total). Each year contains more credits than the single programme: first year (69 EC), second year (77 EC) and third year (66 EC). The combined Astronomy & Physics programme results in two Bachelor of Science (BSc) diplomas: BSc Astronomy and BSc Physics. Please find the course descriptions for years 1, 2 and 3, electives and minor on the tabs below.

Information on study and career orientation can be found on the tab Career orientation.

In addition to this combined programme, there are three other options for the Astronomy bachelor's:

More information

First year

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Semester 1

Analyse 1 6
Analyse 1 NA 6
Introduction to Astrophysics 4
Introductie Moderne Natuurkunde 6
Lineaire Algebra 1 6
Lineaire Algebra 1 NA 6
Programming Methods NA 4

Semester 2

Analyse 2 6
Analyse 2 NA 6
Electric and Magnetic Fields 5
Klassieke Mechanica a 5
Physics of Life Processes 3
Planetary Systems 3
Praktische Sterrenkunde 6
Presenteren en Communiceren 1
Complex Physics of Cooking 3

Semester 1 & 2

Experimentele Natuurkunde deel II 3
Experimentele Natuurkunde deel I 3
Optica 5

Second year

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Semester 1

Analyse 3 NA 6
Classical Mechanics b 3
Lineaire algebra 2 6
Lineaire Algebra 2 NA 6
Physics Experiments 1 3
Quantum Mechanics 1 6
Stars 5
Statistical Physics 1 6

Semester 2

Astronomical Observing Techniques 5
Classical Electrodynamics 4
Galaxies and Cosmology 5
Introduction to Solid State Physics 3
Modern Astronomical Research 1
Modern Physics Research 1
Modern Astronomical and Physics Research 1
Physics Experiments 2 5
Physics Experiments 3 2
Quantum Mechanics 2 5
Statistics and Data Analysis 2

Semester 1 & 2

Astronomy Lab and Observing Project 5

Third year

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2
Bachelor Project: Research (N+S / S+N) 20
Bachelor Project: Thesis (S+N) 3
Bachelor Project: Presentation (S+N) 1
Radiative Processes 6
Research Skills and Scientific Integrity 3

Electives or Minor (30EC)

See tab Electives or Minor

Electives (3 EC)

See tab Electives or Minor

Electives or Minor (30 EC)

In consultation with the study advisors, you choose electives from the list below or a Minor for the first semester of the third year. In the second semester of year 2 and 3, 3 EC are availble for a course from the list of electives below.

Minor (30 EC) at Leiden University, TU Delft or Erasmus University Rotterdam (click the name of the university for an overview of the minors they offer).

Tailor made programme (30 EC or equivalent) tailor made programme, like study abroad, only after prior written approval of the Board of Examiners.

Electives (30 EC) electives from the overview below.

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Semester 1

Astronomical Relativity 6
Astro-Particle Physics 6
Building Blocks of Quantum Matter 6
Data Mining 6
Experimental Projects 6
Magnetic Resonance Phenomena 6
Orientatie op onderwijs 6
Physics of Finance 3
Physics of Life - From Motors to Nerve Pulses 6
Statistical Physics 2 6
Statistics AN Part 1 3
Statistics AN Part 2 3
The Electronic Structure of Solids 6

Semester 2

Keerpunten in de Geschiedenis van de Natuurwetenschappen 6
Machine Learning 6
Mathematical Methods of Physics 6
Molecular Biology for Physicists 3
Numerieke Wiskunde 6
Physics of Energy 6
Relativistic Electrodynamics 3

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.

Career orientation

Career orientation
During the combined Astronomy and Physics bachelor’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 Bachelor Research Project?

  • Which electives fit my future ambitions?

  • What do I want to learn next to my studies?

  • Which master's programme will I choose after my Astronomy bachelor's and why?

  • Which type of job would I like to do in the future?

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

First year

  • Study career sessions

  • Lectures from alumni

  • Company visits, dinners and lectures

  • Intake with Astronomy Study Advisor

  • Information sessions with student counsellor

  • Mentors and tutors

  • Introduction Science Career Service

  • Workshop Study skills

  • Workshop Timemanagement

Second year

Third year

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 e-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.