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The Astronomy bachelor's programme comprises three years (180 EC in total), consisting of the first year (60 EC), followed by two years of 60 EC each. The bachelor's programme is concluded with the Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Astronomy diploma. Please find the course descriptions for years 1, 2 and 3, the electives and minor on the tabs below.

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

In addition to the monodisciplinary Astronomy bachelor's programme, there are two combined programmes:

See also

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
Planetary Systems 3
Praktische Sterrenkunde 6
Presenteren en Communiceren 1

Semester 1 & 2

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
Quantum Mechanics 1 6
Stars 5
Statistical Physics 1 6

Semester 2

Astronomical Observing Techniques 5
Classical Electrodynamics 4
Galaxies and Cosmology 5
Modern Astronomical Research 1
Modern Astronomical and Physics Research 1
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

Electives (30 EC)

See tab Electives or Minor

Verplichte vakken

Bachelor Project: Research (S) 18
Radiative Processes 6
Research Skills and Scientific Integrity (2EC) 2
Bachelor Project: Thesis (S) 3
Bachelor Project: Presentation (S) 1

Total: 60 EC

Electives or Minor (30 EC)

In consultation with the Astronomy study advisor you choose one of the following options for the first semester of the third year:

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) 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

Astronomy from Space 3
Astro-Particle Physics 6
Building Blocks of Quantum Matter 6
Computer Graphics 6
Data Mining 6
Econophysics 6
Orientatie op onderwijs 6
Physics Experiments 1 3
Physics of Energy 6
Seminar Series on Cutting Edge Astrophysics (S2CEA) 3
Statistical Physics 2 6
Statistics AN Part 1 3

Semester 2

Algoritmiek 6
Algorithms and Data Structures 6
Databases 6
Inleiding Kansrekening 6
Introduction to Solid State Physics 3
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 Experiments 2 5
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 Astronomy 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.