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MSc in Astronomy - Astronomy and Cosmology




What will I learn?

In the field of cosmology we look for scientific answers to the most fundamental questions that one can ask : Where do we come from? How did the Universe start? How did it evolve and where does it go?

What does this master's programme entail?

Modern cosmology is a complex, multidisciplinary research area. Observations of the Universe with state-of-the-art telescopes on Earth and in space, supercomputer simulations of the origin of structure, and theoretical physics studies of the Hot Big Bang, the expanding Universe, and inflation provide a consistent understanding of our Universe. The current picture is quite accurate, yet full of new physics waiting to be discovered. Research in this area is moving fast, and requires familiarity with current theoretical ideas as well as a basic understanding of the data. The overall aim is to train you in this exciting research field, preferably in an integrated Cosmology master’s and PhD degree programme.

Reasons to choose Astronomy and Cosmology at Leiden University

  • The specialisation provides you with research training with a strong focus on modern observational and theoretical cosmology.
  • We offer unique cosmology courses taught by the world’s leading researchers enabling you to become highly specialized in the field.
  • The programme is offered in close collaboration with the internationally renowned Leiden Institute of Physics and is part of the Leiden de Sitter Cosmology Programme, where you can follow an integrated master’s and PhD degree programme.

Astronomy and Cosmology: the right master’s programme for you?

Are you a theory-oriented student interested in discovering all aspects of modern astrophysics, including observation, interpretation, simulation and theory? Then, Astronomy and Cosmology at Leiden University is the right master’s specialisation for you. This programme is essentially based on combined research in astronomy and physics and is therefore open for students with a bachelor’s degree in Astronomy and/or Physics from a recognized university.

Career prospects

With a master’s degree in Astronomy you are well prepared for jobs in research, industry and the public sector, including technological, financial and consultancy companies, research institutes, governments and science communication organizations.

Acquired skills and competence

With a Leiden degree in Astronomy you obtain an impressive skill set leading you to a top-level job quickly after graduation (see Beste Banen 2016). As a strong communicator and collaborator you can easily operate in an international setting. You have acquired extensive astronomical research experience and highly advanced analytical and problem solving skills. Their helicopter view and ability to priorities enable astronomers to successfully engage in large multidisciplinary projects.


Most graduates holding a MSc degree in Astronomy from Leiden University find work in many different capacities, including:

  • Research: universities, observatories, research institutes
  • Industry and consultancy: ICT, R&D, telecom, high technology, aerospace
  • Finance: banking, insurance, pension funds
  • Public sector: governments, policy makers, high schools
  • Science communication: journalism, popular writing, museums

Typical jobs for Astronomy graduates include:

  • Scientific researcher (postdoc, research fellow, professor)
  • R&D engineer
  • Consultant
  • Data scientist, statistician
  • Policy advisor, public information officer (e.g. Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
  • High school physics teacher
  • Scientific editor for magazines, newspapers and other media

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Science

Study options

Full Time (2 Years)

Tuition fees
€18,016.00 (16,08,571) per year
Application deadline

Expected October 2023

More details

Start date

Expected September 2023


Leiden University

Rapenburg 70,



2311, Netherlands

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Applicants need a BA or BSc degree (or equivalent) to be admitted to any of Leiden University’s master’s programmes. English-language proficiency: IELTS - 6.0; Toefl (internet based): 80 (component score: 20); Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE), or C1 Advanced (CAE): Cambridge component score of 169.

For international students

  • A copy of a valid passport or ID card
  • A copy of a Dutch residence permit (if applicable)
  • CV (résumé)
  • Language proficiency (if applicable)
  • Copies of diplomas and transcripts
  • Letter of motivation

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


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