MSc in Astronomy

General

Program Description

University of Groningen

A Master's degree in Astronomy is a gateway into a wide world of science and technology.

Students are trained by astronomers from the world-renowned Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, a center leading in astronomical research on galaxy formation and evolution, cosmology, star, and planet formation, neutron stars and black holes.

The two-year curriculum of the Master's degree can be tailored according to your own interests and capabilities. The wide range of options includes the possibility to focus on observational astronomy, theoretical astronomy, astronomical instrumentation and informatics, data science or astronomy teaching.

Dutch Astronomy graduates in general and Kapteyn graduates, in particular, have excellent career prospects, within and outside of science. The Master's program in Groningen is ranked as a top-degree in the Netherlands (by the 'Keuzegids'). Facilities are being ranked as outstanding, while the quality of the lecturers, the research component as well as the preparation for the professional field through e.g. internships are ranked as very good.

To enable students to gain additional experience in business and economics as well as to follow a company internship, the special Master's profile 'Business and Policy' has been designed.

Why study this program in Groningen?

  • Awarded 'Top Rated Programme' label (Higher Education Guide 2017)
  • Close connections with ASTRON and SRON
  • Specialization on instrumentation and informatics possible
  • Excellent facilities
  • An international and vibrant research environment
  • Our faculty is the home of the 2016 Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry, Ben Feringa, and the Nobel Prize winner in Physics, Frits Zernike

Program

Curriculum

2-year program; credits per year: 60 ECTS; most courses are 5 ECTS.

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is recommended
  • For an average of 20 weeks
  • Maximum of 60 EC

Exchange: All our science and engineering programs offer study abroad possibilities at a number of partner institutions. Our partners include top-100 universities in Europe (for example in Germany, the UK, and Sweden) and in the USA, China, South-East Asia, and South America. Our exchange programs have a typical duration of one semester and count toward your final degree.

Entry requirements

Admission requirements

Dutch diploma

Specific requirements More information
Previous education

Bachelor's degree in Astronomy; possible admission for a Bachelor's degree in Physics or Applied Physics.

International diploma

Specific requirements More information
Additional subject

The Admissions Office will advise the Admissions Board on your application, after which the Board will decide if you meet the admission requirements in terms of the general level of previous education and specific background knowledge. Applications are evaluated on a continuous basis. You do not have to wait until the application deadline to apply.

Previous education

At least a Bachelor's degree in Astronomy; admission is decided on a case by case basis for applicants with at least a Bachelor's degree in Physics or Applied Physics.

Language requirements

Exam Minimum score
IELTS overall band 6.5
TOEFL paper-based 580
TOEFL computer-based 237
TOEFL internet-based 92

Application deadlines

Type of student Deadline Start course
Dutch students

15 October 2020

01 May 2021

15 October 2021

01 February 2021

01 September 2021

01 February 2022

EU/EEA students

15 October 2020

01 May 2021

15 October 2021

01 February 2021

01 September 2021

01 February 2022

non-EU/EEA students

15 October 2020

01 May 2021

15 October 2021

01 February 2021

01 September 2021

01 February 2022

Tuition fees

Nationality Year Fee Program form
EU/EEA 2020-2021 € 2143 full-time
non-EU/EEA 2020-2021 € 17500 full-time

Job prospects

The objective of the Groningen Master's degree program is to give students the best opportunity for participation in major European or global astronomical research projects, in Ph.D. programs, and in professions dealing with astronomical instrumentation and informatics.

While the Master's program in Astronomy is primarily aimed at training researchers, a substantial amount of graduates successfully find employment in the public or private sector. Astronomy graduates are well-trained problem solvers, skilled professionally not only in astronomy but also in physics, mathematics, IT and computing science.

Job examples

  • Ph.D. Research Position
  • Participate in astronomical research projects
  • Professions dealing with astronomical instrumentation and informatics

Research

Close Connections with two Major Astronomical Foundations

The research work is carried out within one of the research groups of the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, under the supervision of a staff astronomer. Kapteyn staff are involved in observational and theoretical research dealing with:

  • Active Galactic Nuclei and Quasars
  • Cosmology and the Large Scale Structure of the Universe
  • Formation, Evolution, and Structure of Galaxies
  • High-energy astrophysics: Neutron stars and black holes
  • Instrumentation
  • Star and Planet formation and the Interstellar Medium of Galaxies
  • Virtual Observatory and Astronomical Datacenters

The Kapteyn Astronomical Institute uses the most advanced instrumentation on the ground and in space, as well as the most advanced computing facilities. Kapteyn staff are involved in the operation as well as planning and construction of major astronomical instrumentation efforts, again on the ground and in space. Master students at the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute work in research groups that are currently shaping 21st-century astronomy and astrophysics. The Kapteyn Institute has close connections with the two major national foundations dealing with astronomical instrumentation: ASTRON and SRON.

ASTRON, the Netherlands Foundation for Research in Astronomy, provides front-line observation facilities for Dutch astronomers and astronomers worldwide across a broad range of frequencies and technologies. ASTRON operates the Westerbork Radio Synthesis Telescope, one of the largest in the world, and offers a strong technology development program, encompassing both innovative instrumentation for existing telescopes and new technologies for future facilities. The latter include the new, revolutionary low-frequency array LOFAR and the APERTIF antenna array, which will be operated by ASTRON together with the University of Groningen. ASTRON and its facilities are within a one-hour drive from Groningen.

SRON is the national center of expertise for the development and exploitation of satellite instruments for astrophysical and earth oriented research. The low energy astrophysics branch of SRON (infrared and submillimeter instrumentation and techniques) is hosted by the University of Groningen. Scientific discoveries and instrumentation development go hand in hand as a result of the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute-SRON Groningen connections (IRAS, ISO, Herschel Space Observatory, just to mention a few successful missions). In short, the combination offered by the University of Groningen and the ASTRON and SRON Institutes is unique in the world.

Last updated Jun 2020

About the School

The University of Groningen has a rich academic tradition dating back to 1614. From this tradition arose the first female student and the first female lecturer in the Netherlands, the first Dutch astr ... Read More

The University of Groningen has a rich academic tradition dating back to 1614. From this tradition arose the first female student and the first female lecturer in the Netherlands, the first Dutch astronaut and the first president of the European Central Bank. Geographically, the University is rooted in the Northern part of the Netherlands, a region very close to its heart. Read less
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