Students' experiences

Iris de Bruin

2nd year student

“Ever since I was small I knew I would go to university, but when that moment actually came it was a lot more difficult that I thought to choose a degree programme. There are so many degree programmes to choose from! After browsing websites and visiting universities I finally decided on Molecular Science & Technology (MST).

Why this degree programme? My decision to study MST was actually a no-brainer. "Chemistry was the only subject at secondary school that I actually wanted to work hard at, purely because I found it so interesting.”

There are two tracks within the MST programme: Chemistry and Chemical Technology. The first year is an orientation year and you take courses in both tracks. Then, you choose one track to focus on for the last two years of the Bachelor’s programme. I found the courses in both tracks really interesting, but I finally decided to follow the Chemistry track. 

MST distinguishes itself from other chemistry programmes by combining the disciplines of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. The programme is also unique in that you take part in ‘real’ research from the very first year. After the first half a year, you no longer do pre-designed experiments. Instead, you participate with research groups and try to contribute to their projects based on the knowledge you have learned. In my first year, I spent 8 weeks researching at the Reactor Institute Delft (RID). I really enjoyed that!

Besides this, the MST programme is relatively small. You get to know a lot of people really quickly (especially in the first year) because you have a lot of contact hours, for example, laboratory courses, lectures and tutorials. That’s great when you just start studying!

All in all, the MST programme is definitely the right one for me.”

Marieke van Leeuwen

BSc student

"It took me a long time to decide which degree programme I wanted to do. I was interested in everything from top-level sport to journalism, and I found all subjects at secondary school equally interesting. In the end, I chose to study Molecular Science & Technology (MST) because it’s challenging on both a theoretical and practical level.

MST is a unique chemistry programme that combines the best of both universities. During the degree, you can choose to focus on the organic side of chemistry in Leiden or on the more technical side in Delft. In the first year, the laboratory courses usually take up about 2 days a week. You actually get started on experiments straight away, and these give you a good idea of what’s still to come. In the third period of the first year you already have the chance to work as part of a research group.

At TU Delft and Leiden University, students are given a lot of responsibility and are allowed to try things out for themselves. But they also receive plenty of support.

I moved from France to the Netherlands to study here. This is a great opportunity for me to get started straight away with chemistry courses in the Netherlands. And to work with amazing equipment in the labs - right from year 1!

So far, I’m really glad I decided to study MST. Leiden and Delft have given me everything I expected; a challenging study that matches my interests. And, of course, a great student life!"

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