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Masters Degrees (Radio Astronomy)

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The backbone of modern telecom infrastructure consists of optical fibre-based systems in combination with wireless technologies. Medical applications of photonics and microwaves are numerous, and sensing applications include radar, environmental monitoring and radio astronomy. Read more
The backbone of modern telecom infrastructure consists of optical fibre-based systems in combination with wireless technologies. Medical applications of photonics and microwaves are numerous, and sensing applications include radar, environmental monitoring and radio astronomy. Satellite based microwave systems aid our everyday life, e.g. television broadcasting, navigation and weather forecasts, and are used in remote sensing of the Earth and space geodesy.

Programme description

Over the past decades, photonics and wireless technology have grown at an exceptional rate and investments in future telecom systems will have a profound impact on social and economic development, but everything wireless needs hardware.

This programme offers a unique opportunity to study a combination of subjects for which Chalmers has world-class facilities: Onsala Space Observatory with radio telescopes and equipment to study the Earth and its atmosphere, the Nanofabrication Laboratory with a clean-room for research and fabrication of advanced semiconductor devices and integrated circuits, and research laboratories with state-of-the-art photonics and microwave measurement equipment.

We focus on applied science and engineering, where we combine theory with hands-on practise, labs and projects. We are involved in cutting edge research and the manufacturing of components for e.g. microwave and millimetre wave electronics, instruments for radio astronomy and remote sensing, optical fibres, lasers, and microwave antennas.

As a student of this programme, you will gain solid knowledge in wireless, photonics and space engineering as well as specialised skills in a chosen sub-field. You will be prepared for a career in the field through studies of wireless and optical communication components and systems, RF and microwave engineering, photonics, and space science and techniques.

Roughly 50% of the students are international students with a bachelor degree from different countries across the world, whereas the remaining 50% has a bachelor from Chalmers.

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The Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics is actively engaged in a wide range of observational and theoretical researc​h on solar system dynamics, stars, stellar systems, the interstellar medium, the Galaxy, galaxies, quasars, clusters of galaxies, cosmology, and problems in general relativity. Read more
The Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics is actively engaged in a wide range of observational and theoretical researc​h on solar system dynamics, stars, stellar systems, the interstellar medium, the Galaxy, galaxies, quasars, clusters of galaxies, cosmology, and problems in general relativity. The department has close ties with the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics (CITA), the Centre for Planetary Sciences (CPS), and the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics (Dunlap), which further enhance the opportunities for our students to interact with leading researchers.

Faculty and students use the major optical, radio, and satellite observing facilities of the world. Of particular importance are the national facilities: the Canada France-Hawaii optical telescope, the James Clerk Maxwell radio telescope,​ and the Gemini telescopes located at the world's finest observing sites.

The Herschel Space Observatory and Planck were launched recently and will soon be followed by the James Webb Space Telescope, ALMA, and the Thirty Metre Telescope. We have an active experimental program using telescopes on long-duration stratospheric balloons and a complementary program designing and building instrumentation for large optical telescopes, and for cosmological and Galactic research.

There are approximately 100 faculty, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and staff in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, CITA, CPS, and Dunlap. Students benefit from direct interactions with the broad range of external speakers invited to weekly seminar programs and colloquia.

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From the Higgs boson to the cosmos, Physics & Astronomy encompasses the fundamentals of modern physics. We provide an open environment where students team up with faculty members to gain knowledge of the known universe and explore the unknown. Read more
From the Higgs boson to the cosmos, Physics & Astronomy encompasses the fundamentals of modern physics. We provide an open environment where students team up with faculty members to gain knowledge of the known universe and explore the unknown. Chalmers hosts the Onsala Space Observatory and has research connections to many other universities and laboratories. Our research in basic science makes use of the newest technology and may lead to new technical developments.

Programme description

Understanding the basic laws of physics has posed a challenge since the birth of modern science. The area is of great intrinsic interest, and forms the basis for other branches of science. Trying to probe the smallest structures of matter and the largest structures of the Universe also drives the development of new technologies. At Chalmers we are actively engaged in many areas of modern physics and astrophysics:

In theoretical particle physics we look beyond the Standard Model and at the possibility for the Higgs boson to be a harbinger of new physics.

In experimental nuclear physics we work with international accelerator laboratories like CERN or GSI/FAIR on experiments of key importance for understanding both the microscopic world and astrophysical phenomena.

In theoretical nuclear physics we focus on modelling and simulation of stable and unstable isotopes with small numbers of nucleons.
In mathematical physics we investigate the cross-fertilization between mathematics and string theory, where abstract mathematical theorems find new applications in physics, and where physical insight has in turn sparked new developments in mathematics. We also investigate the recent applications of string theory to condensed matter.

In astrophysics we explore distant stars and galaxies by radio astronomical methods and model galaxy formation by numerical simulations.

In geophysics we study the solid earth and its atmosphere.

This programme gives you the opportunity to be part of an intimate environment among active researchers in these fascinating areas of science. As a student you will gain knowledge of fundamental physics and acquire specialised skills in a chosen sub-field of physics or astronomy. You will be able to construct mathematical models or design or conduct experiments in physics and astronomy. In addition, you will gain experience in scientific communication from working in projects.

Educational methods

All of the faculty are engaged in research and we have a high teacher-to-student ratio.
After completing a few core courses, students choose elective courses that prepare them to specialise in theoretical, observational or experimental aspects of astronomy, in mathematical physics, particle physics, subatomic physics or string theory. Students finish the program with a research project that forms the basis for a MSc thesis.

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This programme involves taught course units in Astronomy and Astrophysics together with a substantial research project associated with a research subgroup in the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics. Read more
This programme involves taught course units in Astronomy and Astrophysics together with a substantial research project associated with a research subgroup in the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics.
As one of the largest astrophysics group in the UK we can provide a wide range of specialisations including technical development of radio telescopes and observational and theoretical investigations of the cosmic microwave background, astrophysics of galaxy evolution, pulsars, stellar birth and death, black holes, jets (both stellar and galactic), MASERS, QUASARS, gravitational lenses, dust evolution, astrochemistry and solar physics.
The aim of the programme is to enable you to gain a wide understanding of modern astrophysics and to be prepared for doctoral-level research.

Typical course units studied include: radio astronomy; techniques of data processing in astronomy; stellar physics and cosmology.

The taught courses are assessed by examination and the student must submit an MSc thesis on their research project which is assessed by two independent examiners.

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The Masters in Astrophysics gives you an understanding of the principles and methods of modern astrophysics at a level appropriate for a professional physicist. Read more
The Masters in Astrophysics gives you an understanding of the principles and methods of modern astrophysics at a level appropriate for a professional physicist.

Why this programme

-The School has a major role in the award winning NASA RHESSI X-ray mission studying solar flares and in several other forthcoming international space missions such as ESA’s Solar Orbiter.
-The School plays a world-leading role in the design and operation of the worldwide network of laser interferometers leading the search for gravitational waves.
-The University of Glasgow’s School of Physics and Astronomy is ranked 2nd in Scotland (Complete University Guide 2016).
With a 93% overall student satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2014, the School of Physics and Astronomy combines both teaching excellence and a supportive learning environment.
-You will gain the theoretical, observational and computational skills necessary to analyse and solve advanced astrophysics problems, providing you with an excellent foundation for a career of scientific leadership in academia or industry.
-You will develop transferable skills that will improve your career prospects, such as project management, team-working, advanced data analysis, problem-solving, critical evaluation of scientific literature, advanced laboratory and computing skills, and how to effectively communicate with different audiences.
-You will benefit from direct contact with our group of international experts who will teach you cutting-edge physics and supervise your projects.

Programme structure

Modes of delivery of the MSc in Astrophysics include lectures, seminars and tutorials and allow students the opportunity to take part in lab, project and team work.

The programme draws upon a wide range of advanced Masters-level courses. You will have the flexibility to tailor your choice of optional courses and project work to a variety of specific research topics and their applications in the area of astrophysics.

Core courses include
-Advanced data analysis
-General relativity and gravitation (alternate years, starting 2016–17)
-Plasma theory and diagnostics (alternate years, starting 2015–16)
-Pulsars and supernovae (alternate years, starting 2016–17)
-Research skills
-Statistical astronomy (alternate years, starting 2015–16)
-Extended project.

Optional courses include
-Advanced electromagnetic theory
-Applied optics
-Circumstellar matter (alternate years, starting 2015-16)
-Cosmology (alternate years, starting 2016–17)
-Dynamics, electrodynamics and relativity
-Exploring planetary systems (alternate years, starting 2016-17)
-Galaxies (alternate years, starting 2015-16)
-Gravitational wave detection
-Instruments for optical and radio astronomy (alternate years, starting 2016-17)
-Statistical mechanics
-Stellar astrophysics (alternate years, starting 2015–16)

Industry links and employability

-The School of Physics and Astronomy is highly active in research and knowledge transfer projects with industry. Our Masters students have regular opportunities to engage with our industrial collaborators through informal visits, guest lectures and workshops.
-You will also benefit from our membership of the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance. The alliance brings together internationally leading physics research across Scotland to form the largest physics grouping in the UK.
-Our staff and students come from all around the world providing a truly global experience. The School of Physics and Astronomy is committed to providing an equitable environment for study and work, in line with the principles of Project Juno of the Institute of Physics. This was recognised in 2011 by the award of Juno Champion status. We also have a strong programme of talks and seminars given by experts from the UK and abroad, which will give you the chance of broadening your knowledge in many other areas of physics and astronomy.
-This programme is accredited by the Institute of Physics. Accredited MSc programmes automatically meet the master's level education requirement for Chartered Physicist (CPhys) status. To fully meet the educational requirements for CPhys, graduates must also possess an IOP accredited undergraduate degree or equivalent.

Career prospects

Career opportunities include academic research, based in universities, research institutes, observatories and laboratory facilities; industrial research in a wide range of fields including energy and the environmental sector, IT and semiconductors, optics and lasers, materials science, telecommunications, engineering; banking and commerce; higher education.

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This programme will offer home astronomers, who may have graduated in subjects other than physics, the opportunity to gain a formal postgraduate qualification in Astronomy and Astrophysics, and is designed to give students a robust and up-to-date background in these areas. Read more
This programme will offer home astronomers, who may have graduated in subjects other than physics, the opportunity to gain a formal postgraduate qualification in Astronomy and Astrophysics, and is designed to give students a robust and up-to-date background in these areas. Over the course of two years, we will explore the solar system, stellar physics, infra-red, radio and high energy astronomy, as well as discussing the foundations of cosmology.

By its very nature, astronomy is a mathematical subject - students will therefore need a background in this area, although fully-supported maths master classes will be a permanent feature on the programme for those who need to refresh their skills in this area.

The programme starts in late September/early October each academic year, as well as a second start date in January each year – places are limited to ensure a constructive atmosphere for discussions.

This is a part-time, postgraduate-level programme delivered wholly online in a fully-supported learning environment. Students can exit with a Postgraduate Certificate after successful completion of the first year if their circumstances change.

Overview

Through this programme, students will:
-Gain a comprehensive knowledge of the development of astronomy, astronomy in the visible region of the electromagnetic spectrum, the solar system and stellar physics.
-Learn that physics is a quantitative subject and appreciate the use and power of mathematics for modelling the physical world and solving problems.
-Develop skills in research and planning and their ability to assess critically the link between theoretical results and experimental observation.
-Develop the ability to solve advanced problems in physics using appropriate mathematical tools.
-Be able to identify the relevant physical principles, to translate problems into mathematical statements and apply their knowledge to obtain order-of-magnitude or more precise solutions as appropriate.
-Develop the ability to plan and execute under supervision an experiment or investigation, analyse critically the results and draw valid conclusions.
-Be able to evaluate the level of uncertainty in their results, understand the significance of error analysis and be able to compare these results with expected outcomes, theoretical predictions or with published data.
-Possess a more complete working knowledge of a variety of experimental, mathematical and computational techniques applicable to current research within physics.

Structure

This part-time two-year programme will comprise six 20-credit modules:
Year One
-Introduction to Astronomy
-Stellar Physics
-The Solar System

Year Two
-Infrared and Radio Astronomy
-High Energy Astronomy
-The Foundations of Cosmology

Students will be required to complete all these modules in the first instance, though additional modules may be added in the future to accommodate future programme growth and offer a broader learning experience.

It is anticpated that assessments will comprise a balance of short and long critical essays, conference style posters and maths-based open book problems.

Online Study

Our approach to e-learning is distinctive and may be different from your general perceptions about online study:
-Flexible, fully supported, modular delivery
-Taught exclusively online
-Two stages: Certificate and Diploma. Each stage typically takes 12 months
-Comprises six distinct modules
-Part-time study (approximately 15 hours per week) allows participants to structure their learning around the other life circumstances

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