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Masters Degrees (Theoretical Astrophysics)

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A physics programme that covers the inner workings of the universe from the smallest to the largest scale. Although Particle Physics and Astrophysics act on a completely different scale, they both use the laws of physics to study the universe. Read more

Master's specialisation in Particle and Astrophysics

A physics programme that covers the inner workings of the universe from the smallest to the largest scale
Although Particle Physics and Astrophysics act on a completely different scale, they both use the laws of physics to study the universe. In this Master’s specialisation you’ll dive into these extreme worlds and unravel questions like: What did our universe look like in the earliest stages of its existence? What are the most elementary particles that the universe consists of? And how will it evolve?
If you are fascinated by the extreme densities, gravities, and magnetic fields that can be found only in space, or by the formation, evolution, and composition of astrophysical objects, you can focus on the Astrophysics branch within this specialisation. Would you rather study particle interactions and take part in the search for new particles – for example during an internship at CERN - then you can choose a programme full of High Energy Physics. And for students with a major interest in the theories and predictions underlying all experimental work, we offer an extensive programme in mathematical or theoretical physics.
Whatever direction you choose, you’ll learn to solve complex problems and think in an abstract way. This means that you’ll be highly appealing to employers in academia and business. Previous students have, for example, found jobs at Shell, ASML, Philips and space research institute SRON.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/physicsandastronomy/particle

Why study Particle and Astrophysics at Radboud University?

- This Master’s specialisation provides you with a thorough background in High Energy Physics, Astrophysics, and Mathematical Physics and the interface between them.
- Apart from the mandatory programme, there’s plenty of room to adapt the programme to your specific interests.
- The programme offers the opportunity to perform theoretical or experimental research.
- During this specialisation it is possible to participate in large-scale research projects, like the Large Hadron Collider at CERN or the LOFAR telescope.

Career prospects

This Master’s specialisation is an excellent preparation for a career in research, either at a university, at an institute (think of ESA and CERN) or at a company. However, many of our students end up in other business or government positions as well. Whatever job you aspire, you can certainly make use of the fact that you have learned:
- Thinking in an abstract way
- Solving complex problems
- Using statistics
- Computer programming
- Giving presentations

Some of our alumni now work as:
- National project manager at EU Universe Awareness
- Actuarial trainee at Talent & Pro
- Associate Private Equity at HAL Investments
- Consultant at Accenture
- ECO Operations Manager at Ofgem
- Scientist at SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research
- Technology strategy Manager at Accenture

Working at a company

Other previous students have found jobs at for example:
- Shell
- KNMI
- Liander
- NXP
- ASML
- Philips
- McKinsey
- DSM
- Solvay
- Unilever
- AkzoNobel

Researchers in the field of Particle and Astrophysics develop advanced detector techniques that are often also useful for other applications. This resulted in numerous spin-off companies in for example medical equipment and detectors for industrial processes:
- Medipix
- Amsterdam Scientific Instruments
- Omics2Image
- InnoSeis

PhD positions

At Radboud University, there are typically a few PhD positions per year available in the field of Particle and Astrophysics. Many of our students attained a PhD position, not just at Radboud University, but at universities all over the world.

Our approach to this field

In the Particle and Astrophysics specialisation, you’ll discover both the largest and the smallest scales in the universe. Apart from Astrophysics and High Energy Physics, this specialisation is also aimed at the interface between them: experiments and theory related to the Big Bang, general relativity, dark matter, etc. As all relevant research departments are present at Radboud University – and closely work together – you’re free to choose any focus within this specialisation. For example:

- High energy physics
You’ll dive into particle physics and answer questions about the most fundamental building blocks of matter: leptons and quarks. The goal is to understand particle interactions and look for signs of physics beyond the standard model by confronting theoretical predictions with experimental observations.

- Astrophysics
The Astrophysics department concentrates on the physics of compact objects, such as neutron stars and black holes, and the environments in which they occur. This includes understanding the formation and evolution of galaxies. While galaxies may contain of up to a hundred billion stars, most of their mass actually appears to be in the form of unseen ‘dark matter’, whose nature remains one of the greatest mysteries of modern physics.

- Mathematical physics
Research often starts with predictions, based on mathematical models. That’s why we’ll provide you with a theoretical background, including topics such as the properties of our space-time, quantum gravity and noncommutative geometry.

- Observations and theory
The Universe is an excellent laboratory: it tells us how the physical laws work under conditions of ultra-high temperature, pressure, magnetic fields, and gravity. In this specialisation you’ll learn how to decode that information, making use of advanced telescopes and observatories. Moreover, we’ll provide you with a thorough theoretical background in particle and astrophysics. After you’ve got acquainted with both methods, you can choose to focus more on theoretical physics or experimental physics.

- Personal approach
If you’re not yet sure what focus within this specialisation would best fit your interests, you can always ask one of the teachers to help you during your Master’s. Based on the courses that you like and your research ambitions, they can provide you with advice about electives and the internship(s).

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/physicsandastronomy/particle

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The MSc in Astrophysics is a 12 month taught MSc that includes a 3 and a half month research project. Read more
The MSc in Astrophysics is a 12 month taught MSc that includes a 3 and a half month research project. Covering both theoretical and observational astrophysics, the course modules include one compulsory module, “Research skills in Astrophysics”, with a variety of different optional modules that range from “Stars and Nebula I” to “Gravitational Dynamics and Accretion Physics”.
The course is ideal for students who would like to build on their previous background in Physics or Mathematics and would like to gain a fuller understanding of astrophysics, while acquiring the skills to carry out research in astrophysics. Throughout the programme students will not only gain a full working knowledge of the fundamental aspects of Astrophysics but will also develop their transferable skills such as programming, data analysis, problem solving, scientific writing, presentation and science outreach skills, enhancing employability in and out of academia.
The course is broken down into 3 different semesters which includes 2 different research projects, a shorter introductory project as part as the compulsory module in semester 1 and a longer, full research project in semester 3. These 2 different research projects help students to acquire research skills and experience, allowing them to assess if they would like to continue to pursue a career in scientific research. The University Observatory and the 0.94 metre James Gregory Telescope, the largest working optical telescope in the UK, enable students to receive a hands on experience to develop their Observational expertise, which can then be followed into their research projects with the option to use either our local facilities or remote observing facilities around the world.
The course uses a combination of lecture-based, tutorial-based and project-based material and includes both exam and continuous assessment methods, where appropriate.

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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 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 postgraduate MSc Astrophysics programme at Queen Mary, University of London, provide a unique opportunity for graduates to pursue the subject in depth, either for personal interest or as a step towards a professional career in astronomy. Read more
The postgraduate MSc Astrophysics programme at Queen Mary, University of London, provide a unique opportunity for graduates to pursue the subject in depth, either for personal interest or as a step towards a professional career in astronomy. The MSc programme has been running since 1972 and more than 300 degrees have been awarded. About 50 graduates have subsequently taken a PhD and some now hold academic posts including Professorships at UK Universities including Cambridge.

The MSc in Astrophysics at Queen Mary is unique in the UK in the scope of material covered. It gives students a detailed overview of the fundamentals of the subject as well as an up-to-date account of recent developments in research. The wide range of topics covered by the course reflects the breadth of research interests pursued by the members of staff in our large and friendly research group. Lectures cover such diverse topics as the origin of the universe, dark matter, dark energy, galaxies, radiation mechanisms in astrophysics, the life and death of stars, black holes, extrasolar planets, the solar system, space and solar plasma astrophysics, and research methods. Students also write a dissertation on a project on an astrophysical topic of an theoretical, computational, or observational nature. The dissertation is submitted by 31 August in the final year.

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Our MSc in Astrophysics is a full-time degree course which aims to provide specialist training and an edge in a highly competitive recruitment market to students who wish to work in the field of astrophysics. Read more
Our MSc in Astrophysics is a full-time degree course which aims to provide specialist training and an edge in a highly competitive recruitment market to students who wish to work in the field of astrophysics. On the course, we will cover theoretical, observational and instrumental areas in astrophysics and other scientific disciplines. We encourage you to develop a critical awareness of current research problems and new insights at the forefront of astronomy and astrophysics. We will also discuss the working context of the modern astrophysicist, including the safety and ethical environment and research environments.

On completing the course students should be able to pursue a career in academic research, physical science industrial practice, research and development, or in other highly-skilled numerate careers.

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Do you want to contribute to an area of cutting-edge research in an awe-inspiring subject? Do you want to delve deeper into advanced topics in physics or… Read more
Do you want to contribute to an area of cutting-edge research in an awe-inspiring subject? Do you want to delve deeper into advanced topics in physics or astronomy? Develop valuable new knowledge and skills? Prepare for a research career, or embark on a completely new path? Whatever your motivation, a postgraduate degree from the School of Physics and Astronomy can help you achieve your ambitions.

The MSc Physics is available in three different pathways: Particle Physic, Theoretical Physics and Condensed Matter Physics. The School of Physics and Astronomy also offers an MSc in Astrophysics and a PGCert in Astronomy and Astrophysics.

Programme outcomes

The aim of the programme is to deepen your understanding of contemporary theoretical physics, covering advanced concepts and techniques, leaving you well prepared for further doctoral level study and research. The programme will also enable you to develop skills transferable to a wide range of other careers.

This programme will:

Teach you the fundamental laws and physical principles, along with their applications, in your chosen area of physics.
Introduce you to research methodology, and how to manage your own research, making use of journal articles and other primary sources.
Allow you to communicate complex scientific ideas, concisely, accurately and informatively.
Instruct you how to use mathematical analysis to model physical behaviour and interpret the mathematical descriptions of physical phenomena.

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The IoA offers an exciting opportunity for suitably qualified students who have completed a Bachelors degree (or equivalent) in astronomy/physics/mathematics to study for a one year Masters level qualification in astro- physics working alongside 4th-year (Part III) students taking the final year of the integrated Masters undergraduate MSci Astrophysics Tripos. Read more
The IoA offers an exciting opportunity for suitably qualified students who have completed a Bachelors degree (or equivalent) in astronomy/physics/mathematics to study for a one year Masters level qualification in astro- physics working alongside 4th-year (Part III) students taking the final year of the integrated Masters undergraduate MSci Astrophysics Tripos.

The course consists of an extended project (either observational or theoretical, worth about a third of the total credit) and a choice of a range of high level specialist courses, most of which are examined in June. The course aims to provide an intellectually stimulating environment in which students have the opportunity to develop their skills and enthusiasms to the best of their potential. Owing to the demanding level of the course and the competition for a limited number of places, applicants should have achieved (or expect to achieve) a very good performance in their undergraduate degree. Although some bursary funding may be available, applicants should expect to arrange their own funding.

See the website http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/pcasasast

Learning Outcomes

Students completing the year should have:

1. had experience of a number of areas of astrophysics from a choice of options taken to an advanced level, at which current research can be appreciated in some depth;

2. carried out a substantial research project amounting to about 1/3 of the work in the course;

3. enhanced their communications skills;

4. become well prepared for a career in academic research or one where independent research skills are required.

Format

Students experience a number of areas of astrophysics from a choice of options taken to an advanced level, at which current research can be appreciated in some depth. Two thirds of the student's assessment is via examinations and one-third is via the research project.

For the lecture courses there are large-group example classes organised by the course lecturers. The projects are specific to each student. i.e. every student is doing something different from the other students. Project supervisors meet their students individually. Supervisions for the project are one-on-one with at least 8 hours contact time.

Students can attend any of the numerous seminars given in the IoA, DAMTP and Physics. However these are not formally part of the course work.

Assessment

- Supervised research project with thesis of not more than 8000 words.

- Candidates normally offer papers for 12 units or 4 lecture courses of 24 lectures each.

- Examined oral presentation for the project.

- One journal club per week

- A literature review is a component of every project.

How to apply: http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/applying

Funding Opportunities

There are no specific funding opportunities advertised for this course. For information on more general funding opportunities, please follow the link below.

General Funding Opportunities http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/finance/funding

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What are the laws of nature governing the universe from elementary particles to the formation and evolution of the solar system, stars, and galaxies? In the Master’s Programme in Particle Physics and Astrophysical Sciences, you will focus on gaining a quantitative understanding of these phenomena. Read more
What are the laws of nature governing the universe from elementary particles to the formation and evolution of the solar system, stars, and galaxies? In the Master’s Programme in Particle Physics and Astrophysical Sciences, you will focus on gaining a quantitative understanding of these phenomena.

With the expertise in basic research that you will gain in the programme, you can pursue a career in research. You will also acquire proficiency in the use of mathematical methods, IT tools and/or experimental equipment, as well as strong problem-solving and logical deduction skills. These will qualify you for a wide range of positions in the private sector.

After completing the programme, you will:
-Have wide-ranging knowledge of particle physics and/or astrophysical phenomena.
-Have good analytical, deductive and computational skills.
-Be able to apply theoretical, computational and/or experimental methods to the analysis and understanding of various phenomena.
-Be able to generalize your knowledge of particle physics and astrophysical phenomena as well as identify their interconnections.
-Be able to formulate hypotheses and test them based your knowledge.

The teaching in particle physics and astrophysical sciences is largely based on the basic research. Basic research conducted at the University of Helsinki has received top ratings in international university rankings. The in-depth learning offered by international research groups will form a solid foundation for your lifelong learning.

The University of Helsinki will introduce annual tuition fees to foreign-language Master’s programmes starting on August 1, 2017 or later. The fee ranges from 13 000-18 000 euros. Citizens of non-EU/EEA countries, who do not have a permanent residence status in the area, are liable to these fees. You can check this FAQ at the Studyinfo website whether or not you are required to pay tuition fees: https://studyinfo.fi/wp2/en/higher-education/higher-education-institutions-will-introduce-tuition-fees-in-autumn-2017/am-i-required-to-pay-tuition-fees/

Programme Contents

The understanding of the microscopic structure of matter, astronomical phenomena and the dynamics of the universe is at the forefront of basic research today. The advancement of such research in the future will require increasingly sophisticated theoretical, computational and experimental methods.

The study track in elementary particle physics and cosmology focuses on experimental or theoretical particle physics or cosmology. The theories that form our current understanding of these issues must be continuously re-evaluated in the light of new experimental results. In addition to analytical computation skills, this requires thorough mastery of numerical analysis methods. In experimental particle physics, the main challenges pertain to the management and processing of continuously increasing amount of data.

The study track in astrophysical sciences focuses on observational or theoretical astronomy or space physics. Our understanding of space, ranging from near Earth space all the way to structure of the universe, is being continuously redefined because of improved experimental equipment located both in space and on the Earth’s surface. Several probes are also carrying out direct measurements of planets, moons and interplanetary plasma in our solar system. Another key discipline is theoretical astrophysics which, with the help of increasingly efficient supercomputers, enables us to create in-depth models of various phenomena in the universe in general and the field of space physics in particular. Finally, plasma physics is an important tool in both space physics and astronomy research.

Selection of the Major

The Master’s programme includes two study tracks:
-Particle physics and cosmology
-Astrophysical sciences

Courses in the programme have been compiled into modules. Both study tracks contain a mandatory core module that includes a research seminar. The study tracks are divided into specialisations that focus on astronomy, space physics, particle physics or cosmology. Courses typically include lectures, exercises, group work and research literature and end in examinations and/or final assignments. In addition, some studies can be completed as book examinations.

Programme Structure

The scope of the Master’s programme is 120 credits (ECTS), which can be completed in two years. The degree consists of:
-90 credits of Master’s studies, including a Master’s thesis (30 credits).
-30 credits of other studies from the Master’s programme or other degree programmes.

In addition, your studies include a personal study plan as well as career orientation and planning. You might also take part in a traineeship, elective studies offered by the Master’s Programme in Particle Physics and Astrophysical Sciences, or studies offered by other degree programmes.

Career Prospects

A Master’s degree in elementary particle physics or astrophysical sciences provides you with excellent qualifications for postgraduate education in research or for a career in diverse positions both in Finland and abroad. As a Master’s graduate you could begin a career in research and development in industry as well as in universities and other research institutes that enable you to conduct independent research on a topic that interests you.

Potential employers and career opportunities include:
-Research institutes in Finland and abroad (basic scientific research).
-Universities and universities of applied sciences (teaching).
-Industry, particularly high technology companies (applied research and development, managerial duties).
-Software production, e.g., the game sector.
-Diverse planning and consulting positions.

Master’s graduates from equivalent study tracks under the previous degree system have embarked on careers in:
-Research and teaching positions in Finnish universities and research institutes.
-Research and teaching positions abroad, for example at CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research), ESA (the European Space Agency), ESO (the European Southern Observatory), and NASA (the National Aeronautics and Space Administration).
-Administrative positions, for example at the Academy of Finland or the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation (Tekes).
-The business sector.

The strong theoretical and analytical skills you will acquire in the programme are in great demand in fields such as:
-Data analysis (industry, media companies, game companies, financing).
-Industrial research, development and consulting (at, e.g., Nokia, Ericsson, Apple, Sanoma, Spinverse, Supercell, Nielsen, Valo -Research and Trading, Planmeca, Reaktor, Comptel, and Goldman Sachs).

Internationalization

Our multilingual Master’s programme is highly international. The Department hosts a large number of international students and staff members. In addition, the University of Helsinki and the Faculty of Science provide many opportunities for international engagement:
-Student exchange at one of the destinations available through the Faculty or the University.
-International traineeships.
-English-language teaching offered by the Faculty.
-Master’s thesis project as a member of one of the international research groups operating under the programme.
-Cooperation with international students enrolled in the programme.
-International duties in subject-specific student organisations or the Student Union of the University of Helsinki.
-Language courses organised by the Language Centre of the University of Helsinki.

The Faculty of Science is a top research institute in its fields among European universities. Its partners include many leading international research institutes, such as the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Southern Observatory (ESO).

As a student at the Faculty of Science, you will have the opportunity to complete a research traineeship period at, for example, CERN in Geneva. By completing a traineeship at one of the internationally active research groups on campus you will be able to acquaint yourself and network with the international scientific community during your Master’s studies. The international student exchange programmes available at the University provide numerous opportunities to complete part of your degree at a university abroad.

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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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The Department of Physics offers graduate programs leading to the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. The department carries out research in experimental and theoretical physics in the following fields. Read more
The Department of Physics offers graduate programs leading to the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. The department carries out research in experimental and theoretical physics in the following fields: atmospheric physics, geophysics, quantum optics, condensed matter physics, subatomic physics and astrophysics, and biological physics. The department has close ties with the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics (CITA). This association enables our students to work and consult with leading theorists who are appointed to, or who are visiting, CITA.

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The MSc Physics Euromasters offers you the flexibility to tailor your studies according to your interests, building on the research strengths of our friendly Department, and the supportive environment that we provide for our students. Read more
The MSc Physics Euromasters offers you the flexibility to tailor your studies according to your interests, building on the research strengths of our friendly Department, and the supportive environment that we provide for our students.

We collaborate with a variety of partners across the academic, public and industry communities, including the National Physical Laboratory.

PROGRAMME OVERVIEW

You will select modules from a wide range of fundamental and applied physics topics. The application-focused modules are co-taught by practitioners in public service and industry to ensure that students gain real-world insight.

A module in research skills will prepare you to apply your new knowledge and skills in an eleven-week research project undertaken during the summer.

Your chosen research projects can open the door to many careers, not just further research. They will give you tangible experience of working independently and communicating your work effectively and efficiently in written form: key requirements in many professions.

PROGRAMME STRUCTURE

This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time students must study at least two taught technical modules per academic year. It consists of eight taught modules and a dissertation.

The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
-Introduction to Biology and Radiation Biology
-Radiation Physics
-Radiation Measurement
-Detection Instrumentation
-Radiation Laboratory Skills
-Experimental and Professional Skills for Medical Physics
-Research Skills
-Non-linear Physics
-Topics in Theoretical Physics
-Imaging and Remote Sensing
-Diagnostic Applications of Ionising Radiation Physics
-Radiation Protection
-Extended Group Project
-Therapy Physics
-Non-ionising Radiation Imaging
-Nuclear Power and Non-ionising Radiation
-Environmental Physics and Environmental Protection
-Astrophysical Dynamics
-Quantum Magnetism and Superconductivity
-Advances in Nanophotonics
-Research Project and Dissertation
-Special Relativity
-Modern Analytical Techniques
-Nuclear Astrophysics
-Light and Matter
-Advanced Quantum Physics
-Cosmology and Galaxy Formation
-Semiconductor Physics and Technology

EDUCATIONAL AIMS OF THE PROGRAMME

The primary aim of the programme is to provide a high quality postgraduate level qualification in physics.

PROGRAMME LEARNING OUTCOMES

Students will:
-Be able to demonstrate an advanced understanding of theories and ideas in a sub- discipline of Physics
-Have insight into current topics and problems of that sub-discipline in a professional and/or academic context
-Be able to apply their knowledge and practical understanding of scientific methodology in their chosen research topic (e.g. experimental techniques, simulation tools, developing theoretical models etc.)
-Analyse, evaluate and interpret data produced and/or summarised in the literature in their chosen area of speciality
-Be able to carry out a scientific investigation under the guidance and advice of their supervisor
-Acquire, analyse, interpret and draw conclusions from their findings with the appropriate numerical methods and due consideration to uncertainties; they will also be able to critically evaluate the significance of their conclusions, strengths and weaknesses of their study in the context of up-to- date literature relevant to their research topic and present their work in written form to the scientific audience of their speciality in a professional and concise manner

Throughout the programme, students will develop the ability to manage their own learning in terms of time management as well as identifying and accessing the resources required for their academic study. The different learning outcomes of the potential awards may be summarised as follows:

Subject knowledge and skills
-A systematic understanding of their chosen area of specialisation in an academic and professional context together with a critical awareness of current problems and / or new insights, much of which is at, or informed by the state of the art
-A comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to their own research project
-Originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of radiation-based, experimental research projects
-An ability to evaluate and objectively interpret experimental data in their chosen topic of specialisation
-Familiarity with generic issues in management and safety and their application in a professional context

Core academic skills
-The ability to plan and execute under supervision, an experiment or investigation and to analyse critically the results and draw valid conclusions from them
-The ability to evaluate the level of uncertainty in results, understand the significance of uncertainty analysis and be able to compare these results with expected outcomes, theoretical predictions and/or with published data, along with the ability to evaluate the significance of results in this context
-The ability to evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in their chosen discipline of specialisation
-The ability to deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgements in the absence of complete data, and communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences

Personal and key skills
-The ability to communicate complex scientific ideas, the conclusions of an experiment, investigation or project concisely, accurately and informatively
-The ability to manage their own learning and to make use of appropriate texts, research articles and other primary sources
-Responsibility for personal and professional development
-The ability to use external mentors for personal / professional purposes

Knowledge and understanding
-Knowledge of physics, technology and processes in the subject of the course and the ability to apply these in the context of the course
-Ability to research problems involving innovative practical or theoretical work
-Ability to formulate ideas and response to problems, refine or expand knowledge in response to specific ideas or problems and communicate these ideas and responses
-Ability to evaluate/argue alternative solutions and strategies independently and assess/report on own/others work with justification

Intellectual / cognitive skills
-The ability to plan and execute, under supervision, an experiment or theoretical investigation, analyse critically the results and draw valid conclusions
-Students should be able to evaluate the level of uncertainty in their results, understand the significance of error analysis and be able to compare their theoretical (experimental) results with expected experimental (theoretical) outcomes, or with published data
-They should be able to evaluate the significance of their results in this context
-The ability to deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgements in the absence of complete data, and communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences

Professional practical skills
-Technical mastery of the scientific and technical information presented and the ability to interpret this in the professional context
-Ability to plan projects and research methods in the subject of the course
-Understand and be able to promote the scientific and legal basis of the field through peer and public communication
-Aware of public concern and ethical issues in radiation and environmental protection
-Able to formulate solutions in dialogue with peers, mentors and others

Key / transferable skills
-Identify, assess and resolve problems arising from material in lectures and during experimental/research activities
-Make effective use of resources and interaction with others to enhance and motivate self –study
-Make use of sources of material for development of learning and research; such as journals, books and the internet
-Take responsibility for personal and professional development
-Be self-reliant
-Responsibility for personal and professional development

GLOBAL OPPORTUNITIES

We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.

In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.

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The MSc Physics offers you the flexibility to tailor your studies according to your interests, building on the research strengths of our friendly Department, and the supportive environment that we provide for our students. Read more
The MSc Physics offers you the flexibility to tailor your studies according to your interests, building on the research strengths of our friendly Department, and the supportive environment that we provide for our students.

We collaborate with a variety of partners across the academic, public and industry communities, including the National Physical Laboratory.

PROGRAMME OVERVIEW

You will select modules from a wide range of fundamental and applied physics topics. The application-focused modules are co-taught by practitioners in public service and industry to ensure that students gain real-world insight.

A module in research skills will prepare you to apply your new knowledge and skills in an eleven-week research project undertaken during the summer.

Your chosen research projects can open the door to many careers, not just further research. They will give you tangible experience of working independently and communicating your work effectively and efficiently in written form: key requirements in many professions.

Why not discover more about the subject in our video?

PROGRAMME STRUCTURE

This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time students must study at least two taught technical modules per academic year. It consists of eight taught modules and a dissertation. The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
-Introduction to Biology and Radiation Biology
-Radiation Physics
-Radiation Measurement
-Detection Instrumentation
-Radiation Laboratory Skills
-Experimental and Professional Skills for Medical Physics
-Research Skills
-Non-linear Physics
-Topics in Theoretical Physics
-Imaging and Remote Sensing
-Diagnostic Applications of Ionising Radiation Physics
-Radiation Protection
-Extended Group Project
-Therapy Physics
-Non-ionising Radiation Imaging
-Nuclear Power and Non-ionising Radiation
-Environmental Physics and Environmental Protection
-Astrophysical Dynamics
-Quantum Magnetism and Superconductivity
-Advances in Nanophotonics
-Research Project and Dissertation
-Special Relativity
-Modern Analytical Techniques
-Nuclear Astrophysics
-Light and Matter
-Advanced Quantum Physics
-Cosmology and Galaxy Formation
-Semiconductor Physics and Technology

EDUCATIONAL AIMS OF THE PROGRAMME

The primary aim of the programme is to provide a high quality postgraduate level qualification in physics.

PROGRAMME LEARNING OUTCOMES

Students will:
-Be able to demonstrate an advanced understanding of theories and ideas in a sub- discipline of Physics
-Have insight into current topics and problems of that sub-discipline in a professional and/or academic context
-Be able to apply their knowledge and practical understanding of scientific methodology in their chosen research topic (e.g. experimental techniques, simulation tools, developing theoretical models etc.)
-Analyse, evaluate and interpret data produced and/or summarised in the literature in their chosen area of speciality
-Be able to carry out a scientific investigation under the guidance and advice of their supervisor
-Acquire, analyse, interpret and draw conclusions from their findings with the appropriate numerical methods and due consideration to uncertainties; they will also be able to critically evaluate the significance of their conclusions, strengths and weaknesses of their study in the context of up-to- date literature relevant to their research topic and present their work in written form to the scientific audience of their speciality in a professional and concise manner
-Throughout the programme, students will develop the ability to manage their own learning in terms of time management as well as identifying and accessing the resources required for their academic study

Subject knowledge and skills
-A systematic understanding of their chosen area of specialisation in an academic and professional context together with a critical awareness of current problems and / or new insights, much of which is at, or informed by the state of the art
-A comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to their own research project
Originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of radiation-based, experimental research projects
-An ability to evaluate and objectively interpret experimental data in their chosen topic of specialisation
-Familiarity with generic issues in management and safety and their application in a professional context

Core academic skills
-The ability to plan and execute under supervision, an experiment or investigation and to analyse critically the results and draw valid conclusions from them
-The ability to evaluate the level of uncertainty in results, understand the significance of uncertainty analysis and be able to compare these results with expected outcomes, theoretical predictions and/or with published data, along with the ability to evaluate the significance of results in this context
-The ability to evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in their chosen discipline of specialisation
-The ability to deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgements in the absence of complete data, and communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences

Personal and key skills
-The ability to communicate complex scientific ideas, the conclusions of an experiment, investigation or project concisely, accurately and informatively
-The ability to manage their own learning and to make use of appropriate texts, research articles and other primary sources
-Responsibility for personal and professional development
-The ability to use external mentors for personal / professional purposes
-Knowledge and understanding
-Knowledge of physics, technology and processes in the subject of the course and the ability to apply these in the context of the course
-Ability to research problems involving innovative practical or theoretical work
-Ability to formulate ideas and response to problems, refine or expand knowledge in response to specific ideas or problems and communicate these ideas and responses
-Ability to evaluate/argue alternative solutions and strategies independently and assess/report on own/others work with justification

Intellectual / cognitive skills
-The ability to plan and execute, under supervision, an experiment or theoretical investigation, analyse critically the results and draw valid conclusions
-Students should be able to evaluate the level of uncertainty in their results, understand the significance of error analysis and be able to compare their theoretical (experimental) results with expected experimental (theoretical) outcomes, or with published data
-They should be able to evaluate the significance of their results in this context
-The ability to deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgements in the absence of complete data, and communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences

Professional practical skills
-Technical mastery of the scientific and technical information presented and the ability to interpret this in the professional context
-Ability to plan projects and research methods in the subject of the course
-Understand and be able to promote the scientific and legal basis of the field through peer and public communication
-Aware of public concern and ethical issues in radiation and environmental protection
-Able to formulate solutions in dialogue with peers, mentors and others

Key / transferable skills
-Identify, assess and resolve problems arising from material in lectures and during experimental/research activities
-Make effective use of resources and interaction with others to enhance and motivate self –study
-Make use of sources of material for development of learning and research; such as journals, books and the internet
-Take responsibility for personal and professional development
-Be self-reliant
-Responsibility for personal and professional development

GLOBAL OPPORTUNITIES

We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.

In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.

Read less
Are you interested in theoretical and/or experimental research of elementary particles, stars and the universe? Do you want to attend lectures by Nobel… Read more

Something for you?

Are you interested in theoretical and/or experimental research of elementary particles, stars and the universe? Do you want to attend lectures by Nobel Prize laureates and other internationally renowned researchers during your education? Do you want to participate actively in the latest, innovative experiments at CERN or on Antarctica? Or do you aspire to have a career in academia, industry, banking, in the medical sector or education? In that case this Master programme is what you are looking for!

About the programme

This MSc programme combines the expertise in research of both the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and Ghent University (UGent). This allows you to tailor your study programme according to your interests. The programme consists of several components: basic competences, electives, Master’s thesis and, specifically for the minor Research, mobility / internship. Mobility means taking courses at another university, usually in Belgium, while the internship can be either in Belgium or abroad.

Content

Elementary particles
The structure of this Master’s programme ensures a broad formation as a physicist and offers you the opportunity to partake in top-level research in our very own research groups. This programme focuses on the physics of elementary particles, where both experimental and theoretical research topics are discussed, as well as astro-particle physics.

Experimental physicist
As an aspiring experimental physicist you can focus on the experimental study of high-energy interactions and cosmic radiation, and you can work with the most innovative detectors in the biggest particle accelerators.

Theoretical physicist
As a future theorist you will be confronted with gauge theories, strings and branes, gravitation and cosmology. This theoretical part has links with theoretical research in astrophysics, since that discipline studies the evolution of massive double stars, the evolution of star birth galaxies and the chemical evolution of galaxies.

Astronomer
As an aspiring astronomer you can choose to do observational research on topics such as astroseismology and the development of photometric techniques.

Quantum physics
Finally, you can also decide to specialise in the most fundamental aspects of quantum physics and its recent applications in the field of quantum information.

Curriculum

The curriculum consists of four components:

1. Mandatory courses
2. Electives
3. Internship
4. Master thesis
This structure ensures that you will have a solid formation as a physicist, while offering you the possibility to participate in high-level research in our research groups.

Room for interaction and discussion

Physics students at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel attend lectures, exercises, lab sessions and excursions in small groups. There is room for interaction and discussion, and a low threshold for students to actively participate. This programme pays special attention to critical analysis.

The different research groups at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel are in close contact with leading universities and research institutes around the world, which allows you to do part of your studies and/or the research for your Master’s thesis abroad. Our research groups work for example at the particle accelerator at CERN.

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The Department of Physics and Astronomy is one of the oldest departments at the University of Calgary, and since its establishment it has excelled in both research and teaching. Read more
The Department of Physics and Astronomy is one of the oldest departments at the University of Calgary, and since its establishment it has excelled in both research and teaching.

Master's (MSc) Thesis-based

This degree must be completed on a full-time basis.

Program Requirements
1. The student must choose one of five broad areas of specialization: Astrophysics, Physics, Radiation Oncology Physics, Space Physics, and Medical Imaging (interdisciplinary).

2. All students must have a supervisor. When admitted to our graduate program, you are assigned an interim supervisor to assist you with your course selection, registration, etc., however this may not be your final supervisory. You have a maximum of four months from the time your program begins (either September or January) to finalize your supervisor. Your supervisor is then responsible for directing the research component of your degree, as well as for some fraction of your financial support package.

3. Course requirements:
-For students specializing in Astrophysics, Physics, or Space Physics, four half-course equivalents, including at least two of PHYS 609, PHYS 611, PHYS 613, and PHYS 615, plus two elective courses at the 500- or 600-level, as approved by the Graduate Chair.
-For students specializing in Radiation Oncology Physics, eight half-course equivalents. Six of which are MDPH 623, MDPH 625, MDPH 633, MDPH 637, MDPH 639, MDSC 689.01, then two Physics graduate core courses such as PHYS 609, PHYS 611, PHYS 613 or PHYS 615.
-In addition, all students are required to take a minimum of three terms of the Graduate Seminar, although the normal load is four terms, and additional terms may be required of students on an as need basis.

4. Thesis submission and defense

Master's (MSc) Course-based

This program may be done part time or full time, and in fact we encourage professionals in the field to consider doing this program as a part-time, professional development student.

Suitable for students not necessarily oriented towards research activity.

Program Requirements
1. The student must choose one of three broad areas of specialization: Astrophysics, Physics, or Space Physics. The Radiation Oncology Physics specialization is not available as a course-based degree.

2. All graduate students must have a supervisor. For a course-based MSc program, this is quite straightforward, as the graduate chair acts as supervisor for all course-based MSc students.

3. The student must complete ten half-course equivalents, made up of:
All six of the core experimental and theoretical physics courses: PHYS 603, PHYS 605, PHYS 609, PHYS 611, PHYS 613, PHYS 615. Plus four half course equivalents determined by the specialization area:
-Astrophysics - ASPH 699 plus three half-course equivalents labeled ASPH (two of these may be at the 500-level). PHYS 629 and SPPH 679 may be taken instead of ASPH courses
-Physics - PHYS 699, one half-course equivalent labeled PHYS, at the 600-level or above, and two half-course equivalents labeled ASPH, PHYS, or SPPH (these may be at the 500 level)
-Space Physics - SPPH 699, plus three half-course equivalents labeled SPPH at the 600-level or above. PHYS 509 may replace a SPPH course

4. A comprehensive examination with a written and oral component.

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