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Masters Degrees (Theoretical Astrophysics)

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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. 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

Radboud University Master's Open Day 10 March 2018



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The course is run jointly by the. Mathematical Institute. and the. Department of Physics. It provides a high-level, internationally competitive training in mathematical and theoretical physics, right up to the level of modern research. Read more

The course is run jointly by the Mathematical Institute and the Department of Physics. It provides a high-level, internationally competitive training in mathematical and theoretical physics, right up to the level of modern research. It covers the following main areas:

  • quantum field theory, particle physics and string theory
  • theoretical condensed matter physics,
  • theoretical astrophysics, plasma physics and physics of continuous media
  • mathematical foundations of theoretical physics

The course concentrates on the main areas of modern mathematical and theoretical physics: elementary-particle theory, including string theory, condensed matter theory (both quantum and soft matter), theoretical astrophysics, plasma physics and the physics of continuous media (including fluid dynamics and related areas usually associated with courses in applied mathematics in the UK system). If you are a physics student with a strong interest in theoretical physics or a mathematics student keen to apply high-level mathematics to physical systems, this is a course for you.

The course offers considerable flexibility and choice; you will be able to choose a path reflecting your intellectual tastes or career choices. This arrangement caters to you if you prefer a broad theoretical education across subject areas or if you have already firmly set your sights on one of the subject areas, although you are encouraged to explore across sub-field boundaries.

You will have to attend at least ten units' worth of courses, with one unit corresponding to a 16-hour lecture course or equivalent. You can opt to offer a dissertation as part of your ten units. Your performance will be assessed by one or several of the following means: 

  • invigilated written exams
  • course work marked on a pass/fail basis
  • take-home exams
  • mini-projects due shortly after the end of the lecture course.

The modes of assessment for a given course are decided by the course lecturer and will be published at the beginning of each academic year. As a general rule, foundational courses will be offered with an invigilated exam while some of the more advanced courses will typically be relying on the other assessment methods mentioned above. In addition, you will be required to give an oral presentation towards the end of the academic year which will cover a more specialised and advanced topic related to one of the subject areas of the course. At least four of the ten units must be assessed by an invigilated exam and, therefore, have to be taken from lecture courses which provide this type of assessment. A further three units must be assessed by invigilated written exam, take-home exam or mini-project. Apart from these restrictions, you are free to choose from the available programme of lecture courses.

The course offers a substantial opportunity for independent study and research in the form of an optional dissertation (worth at least one unit). The dissertation is undertaken under the guidance of a member of staff and will typically involve investigating and write in a particular area of theoretical physics or mathematics, without the requirement (while not excluding the possibility) of obtaining original results.



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The MSc in Data-Intensive Astrophysics has been designed to provide you with the skills and knowledge needed for a career in a range of areas including academic research as well technical, development and engineering positions in related scientific fields. Read more
The MSc in Data-Intensive Astrophysics has been designed to provide you with the skills and knowledge needed for a career in a range of areas including academic research as well technical, development and engineering positions in related scientific fields. By combining data analysis and computational techniques with a core science discipline, the course is intended to satisfy the increasing demand for well-qualified postgraduates who are equipped with the expertise to respond to a range of challenges arising from this exciting field.

The course is delivered by members of our Data Innovation Research Institute, which was recently established to conduct research into the aspects of managing, analysing and interpreting massive volumes of textual and numerical information.

A key component of the course is a 3 month summer project, which will be based either in our School of Physics and Astronomy, or with one or more of our external partners. The project will focus on the application of modern data science methodologies to a problem in Astrophysics (such as star formation, galaxy formation or gravitational waves), providing the hands-on experience needed to succeed in the dynamic field of Data-Intensive Astrophysics as well as wider aspects of data science.

Distinctive features

• Central to the design of the course is the opportunity for you to acquire real research experience in connection with world-leading scientists, greatly enhancing your CV and prospects for employment or further study.

• As well as providing a solid core in all the necessary elements of Data Science, the programme allows a choice of elective modules and project work that can be tailored to suit whatever specialism you are interested in, whether that be gravitational waves, star or galaxy formation or cosmology.

• You’ll join a well-established and growing cohort of MSc students and be based in a dedicated teaching facility that encourage a “research group” community atmosphere that has been praised by students and external examiners.  You’ll also have the opportunity to interact with students on related courses such as our MSc Data Science and Analytics.

Structure

The MSc Data Intensive Astrophysics is a two-stage (120 credits taught, 60 credits research project) Postgraduate Taught programme delivered over three terms (autumn, spring, and summer) for a total of 180 credits.

• Autumn term (60 credits, taught)
You will undertake three core modules (50 credits total) covering core skills and one elective module of 10 credits in an astrophysics specialism of your choice.

• Spring term (60 credits, taught)
You will undertake two core modules (40 credits total) covering core skills and two elective modules of 10 credits each covering an astrophysics specialism of your choice.

You must successfully complete the 120 credits of the taught component of the course before you will be permitted to progress to the research project component.

• Summer term (60 credits, research project)
The summer term consists of a single 60 credit research project module of 3 months’ duration.  You will be required to produce a research dissertation and present your research to the School in order to complete this module.

Core modules:

Pattern Recognition and Data Mining
Informatics
Data Analysis
Techniques in Astrophysics
Study and Research Skills in Astrophysics
Data-Intensive Astrophysics Research Project

Career Prospects

Typically, an MSc degree in Data-Intensive Astrophysics will open up opportunities in the following areas:

• Theoretical, experimental and computational doctoral research in astrophysics;
• Numerate, technical, research, development and engineering positions in related scientific fields;
• Physics, mathematics and general science education

Placements

There will be a flexible number of external projects each year for the summer research project module, which may be carried out in the School with external supervision, or involve some work at a collaborating institute.  The number and nature of these projects will vary from year to year and will be assigned according to student choice in consultation with the external supervisor(s); some such projects may require specific optional modules to have been taken. Choosing an external project should not have any implications for your visa status if you are an international student.

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What is the Master of Astronomy and Astrophysics all about?. The Master of Science in Astronomy and Astrophysics programme offers a wide range of courses on the subfields of astronomy and on research methodology. Read more

What is the Master of Astronomy and Astrophysics all about?

The Master of Science in Astronomy and Astrophysics programme offers a wide range of courses on the subfields of astronomy and on research methodology. Special attention will be devoted to the analysis and astrophysical interpretation of data, as well as totechnological aspects of international astronomical research.

Upon successful completion of this programme, students will have acquired:

  • thorough insight into various aspects of astronomy;
  • insight into the sciences contributing to astronomy;
  • a critical research attitude developed through gradual training;
  • the ability to define and formulate strategies to study complex questions;
  • the ability to integrate technological developments in basic researcht;
  • the ability to construct simple numeric and physical-mathematical models to study data within a theoretical framework.

This is an initial Master's programme and can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis.

Structure

The Master of Science in Astronomy and Astrophysics programme consists of 120 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System - ECTS), divided over two years. In the first year, theoretical courses provide a solid foundation for further study, while students develop their research skills by undertaking a research project. The second year includes the Master’s thesis, i.e. an extensive written report of research conducted in one of the department’s astronomy research groups. 

Institute

The Institute of Astronomy conducts research on stellar astrophysics. The research performed at the institute is situated in the domain of stellar astrophysics and stellar evolution in a very broad context. Specific research themes of the institute include asteroseismology, stellar evolution and exoplanets.

A particular area of expertise is asteroseismology, the field that studies the internal structure of stars (massive stars, red giants, blue subdwarfs) through the observation and theoretical interpretation of their oscillation spectra. Early and late evolutionary phases of single and binary low-mass stars are investigated, with a particular focus on the interaction of stars with their circumstellar environments. The institute is involved in the development and exploitation of both ground-based and space-based instrumentation

Department

The mission of the Department of Physics and Astronomy is exploring, understanding and modelling physical realities using mathematical, computational, experimental and observational techniques. Fifteen teams perform research at an international level. Publication of research results in leading journals and attracting top-level scientists are priorities for the department.

New physics and innovation in the development of new techniques are important aspects of our mission. The interaction with industry (consulting, patents...) and society (science popularisation) are additional points of interest. Furthermore, the department is responsible for teaching basic physics courses in several study programmes.

Objectives

This Master's programme is strongly connected to research in astronomy and astrophysics and aims to prepare the students for research in this area.

At the end of this study the student will have acquired:

  • thorough insight into several aspects of astronomy;
  • insight into the sciences that contribute to astronomy;
  • a good research attitude through gradual training;
  • the ability to define and formulate a strategy to study a complex question;
  • the ability to integrate technological developments in fundamental research;
  • the ability to make simple numeric and physical-mathematical models to study data within a theoretical framework.

Career perspectives

A research-oriented Master's programme in astronomy and astrophysics is essential to ensuring high-quality astronomy research. Graduates will have a competitive advantage when applying for a PhD, either locally or abroad, and the skills they acquire will also prepare them for research careers in a broad range of professional environments.



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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.

Distinctive features

• Tailor the course to your interests with our broad range of optional modules.
• Benefit from our School-based facilities including laboratories and computing facilities.
• Research-led MSc programme, with taught components delivered by experts in their field.

Structure

There are two stages to this programme. The first stage consists of core and optional taught modules which total 120 credits. These are split across the autumn and spring semester.

Once you have successfully passed the first stage, you may progress onto the second stage of the programme which is a research project (60 credits). You will undertake a 4-month research project, either with one of the research groups in our School or externally during a placement with one of our industrial partners. You will then complete a dissertation outlining your research. The dissertation should be carried out independently under supervision from an appropriate member of academic staff with research interests in your chosen area.

This is a full 12-month programme. You will undertake all core and optional taught modules in year one. You will also complete a 4-month summer research project which will be assessed through a dissertation.

Core modules:

Techniques in Astrophysics
Study and Research Skills in Astrophysics
Astrophysics Research Project

Assessment

Your achievement of the learning outcomes in our taught modules will be assessed in examinations each semester.

Your research project at the end of the course will be assessed through a dissertation. Your research topic can be chosen from a range of project titles proposed by academic staff, usually in areas of current research interest. You are also encouraged to put forward your own project idea.

Career Prospects

An MSc in Astrophysics can open the door to a wide variety of possible future careers. Our past graduates have secured employment in the fields of photonics, biophysics, instrumentation research and development, semiconductor physics both within academic science and industrial practice. You may also choose to undertake further postgraduate study or academic research within the field of astrophysics, or enter a highly-skilled numerate career in another discipline.

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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.
  • Physics and Astronomy at the University of Glasgow is ranked 3rd in Scotland (Complete University Guide 2017).
  • 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.
  • With a 93% overall student satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2016, Physics and Astronomy at Glasgow continues to meet student expectations combining both teaching excellence and a supportive learning environment.

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 2018–19)
  • Gravitational wave detection
  • Plasma theory and diagnostics (alternate years, starting 2017–18)
  • Pulsars and supernovae (alternate years, starting 2018–19)
  • Research skills
  • Statistical astronomy (alternate years, starting 2017–18)
  • The Sun's Atmosphere
  • Extended project

Optional courses include

  • Advanced electromagnetic theory
  • Applied optics
  • Circumstellar matter (alternate years, starting 2017-18)
  • Cosmology (alternate years, starting 2018–19)
  • Dynamics, electrodynamics and relativity
  • Exploring planetary systems (alternate years, starting 2018-19)
  • Galaxies (alternate years, starting 2017-18)
  • Instruments for optical and radio astronomy (alternate years, starting 2018-19)
  • Statistical mechanics
  • Stellar astrophysics (alternate years, starting 2017–18)

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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The MSc in Astrophysics is a one-year taught programme run by the School of Physics and Astronomy. Read more

The MSc in Astrophysics is a one-year taught programme run by the School of Physics and Astronomy. The programme is intended to provide an entry route to astrophysics research and potentially PhD programmes for students who have taken an undergraduate BSc degree in Physics, Mathematics or an equivalent cognate discipline.

Highlights

  • Students are able and encouraged to use the University Observatoryand the James Gregory Telescope, the largest working optical telescope in the UK.
  • You will also have the opportunity to take part in an observing run at the Teide Observatory on Tenerife, Spain.
  • The programme prepares students to undertake astrophysical research at PhD level.
  • Modules provide transferable skills which enhance employability in and out of academia.

Teaching format

The MSc consists of two semesters of taught courses including a 3.5-month significant research project and dissertation (15,000 words). Teaching methods include lectures and tutorials, covering areas of both theoretical and observational astrophysics, and modules are assessed through examination, research projects and continuous coursework.

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.

Access to the University Observatory and James Gregory Telescope allows students 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 facilities at St Andrews or remote observing facilities around the world.

Further particulars regarding curriculum development.

Modules

The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2017–2018 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2018 entry.



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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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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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Goal of the pro­gramme. Read more

Goal of the pro­gramme

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.

Further information about the studies on the Master's programme website.

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.

 



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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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The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers the master of science (MS) degrees in physics, with the option of specialization in astronomy. Read more
The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers the master of science (MS) degrees in physics, with the option of specialization in astronomy. Although we offer a course-only MS, our graduate program is mostly oriented toward current physics research.

RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES

Research toward a degree may be conducted in either experimental or theoretical areas. Experimental programs include magnetic materials, high-energy physics, materials science, observational extragalactic astronomy, and particle astrophysics. Theoretical programs include condensed matter, elementary particles, atomic and molecular physics, extragalactic astronomy, astrophysics and particle astrophysics.

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Explore astronomy and astrophysics at an advanced level, with an emphasis on theoretical astronomy. This course is for you if you have graduated from an applied mathematics- or physics-based degree and wish to learn how to apply your knowledge to astronomy. Read more
Explore astronomy and astrophysics at an advanced level, with an emphasis on theoretical astronomy. This course is for you if you have graduated from an applied mathematics- or physics-based degree and wish to learn how to apply your knowledge to astronomy. It’s one of only three full-time, broad-based astronomy MSc courses in the UK.

How will I study?
Teaching is by:
-Lectures
-Exercise classes
-Seminars
-Personal supervision

You’ll contribute to our weekly informal seminars, and are encouraged to attend research seminars.

Assessment for the taught modules is by coursework and unseen examination. Assessment for the project is by oral presentation and a dissertation of up to 20,000 words. A distinction is awarded on the basis of excellence in both the lecture modules and the project.

You can choose to study this course full time or part time.

Your time is split between taught modules and a research project. The project can take the form of a placement in industry, but usually our faculty supervises them. Supervisors and topics are allocated, in consultation with you, at the start of the autumn term. You work on the project throughout the year. Often the projects form the basis of research papers that are later published in journals. Most projects are theoretical but there is an opportunity for you to become involved in the reduction and analysis of data acquired by faculty members.

In the autumn and spring terms, you take core modules and choose options. You start work on your project and give an assessed talk on this towards the end of the spring term. In the summer term, you focus on examinations and project work.

In the part-time structure, you take the core modules in the autumn and spring terms of your first year. After the examinations in the summer term, you begin work on your project. Project work continues during the second year when you also take options. Distribution of modules between the two years is relatively flexible and agreed between you, your supervisor and the module conveners. Most of your project work naturally falls into the second year.

Scholarships
Our aim is to ensure that every student who wants to study with us is able to despite financial barriers, so that we continue to attract talented and unique individuals.

Chancellor's International Scholarship (2017)
-25 scholarships of a 50% tuition fee waiver
-Application deadline: 1 May 2017

HESPAL Scholarship (Higher Education Scholarships Scheme for the Palestinian Territories) (2017)
-Two full fee waivers in conjuction with maintenance support from the British Council
-Application deadline: 1 January 2017

USA Friends Scholarships (2017)
-A scholarship of an amount equivalent to $10,000 for nationals or residents of the USA on a one year taught Masters degree course.
-Application deadline: 3 April 2017

Faculty
Our research focuses on extragalactic astrophysics and cosmology.

Careers
The course has an excellent reputation, both nationally and internationally, and graduates from this MSc work and study all over the world.

Many of our graduates go on to take a research degree and often find a permanent job in astronomy. Others have become science journalists and writers.

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This MSc provides students with the skills, knowledge and research ability for a career in physics. The programme is designed to satisfy the need, both nationally and internationally, for well-qualified postgraduates who will be able to respond to the challenges that arise from future developments in this field. Read more

This MSc provides students with the skills, knowledge and research ability for a career in physics. The programme is designed to satisfy the need, both nationally and internationally, for well-qualified postgraduates who will be able to respond to the challenges that arise from future developments in this field.

About this degree

Students develop insights into the techniques used in current projects, and gain in-depth experience of a particular specialised research area, through project work as a member of a research team. The programme provides the professional skills necessary to play a meaningful role in industrial or academic life.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of a choice of three core modules (45 credits), three optional modules (45 credits), a research essay (30 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, full-time nine months, part-time two years) is offered.

Core modules

  • Advanced Quantum Theory
  • Particle Physics
  • Atom and Photon Physics
  • Order and Excitations in Condensed Matter
  • Mathematics for General Relativity
  • Climate and Energy
  • Molecular Physics
  • Please note: students choose three of the above.

Optional modules

Students choose three from the following:

  • Astrophysics MSc Core Modules
  • Space and Climate Science MSc Core Modules
  • Medical Physics MSc Core Modules
  • Intercollegiate fourth-year courses
  • Physics and Astrophysics MSci fourth-year courses
  • Selected Physics and Astrophysics MSci third-year courses
  • Plastic and Molecular (Opto)electronics
  • Biophysics MSc Core Modules

Dissertation/report

All students submit a critical research essay and MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a substantial dissertation and oral presentation.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical, laboratory and computer-based classes. Student performance is assessed through coursework and written examination. The research project is assessed by literature survey, oral presentation and the dissertation.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Physics MSc

Funding

Candidates may be eligible for a Santander scholarship.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

Physics-based careers embrace a broad range of areas e.g. information technology, engineering, finance, research and development, medicine, nanotechnology and photonics.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Management Consultant, OpenSymmetry
  • Management Consultant, PwC

Employability

A Master's degree in Physics is highly regarded by employers. Students gain a deep understanding of both basic phenomena underpinning a range of technologies with huge potential for future development, e.g. quantum information, as well as direct knowledge of cutting-edge technologies likely to play a major role in short to medium term industrial development while addressing key societal challenges such as energy supply or water sanitisation.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL Physics & Astronomy is among the top departments in the UK for this subject area.

The department's participation in many international collaborations means we provide exceptional opportunities to work as part of an international team. Examples include work at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, and at the EISCAT radar instruments in Scandinavia for studying the Earth's upper atmosphere.

For students whose interests tend towards the theoretical, the department is involved in many international projects, some aimed at the development of future quantum technologies, others at fundamental atomic and molecular physics. In some cases, opportunities exist for students to broaden their experience by spending part of their time overseas.



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