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Physics×

Masters Degrees in Astronomy

We have 28 Masters Degrees in Astronomy

Masters degrees in Astronomy involve the advanced study of celestial bodies and phenomena such as planets, stars, and meteorites. On these courses, students learn to use techniques from Mathematics, Physics and Computer Science to monitor and model those celestial entities.

Related postgraduate specialisms include Astrophysics and Planetary Sciences. Entry requirements typically include an undergraduate degree in a relevant subject such as Physics or Computer Science.

Why study a Masters in Astronomy?

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The master's programme Astronomy covers observations using the world’s most powerful ground- and space-based telescopes, theoretical astrophysical and astrochemical modeling, large scale simulations, and laboratory experiments that mimic conditions in space. Read more

The master's programme Astronomy covers observations using the world’s most powerful ground- and space-based telescopes, theoretical astrophysical and astrochemical modeling, large scale simulations, and laboratory experiments that mimic conditions in space.

What does this master’s programme entail?

In this two-year master’s programme in Astronomy you get access to cutting edge research in modern astronomy. Main focus areas include galaxies and the structures in which they are embedded, exoplanets, and star and planet formation. With seven challenging specialisations to choose from, you will be prepared for a wide variety of careers within academia, industry and the public sector.

Read more about the Astronomy master's programme.

Why study Astronomy at Leiden University?

  • We offer you a tailor-made master’s programme with many opportunities to match your study path with your interests and ambitions.
  • You have access to a cutting edge research infrastructure with strong international partners and top facilities.
  • Leiden University offers a welcoming environment and an open international community with highly approachable renowned staff, a buddy system and individual student support.

Find out more reasons to choose Leiden University.

Astronomy: the right master’s programme for you?

Are you are interested in astronomy research within or outside academia? Do you want to add value to society through scientific and technological progress? Are you keen on solving complex matters and are you up for a challenge? Then our Leiden University Astronomy master’s programme is designed for you.

Read more about the entry requirements for Astronomy.

Specialisations



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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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The MA in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology is a unique course which deals with the ways in which human beings attribute meaning to the planets, stars and sky, and construct cosmologies which provide the basis for culture and society. Read more
The MA in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology is a unique course which deals with the ways in which human beings attribute meaning to the planets, stars and sky, and construct cosmologies which provide the basis for culture and society.

Course Overview

The MA focuses on Cultural Astronomy and Astrology. We define Cultural Astronomy as the study of the application of beliefs about the stars to all aspects of human culture, from religion and science to the arts and literature. It includes the new discipline of archaeoastronomy: the study of astronomical alignments, orientation and symbolism in ancient and modern architecture. Astrology is the practice of relating the heavenly bodies to lives and events on earth. We therefore examine the relationship between astrological, astronomical and cosmological beliefs and practices, and society, politics, religion and the arts, past and present.

The MA is a hybrid of history and anthropology. As historians we pay attention to documentary evidence but are heavily influenced by recent trends in anthropology; this means that modern western culture can be subjected to the same academic scrutiny as pre-modern or non-western cultures, and by questions such as the requirement for the scholar or researcher to engage in practice as part of their study of practice.

The words astronomy and astrology have distinct meanings in modern English. Astronomy is the scientific study of the physical universe. Astrology is more akin to a study of the psychic universe. The split between the two, though, is a feature of modern western thought.

Both words are of Greek origin: astronomy means the ‘law’ of the stars, while astrology is best translated as the ‘word’, or ‘reason’, of the stars, so in the classical world their meanings overlapped. To the Greek scholar Claudius Ptolemy, writing in the second century CE, there were two forms of astronomy: one dealt with the movement of the stars, the other (which we would call astrology) with their effects or significance. From then until the 17th century, the two words were interchangeable. In ‘King Lear’, Shakespeare had Edgar refer to his brother Edmund, who had been posing as an astrologer, as a ‘sectary astronomical’.

Other terms Shakespeare might have used included mathematician (the astronomer Johannes Kepler studied astrology as part of his duties as ‘Imperial Mathematician’) or Chaldean (both astrology and astronomy were commonly traced to Chaldea, another term for Mesopotamia). Neither do most non-western countries employ different words to distinguish traditional astronomy from astrology.

In India both are jyotish, the ‘science of light’. In Japan they are onmyōdō, the ‘yin-yang way’. In China, the observation and measurement of celestial phenomena was inseparable from their application to human knowledge which, in turn, was divided into two, li, or li fa, calendar systems, and tian wen, or sky patterns. All cultures have ways of visualising the stars, many without a single name for the practice. The title of the MA, whose subject matter includes the beliefs and practices of pre-modern and non-western cultures, as well as contemporary worlds, is therefore necessarily ‘Cultural Astronomy AND Astrology’.

Modules

Students take six modules, and then write a 15,000-word dissertation based on independent research. There are three compulsory modules and students then take one ‘pathway’ of two optional modules, and any third optional module.

Assessment

Each module is assessed by 5,000 words of written work or the equivalent. For example, some modules require one short essay of 1,000 words and a longer, 4,000-word essay, normally due in week 10 to 12. Assessment requirements, lengths and due dates can vary from module to module. The shorter essays may be a critical review of a piece of writing, or be picked from a choice of two titles. For the longer essays there is a wider choice of titles. In some modules, the title and subject is negotiated with the course tutor. Each is then returned with comments from either one or two tutors, and students are offered the chance to have a tutorial via Skype in order to discuss the comments.

Students who take the entire MA then go on to write a 15,000-word dissertation based on a piece of independent research on a topic chosen by the student in discussion with the module tutor, and other appropriate members of staff. Each student is allocated a supervisor who can guide them through the research and writing process.

Career Opportunities

Most of our students take the MA as an end in itself because they love the subject. Some go on to study for PhDs, either with us, or at other universities.

The relationship between all academic work and non-academic employment is always based on potential employers’ appreciation of the generic skills acquired in MA study. Typically, these include critical thinking, communication skills, time-management and the ability to take on and complete independent projects. The latter quality is particular prized by many employers. One graduate is teaching at undergraduate level while another, a school teacher, was awarded a promotion and pay rise on her graduation.

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A Master's degree in Astronomy is a gateway into a wide world of science and technology. Students in the program are trained by astronomers from the world-renowned Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, a centre leading on astronomical research on galaxy formation and evolution, cosmology, neutron stars and black holes. Read more
A Master's degree in Astronomy is a gateway into a wide world of science and technology.

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

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

The curriculum as well as the career prospects are being monitored continuously, and are consistently evaluated very positively. Dutch Astronomy graduates in general, and Kapteyn graduates in particular, have excellent career prospects, within and outside science.

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

We have two scholarship available of €10.000,- per year for talented international students, offered by the Research School for Astronomy (NOVA).

Why in Groningen?

- Close connections with two major national astronomical foundations: ASTRON and SRON
- Also instrumentation specialization Excellent facilities at your disposal
- Excellent facilities
- International and vibrant research environment
- Scholarships avaialable for talented students

Job perspectives

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

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

Job examples

- PhD research position
- Participate in astronomical research projects
- Professions dealing with astronomical instrumentation and informatics
- Professions in ICT companies, banking, insurances
- Professions in ICT companies, banking, insurances

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

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

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

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

Overview

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

Structure

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

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

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

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

Online Study

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

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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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The Institute of Astronomy does not routinely offer the one-year MPhil degree. However, occasionally, it is possible for students with certain one-year scholarships, notably Churchill and Marshall Scholars, to pursue a one-year MPhil in Astronomy. Read more
The Institute of Astronomy does not routinely offer the one-year MPhil degree. However, occasionally, it is possible for students with certain one-year scholarships, notably Churchill and Marshall Scholars, to pursue a one-year MPhil in Astronomy. The degree is exclusively by research and a project and supervisor will have been identified during the application process. There is no taught element and this course is not suitable for physicists and mathematicians wishing to prepare for a research PhD in Astronomy.

The aims of the programme are:

- to give students with relevant experience at first-degree level the opportunity to carry out focussed research in the discipline under close supervision; and
- to give students the opportunity to acquire or develop skills and expertise relevant to their research interests.

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

Course detail

By the end of the programme, students will have:

- a comprehensive understanding of techniques, and a thorough knowledge of the literature, applicable to their own research;
- demonstrated originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how research and enquiry are - used to create and interpret knowledge in their field;
- shown abilities in the critical evaluation of current research and research techniques and methodologies;
- demonstrated some self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and acted autonomously in the planning and implementation of research.

Format

This course is entirely research with no taught elements however a Principal Supervisor is appointed for each student individually and the topic of research is approved by the Degree Committee with a view to producing a thesis after 11 months of research; a pattern of individual supervision, and other training as needed, is agreed with the student.

Assessment

The scheme of examination for the one-year course of study in Astronomy for the degree of Master of Philosophy shall consist of a thesis of not more than 15,000 words in length, exclusive of tables, footnotes, bibliography, and appendices, on a subject approved by the Degree Committee for the Faculty of Physics and Chemistry.

The examination shall include an oral examination on the thesis and on the general field of knowledge within which it falls. The thesis shall provide evidence to satisfy the Examiners that the candidate can design and carry out investigations, assess and interpret the results obtained, and place the work in the wider perspective of the subject.

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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Applying the laws of physics in real-life situations, ranging from measuring brain activity to designing new materials and investigating space objects. Read more

Applying the laws of physics in real-life situations, ranging from measuring brain activity to designing new materials and investigating space objects .

Would you rather specialise in pure physics or discover the interface between physics and astronomy, mathematics, chemistry or biology? The choice is yours. At Radboud University, you can choose from six specialisations and within each specialisation you’ll have plenty of room to customise your programme. We guarantee the highest quality for all specialisation programmes, resulting in number one rates by the Dutch ‘Keuzegids Masters’ for three years running.

In your internship(s), you can dive into theoretical physics or perform your own experiments: discover new material properties in Europe’s highest magnetic fields or with unique free electron lasers, study space objects with the telescopes on top of the Huygens Building or unravel brain activity with MRIs. It’s all possible on the Radboud campus. That’s why many international physicists come here to perform their experiments. Take Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, who revealed the amazing properties of graphene in our High Field Magnet Laboratory. In 2010, they received the Nobel Prize in Physics for those discoveries.

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

Specialisations of Physics and Astronomy

- Particle and Astrophysics

In this Master’s specialisation you’ll unravel questions like: What are the most elementary particles that the universe consists of? What did our universe look like in the earliest stages of its existence? And how will it evolve? One of the topics is the Higgs particle, which is partially a Nijmegen discovery.

- Physics of Molecules and Materials

This specialisation focuses on the structure and properties of materials. You’ll work at the ‘terra incognita’ between quantum and classical physics, which is of great importance for designing next-generation materials and devices.

- Neuroscience

In this specialisation you’ll use your physics background to understand the communication between neurons in the brain. This fundamental knowledge can be applied in all kinds of devices, including hearing aids or Google glasses.

- Science in Society

This specialisation will equip you with the tools and skills to become a professional intermediary between science and society. You’ll learn to analyse (governmental) science communication and connect scientific knowledge with divergent perspectives and interests of various stakeholders.

- Science, Management and Innovation

This specialisation will teach you what is happening in the world of business and public administration, how innovation is managed in company strategies, how government designs policy and how that interacts with societal challenges.

- Science and Education (in Dutch)

Do you want to become a secondary school teacher in the Netherlands? In this Dutch-taught specialisation you’ll get the necessary didactic background and extensive experience in the classroom.

Why study Physics and Astronomy at Radboud University?

- It’s the best Master’s programme of its kind in the Netherlands, according to the Keuzegids Masters.

- Teaching takes place in a stimulating, collegial setting with small groups. This ensures that at Radboud University you’ll get plenty of one-on-one time with your internship supervisor.

- We have a multidisciplinary approach: you not only can specialise in Physics, but also in astrophysics, biophysics, mathematical physics, chemical physics or materials science.

- You’ll spend one year on research, and thus get an extensive experience in scientific methods.

- Radboud University hosts multiple state-of-the-art research facilities, such as the High Field Magnet Laboratory , FELIX laser laboratory, Nanolab and neuroimaging facilities (MRI, MEG, EEG, TMS). We also participate in the LHC particle accelerator in Geneva, the Pierre Auger Observatory in Argentina and various other large-scale research projects.

- On average, our graduates find a job within 2 months after graduating. A majority of these jobs are PhD positions at universities in the Netherlands and abroad.

Quality label

For the third time in a row, this programme was rated number one in the Netherlands in the Keuzegids Masters 2015 (Guide to Master's programmes).

Career prospects

All specialisations of this Master’s programme are an excellent preparation for a career in research, either at a university, at an institute 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 to:

- Think in an abstract way

- Solve complex problems

- Make accurate approximations

- Combine theory and experiments

PhD positions

If you would like to have a career in science, it’s possible to apply for a PhD position at Radboud University. Of course, you can also apply at any other university anywhere in the world.

Positions in business or governmental organisations

To get an idea the various career opportunities, a sample of jobs performed by our alumni:

- Actuarial trainee at Talent & Pro

- Consultant at Accenture

- ECO Operations Manager at Ofgem

- Scientist at SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research

- Technology strategy Manager at Accenture

- Consultant Billing at KPN

- Communications advisor at the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM)

- Systems analysis engineer at Thales

- Technical consultant at UL Transaction Security

- Business analyst at Capgemini

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

Radboud University Master's Open Day 10 March 2018



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The M.Sc. (astronomy) program requires a thesis and 18 credits of coursework. Up to 6 credits may be 300 or 400 level courses. The course selection is determined in consultation with the student's supervisor and/or the Graduate Advisor. Read more
The M.Sc. (astronomy) program requires a thesis and 18 credits of coursework. Up to 6 credits may be 300 or 400 level courses. The course selection is determined in consultation with the student's supervisor and/or the Graduate Advisor. One of PHYS 500, 501, 504, 508, 516 is required along with the Astro degree requirements.

Quick Facts

- Degree: Master of Science
- Specialization: Astronomy
- Subject: Science
- Mode of delivery: On campus
- Program components: Coursework + Thesis required
- Faculty: Faculty of Science

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The MRes Cultural Astronomy and Astrology (CAA) is programme that is divided into a 60 credit taught part and a Dissertation of 120 credits amounting to up to 30,000 words in total. Read more
The MRes Cultural Astronomy and Astrology (CAA) is programme that is divided into a 60 credit taught part and a Dissertation of 120 credits amounting to up to 30,000 words in total. The taught element is done via distance-learning, through the Sophia Centre for the Study of Cosmology in Culture and amounts to 3 taught modules chosen from the collection of modules on the programme, with a requirement that one of the choices be the Research Methods module (Researching Contemporary Cosmologies).

Course Overview

Since the programme is online there is no residency requirement and Students work from home.

Applicants who do not already have both a knowledge of the subject area and research skills at postgraduate level. Applicants without such a background should apply for the MA Cultural Astronomy and Astrology.

The MRes in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology is a unique course which deals with the ways in which human beings attribute meaning to the planets, stars and sky, and construct cosmologies which provide the basis for culture and society.

Key Features

The course, quite simply, is unique. It is the only accredited university degree in the world to explore the human relationship with the sky through history and culture. We cover a wide range of material, from the ancient work to the present, and across cultures, and give students the chance to undertake individual research projects.

All our teaching staff are experts in their fields and either have PhDs or are undertaking doctoral research. Course material is on the web and we teach using webinars – live video-conferencing sessions, and all seminars are recorded.

Assessment

Each module is assessed by 5000 words of written work or the equivalent. For example, some modules require one short essay of 1000 words and a longer, 4000-word essay, normally due in week 10 - 12. Assessment requirements, lengths and due dates can vary from module to module. The shorter essays may be a critical review of a piece of writing, or be picked from a choice of two titles. For the longer essays there is a wider choice of titles. In some modules, the title and subject is negotiated with the course tutor. Each is then returned with comments from either one or two tutors, and students are offered the chance to have a tutorial via Skype in order to discuss the comments.

Students then go on to write a 30,000 word dissertation based on a piece of independent research on a topic chosen by the student in discussion with the module tutor, and other appropriate members of staff. Each student is allocated a supervisor who can guide them through the research and writing process.

Career Opportunities

Most of our students study with us as an end in itself because they love the subject. Some go on to study for PhDs, either with us, or at other universities.

The relationship between all academic work and non-academic employment is always based on potential employers’ appreciation of the generic skills acquired in MA study. Typically, these include critical thinking, communication skills, time-management and the ability to take on and complete independent projects. The latter quality is particular prized by many employers. One graduate is teaching at undergraduate level while another, a school teacher, was awarded a promotion and pay rise on her graduation.

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The School of Physics and Astronomy at Manchester is one of the largest and most active schools of physics in the UK. We have a long tradition of excellence in both teaching and research, and have interests in most areas of contemporary research. Read more
The School of Physics and Astronomy at Manchester is one of the largest and most active schools of physics in the UK. We have a long tradition of excellence in both teaching and research, and have interests in most areas of contemporary research.

The School has a strong presence in a number of Manchester-based centres for multidisciplinary research: The National Graphene Institute, the Photon Science Institute; the Manchester Centre for Non-Linear Dynamics; the Dalton Nuclear Institute; and the Mesoscience and Nanotechnology Centre. In addition, the Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire is a part of the School.

Strong research activity exists in a broad range of physics topics funded by the Research Councils including EPSRC, STFC, BBSRC, the EU and industry. All the research groups offer well-equipped laboratories and computing facilities and are involved in a wide range of collaborative projects with industry and other academic departments in the UK and overseas. For more information please visit our research page.

Programme description

The School of Physics and Astronomy at Manchester is one of the largest and most active schools of physics in the UK. We have a long tradition of excellence in both teaching and research, and have interests in most areas of contemporary research.

The School has a strong presence in a number of Manchester-based centres for multidisciplinary research: The National Graphene Institute, the Photon Science Institute; the Manchester Centre for Non-Linear Dynamics; the Dalton Nuclear Institute; and the Mesoscience and Nanotechnology Centre. In addition, the Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire is a part of the School.

Strong research activity exists in a broad range of physics topics funded by the Research Councils including EPSRC, STFC, BBSRC, the EU and industry. All the research groups offer well-equipped laboratories and computing facilities and are involved in a wide range of collaborative projects with industry and other academic departments in the UK and overseas.

Career opportunities

A research degree in physics is highly regarded by employers as evidence of a thorough training in numerate problem-solving and opens a wide range of possible career choices. In addition to continuing physics research in industry, an MSc provides the entry level training to undertake a PhD in physics.

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The Postgraduate Certificate in Astronomy and Astrophysics programme at Queen Mary, University of London, provide a unique opportunity for graduates to pursue the subject in depth for 9 months, either for personal interest or as a first step towards a professional career in astronomy. Read more
The Postgraduate Certificate in Astronomy and Astrophysics programme at Queen Mary, University of London, provide a unique opportunity for graduates to pursue the subject in depth for 9 months, either for personal interest or as a first step towards a professional career in astronomy. The programme has been running since 1985 and around 80 certificates degrees have been awarded. Some students have gone on to complete the MSc, and even to do PhDs..

The programme 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 physics and research methods.

Students who do sufficiently well in the examinations may be allowed to change their registration to Part-time MSc Astrophysics and proceed to its 2nd year.

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A University of Hertfordshire research degree is an internationally recognised degree signifying high levels of achievement in research. Read more
A University of Hertfordshire research degree is an internationally recognised degree signifying high levels of achievement in research. It develops extensive subject expertise and independent research skills which are honed over an extended period, depending on the level of the award. You would undertake a substantial, original research project for the duration of the degree, under the supervision and guidance of two or more academic members of staff. Your supervisory team provides guidance both in the selection of a research topic and in the conduct of the research. You are also supported by attendance at postgraduate seminar series to develop subject specific knowledge and research skills relevant to your field of research. The degree is assessed solely on the basis of the final research output, in the form of a substantial written thesis which must be "defended" in a viva. During the course of the degree, you would be given opportunities to present your work at major conferences and in refereed research publications.

Why choose this course?

-An internationally recognised research qualification
-Developing advanced subject expertise at postgraduate level
-Develop research skills through practice and extensive research experience
-Employers are looking for high calibre graduates with advanced skills who can demonstrate independence through research

Careers

Graduates with this degree will be able to demonstrate to employers a highly-valued ability to work independently on a substantial and challenging original project and to maintain that focus over an extended period, and will have developed much sought after, highly refined research skills.

Teaching methods

Research degrees are not taught programmes, however, programmes of supporting studies are a key element.

The School of Physics, Astronomy and Mathematics has an international reputation for conducting high quality research. Postgraduate students account for a substantial part of the School's research effort, demonstrating the quality of the research standards in the School and the importance with which the School views the development and training of its postgraduate research students.

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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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Physicists and astronomers try to understand nature. from the smallest building blocks of matter and their interactions to the evolution of the universe on a cosmological scale. Read more

Physicists and astronomers try to understand nature: from the smallest building blocks of matter and their interactions to the evolution of the universe on a cosmological scale. Ultimately, this endeavour leads to new insights that are helpful in other scientific disciplines, and to many applications in our daily lives. Although our insights go ever deeper and reach ever further, there is much we still do not understand. That is why basic research remains so important.

3 Minors, 1 Degree

This MSc programme combines the research expertise of both the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and Universiteit Gent (UGent), allowing you to tailor your study programme to your interests. One choice you have to make in advance is which of our three minors you want to follow: Research, Economy and Business or Education (30 ECTS in Dutch). No matter which minor you choose, you will get a solid training as a physicist and we offer you the possibility to participate in high-level research. There is no wrong choice!

Mobility

If you choose the Research minor, you will have to take up two External Mobility-courses. These allow you to follow courses at another university or to do an internship at a company or research institution. A combination of courses and internship is also possible. The internship will be assessed through a report and presentation.

Students as Scientists

The offered courses are strongly embedded in both universities' ongoing research programmes. Through intensive collaboration with members of the research groups, you will get the opportunity to develop and improve your scientific skills. The researchers at VUB have strong connections within Belgium and in- and outside Europe through research projects such as the IceCube Neutrino Observatory in Antarctica and the CMS experiment at CERN in Geneva. Many of our students have the opportunity to do an internship or research for their Master's thesis at CERN during their studies. this close connection to research means our students are well-prepared for a PhD-position, with around half of our graduates pursuing such a career in research.

Did you know that VUB postdocs and faculty are leading international teams of scienctists? For example Dr. Petra Van Mulders, a VUB alumnus and postdoctoral researcher, was until recently leading the team working on identification of particles called b-quarks at the CMS experiment at CERN. The results of her work are now used by researchers all over the world in the attempt to determine the characteristics of the recently discovered Brout-Englert-Higgs particle.

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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