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  • Study Type

    Full time & Part time available

  • Subject Areas

    Physics

  • Start Date

    September

  • Course Duration

    2 years

  • Course Type

    MSc

  • Course Fees

    Please see website for details

  • Last Updated

    04 September 2017

Course content

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.


Visit the Astronomy and Astrophysics MSc page on the KU Leuven website for more details!

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