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  • Study Type

    Full time & Part time available

  • Subject Areas

    Physics

  • Start Date

    September

  • Course Duration

    1 year full time, 2 years part time

  • Course Type

    MSc, PgDip

  • Course Fees

    website

  • Last Updated

    02 January 2018

Course content

This MSc provides students with the skills, knowledge and research ability for a career in astrophysics. 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 astrophysics 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 six optional modules (90 credits), a research essay (30 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

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

Optional modules 1 (15 credits each)

Students choose four of the following:

  • Planetary Atmospheres
  • Solar Physics
  • High-energy Astrophysics
  • Stellar Atmospheres and Stellar Winds
  • Galaxy and Cluster Dynamics
  • Cosmology
  • Mathematics for General Relativity
  • Space Plasma and Magnetospheric Physics

Optional modules 2 (15 credits each)

Students choose two of the following:

  • Physics MSc core modules
  • Space and Climate Science MSc core modules
  • Medical Physics MSc core modules
  • Intercollegiate fourth year modules
  • Physics and Astrophysics MSc fourth-year modules
  • Plastic and Molecular (Opto)electronics

Dissertation/report

Students submit a critical research essay of approximately 8,000 words and undertake an in-depth research project which culminates in a formal report 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: Astrophysics MSc

Careers

Astrophysics-based careers embrace a broad range of areas, for example information technology, Large Data science, engineering, finance, research and development, medicine, nanotechnology and photonics. Employers regard a physics degree as flexible and highly desirable university training.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • PhD in Astrophysics, Universiteit Leiden (Leiden University)
  • Research Assistant, Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik (Nuclear Physics)
  • PhD in Astrophysics, University of Crete
  • Research Assistant, UCL

Employability

Astrophysics opens up many avenues to employment through the skills acquired: problem-solving; the training of a logical and numerate mind; computation skills; modelling and material analysis; and the ability to think laterally. In addition, work vision and enthusiasm make physics graduates highly desirable members of all dynamic companies.

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 the Dark Energy Survey - investigating the origin of the accelerating universe and the nature of dark matter - the Hubble Telescope and the Cassini project.

In some cases, opportunities exist for students to broaden their experience by spending part of their time overseas.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Physics & Astronomy

90% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.


Visit the Astrophysics (MSc/PGDip) page on the University College London website for more details!

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