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Masters Degrees in Astronomy Observation, United Kingdom

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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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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 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.

[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)

For further information on the content of individual courses please see Honours and Masters level courses.

Industry links and employability

-◾The School of Physics and Astronomy is highly active in research and knowledge transfer projects with industry. Our Masters students have regular opportunities to engage with our industrial collaborators through informal visits, guest lectures and workshops.
◾You will also benefit from our membership of the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance. The alliance brings together internationally leading physics research across Scotland to form the largest physics grouping in the UK.
◾Our staff and students come from all around the world providing a truly global experience. The School of Physics and Astronomy is committed to providing an equitable environment for study and work, in line with the principles of Project Juno of the Institute of Physics. This was recognised in 2011 by the award of Juno Champion status. We also have a strong programme of talks and seminars given by experts from the UK and abroad, which will give you the chance of broadening your knowledge in many other areas of physics and astronomy.

For further information please visit:

Scottish Universities Physics Alliance
Project Juno of the Institute of Physics
The award of Juno Champion status

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 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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This innovative MSc in Observational Physics is delivered by world leading academics at Liverpool John Moores University. The Masters degree includes access to LJMU's research class robotic Liverpool Telescope and is designed as a route to PhD study. Read more
This innovative MSc in Observational Physics is delivered by world leading academics at Liverpool John Moores University. The Masters degree includes access to LJMU's research class robotic Liverpool Telescope and is designed as a route to PhD study.

•Course available to study full time (1 year) and part time (2 years) via distance learning
•High-quality, innovative teaching
•Access to the two metre research-class robotic Liverpool Telescope
•Qualification designed to facilitate continued study at PhD level

Astrophysics is enjoying an unprecedented burst of new discoveries about the universe we live in, as a result of revolutionary techniques that are opening new windows for the exploration of planets, stars, galaxies and the entire universe.

LJMU's Astrophysics Research Institute has played a leading role in many of these advances, including the development of the world famous robotic Liverpool Telescope.

Over the last decade, this has become one of the most flexible and powerful observatories for the study of rapidly varying sources such as Gamma-Ray Bursts, novae and supernovae. This Masters course has been developed to enable students, throughout the world, to share in these new discoveries and graduates to pursue further research through a PhD or equivalent.

The programme emphasises independent student learning and each module provides you with the opportunity to explore current literature, with support from experienced tutors, all of whom are engaged in cutting-edge astrophysical research.

All sessions on this Masters degree are delivered via distance learning to provide maximum flexibility.

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

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This MSc in Astrophysics is delivered by world-leading researchers at Liverpool John Moores University and is designed to facilitate further postgraduate and PhD study. Read more
This MSc in Astrophysics is delivered by world-leading researchers at Liverpool John Moores University and is designed to facilitate further postgraduate and PhD study.

-Access to the two metre research-class robotic Liverpool telescope - designed and built by LJMU experts
-Course available to study full time (1 year) and part time (2 years) via distance learning
-Delivered by academics who are world-leading researchers
-Opportunity to carry out original research in a wide range of areas
-High-quality, innovative teaching delivered via distance learning
-Qualification designed to facilitate continued study at PhD level

Astrophysics is enjoying an unprecedented burst of new discoveries about the Universe we live in. As a result of revolutionary techniques, new opportunities are emerging to explore planets, stars, galaxies and the entire Universe.
LJMU's Astrophysics Research Institute has played a leading role in many of these advances, including the development of the world famous robotic Liverpool Telescope. The Institute has developed a suite of taught postgraduate courses to enable students throughout the world to share in these new discoveries.

This MSc course will give you the foundations from which to carry out further research through a PhD or equivalent. It is delivered via distance learning for maximum flexibility.

A major component of the MSc programmes is the project module, which will give you the opportunity to work on a high-level original research topic, with guidance from an experienced supervisor from the research staff of the Institute.

All learning materials are delivered by Blackboard, LJMU's Virtual Learning Environment. You will have access to all the major astrophysical research journals and a carefully selected range of e-books to support your studies and extend your reading.

Please see guidance below on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.
Level 7
Astrophysical Concepts
Astrophysical Observations
Cosmology
Computational Astrophysics
Time-domain Astrophysics
Research Project

Further guidance on modules

The information listed in the section entitled ‘What you will study’ is an overview of the academic content of the programme that will take the form of either core or option modules. Modules are designated as core or option in accordance with professional body requirements and internal Academic Framework review, so may be subject to change. Students will be required to undertake modules that the University designates as core and will have a choice of designated option modules. Additionally, option modules may be offered subject to meeting minimum student numbers.

Academic Framework reviews are conducted by LJMU from time to time to ensure that academic standards continue to be maintained. A review is currently in progress and will be operational for the academic year 2016/2017. Final details of this programme’s designated core and option modules will be made available on LJMU’s website as soon as possible and prior to formal enrolment for the academic year 2016/2017.

Please email if you require further guidance or clarification.

Read less
This innovative MSc in Observational Physics is delivered by world leading academics at Liverpool John Moores University. The Masters degree includes access to LJMU's research class robotic Liverpool Telescope and is designed as a route to PhD study. Read more
This innovative MSc in Observational Physics is delivered by world leading academics at Liverpool John Moores University. The Masters degree includes access to LJMU's research class robotic Liverpool Telescope and is designed as a route to PhD study.

-Course available to study full time (1 year) and part time (2 years) via distance learning
-High-quality, innovative teaching
-Access to the two metre research-class robotic Liverpool Telescope
-Qualification designed to facilitate continued study at PhD level

Astrophysics is enjoying an unprecedented burst of new discoveries about the universe we live in, as a result of revolutionary techniques that are opening new windows for the exploration of planets, stars, galaxies and the entire universe.
LJMU's Astrophysics Research Institute has played a leading role in many of these advances, including the development of the world famous robotic Liverpool Telescope.

Over the last decade, this has become one of the most flexible and powerful observatories for the study of rapidly varying sources such as Gamma-Ray Bursts, novae and supernovae. This Masters course has been developed to enable students, throughout the world, to share in these new discoveries and graduates to pursue further research through a PhD or equivalent.

The programme emphasises independent student learning and each module provides you with the opportunity to explore current literature, with support from experienced tutors, all of whom are engaged in cutting-edge astrophysical research.

All sessions on this Masters degree are delivered via distance learning to provide maximum flexibility.

Please see guidance below on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.
Level 7
Astrophysical Concepts
Astrophysical Observations
Time-domain Astrophysics
Cosmology
Computational Astrophysics
Observational Research Project

Further guidance on modules

The information listed in the section entitled ‘What you will study’ is an overview of the academic content of the programme that will take the form of either core or option modules. Modules are designated as core or option in accordance with professional body requirements and internal Academic Framework review, so may be subject to change. Students will be required to undertake modules that the University designates as core and will have a choice of designated option modules. Additionally, option modules may be offered subject to meeting minimum student numbers.

Academic Framework reviews are conducted by LJMU from time to time to ensure that academic standards continue to be maintained. A review is currently in progress and will be operational for the academic year 2016/2017. Final details of this programme’s designated core and option modules will be made available on LJMU’s website as soon as possible and prior to formal enrolment for the academic year 2016/2017.

Please email if you require further guidance or clarification.

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