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Masters Degrees in Astrophysics, United Kingdom

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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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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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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. Read more
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.

Degree information

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.

Careers

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

Top career destinations for this degree:
-PhD in Astrophysics, Kiel University, Germany
-Research Assistant, University College London
-Research Assistant, Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik (Nuclear Physics)
-PhD in Astrophysics, University of Crete

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.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL Physics & Astronomy is among the top departments in the UK for graduate study.

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.

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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 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.

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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.

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.

Read less
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.

Read less
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

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.

Read less
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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Our Physics MSc is highly flexible, giving you the opportunity to structure your course to meet your individual career aspirations. Read more

Our Physics MSc is highly flexible, giving you the opportunity to structure your course to meet your individual career aspirations.

The course gives you the opportunity to broaden and deepen your knowledge and skills in physics, at the forefront of research in the area. This will help to prepare you to progress to PhD study, or to work in an industrial or other business related area.

A key feature of the course is that you can choose to study a wide range of optional modules or focus on a particular area of research expertise according to your interests and future career aspirations.

Under the umbrella of an MSc in physics, you can specialise in astrophysics, bionanophysics, soft matter physics, condensed matter physics, quantum technology, optical materials or medical imaging. Or you can take a diverse range of modules to suit your interests and keep their options open.

Course content

The course offers you a very wide range of optional modules, giving you the opportunity to specialise in areas such as astrophysics, bionanophysics, soft matter physics, condensed matter physics, quantum technology, optical materials or medical imaging.

Modules studied may include: quantum field theory; superconductivity; general relativity; medical image analysis; cosmology; bionanophysics; magnetism in condensed matter; statistical mechanics; star and planet formation; elementary particle physics; quantum matter; and photonics.

Alongside your optional modules, you will undertake an advanced and extensive research project in one of the School of Physics and Astronomy’s internationally recognised research groups. This will enable you to develop advanced skills in research planning, execution and reporting, possibly leading to publication of your work in an international journal.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

  • MSc Project 75 credits
  • Advanced Literature Review 15 credits
  • Current Research Topics in Physics 15 credits

Optional modules

  • Cardiovascular Medical Imaging 10 credits
  • Digital Radiography and X-ray Computed Tomography 10 credits
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging 10 credits
  • Ultrasound Imaging 10 credits
  • Radionuclide Imaging 10 credits
  • Medical Image Analysis 10 credits
  • Digital Radiography and X-ray Computed Tomography 15 credits
  • Ultrasound Imaging 15 credits
  • Radionuclide Imaging 15 credits
  • Medical Image Analysis 15 credits
  • Cosmology 15 credits
  • Photonics 15 credits
  • Molecular Simulation: Theory and Practice 15 credits
  • Star and Planet Formation 15 credits
  • Advanced Quantum Mechanics 15 credits
  • Quantum Photonics 15 credits
  • Quantum Matter 15 credits
  • Magnetism in Condensed Matter 15 credits
  • Statistical Mechanics 15 credits
  • Advanced Mechanics 15 credits
  • Bionanophysics 1 15 credits
  • Theoretical Elementary Particle Physics 15 credits
  • Soft Matter Physics: Liquid Crystals 15 credits
  • Quantum Many-Body Physics 15 credits
  • Winds, Bubbles and Explosions 15 credits
  • Bionanophysics 2: Advanced Bionanophysics Research 15 credits
  • Advanced Group Industrial Project 15 credits
  • Superconductivity 15 credits
  • Soft Matter Physics: Polymers, Colloids and Glasses 15 credits
  • Quantum Transport in Nanostructures 15 credits
  • Quantum Field Theory 15 credits
  • General Relativity 15 credits
  • Quantum Information Science 15 credits
  • Advanced Physics in Schools 15 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Physics MSc in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

Teaching methods include a combination of lectures, seminars, supervisions, problem solving, presentation of work, independent research, and group work (depending on the modules you choose to study).

Assessment

Assessment of modules are by problem solving exams and research assignments. The project is assessed on the ability to plan and conduct research and communicate the results in written and oral format.

Career opportunities

The specialist pathways offered by this course (in astrophysics, bionanophysics, soft matter physics, condensed matter physics, quantum technology, optical materials or medical imaging) allow you to tailor your course and focus on a particular area of research expertise according to your interests and future career aspirations.

Physicists are highly employable due to their high level of numeracy and mathematical competence, their computer skills, and their high level of technical academic scientific knowledge. They are employed by: industry, financial sector, defence, education, and more.

This course is also a clear route to PhD level study.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.



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The MSc in Data-Intensive Physics 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 Physics 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 Physics 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 Physics 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 a physics 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 a physics 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
Advanced Experimental Techniques in Physics
Study and Research Skills in Physics
Data Analysis
Data-Intensive Physics Research Project

Career Prospects

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

• Theoretical, experimental and computational doctoral research;
• 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 project 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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Planetary Science is an exciting area of study, as new data returning from current planetary probes and rovers expands and deepens our understanding of the geology of other planets. Read more
Planetary Science is an exciting area of study, as new data returning from current planetary probes and rovers expands and deepens our understanding of the geology of other planets. If you have an undergraduate degree in earth sciences or geology, but want to increase your knowledge of planetary sciences, then this course will bring you up to date with developments in the field. The specialist knowledge you acquire could help you change career, or build a career within the planetary sciences and education, or enable you to progress onto doctoral research at PhD level.

You will be taught by academics who are actively engaged in cutting-edge planetary research that is expanding the boundaries of knowledge. We cover planetary surfaces and remote sensing, volcanic activity on Earth and other planets, the nature of comets, asteroids and meteorites, and the internal structure and origin of planets, as well as offering advanced modules in astronomy, scientific computing, and the design of, and participation in, an analogue field mission. You can choose from a range of modules and put together a programme that matches, expands and deepens your particular interests.

The course can be taken via distance-learning or face-to-face evening study.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

This programme will teach you about cutting-edge developments in this exciting, constantly expanding field.
This programme is ideal if you have studied earth sciences or geology at undergraduate level and want to deepen your understanding of planetary sciences.
Our Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences has been offering evening study courses for over 70 years and is ranked 6th in the UK.
You will learn in an environment of active research and be taught by lecturers who are working at the forefront of their specialisms.
Studying with us will give you access to world-class research facilities.
We retain close links with UCL's Department of Earth Sciences, sharing expertise, facilities and events across the 2 institutions, including live streaming of lectures and digital lecture notes.
We are part of the joint UCL-Birkbeck Institute of Earth and Planetary Sciences (IEPS).

Our research

Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

In our joint submission with UCL, Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences at Birkbeck were rated 6th the UK in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), while we achieved 100% for an environment conducive to research of the highest quality.

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