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Astronomy and Astrophysics (MSc)

Course Description


The MSc programme in Astronomy and Astrophysics offers a study programme that provides a basic training in both the observational and theoretical aspects of modern astronomy and astrophysics. The research master has an emphasis on the fundamental questions that current astrophysical research at the UvA focuses on. Such questions are for example: What is the history of the universe? How are stars and planetary systems born? What is the origin and physical nature of black holes and neutron stars?

Researchers use a wide range of theoretical and applied tools to define the properties of astrophysical objects and to identify the fundamental laws that govern their behaviour.

Among these tools are supercomputers (our campus houses the premier data and computing hub of the Netherlands), ground-based telescopes operating at wavelengths from radio to optical (such as ESO's VLT and the new LOw Frequency ARray) and space observatories such as Hubble, Chandra, XMM, Swift and soon also Herschel and GLAST.

Collaborative efforts are also being made to develop new ways of probing the universe. New instruments are being built and new windows on the Universe being opened, such as neutrinos, gravity waves and high-energy gamma and cosmic rays (‘astroparticle physics').

Studying Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Amsterdam

Teaching at API emphasises interaction, with many courses employing non-traditional, project-based forms of testing. An example is the Observing Project that students complete in the first semester. This project requires that students write a proposal for an observing project and travel to a professional observatory (La Palma) to execute it and analyse and report on the data.

The programme offers a large number of electives covering a broad spectrum of areas, thus giving students the opportunity to select topics that interest them. All courses are taught by researchers internationally recognised in their fields.

Accreditation and degree

The Master's programme in Astronomy and Astrophysics has been legally accredited by the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO). This means that upon successful completion of the programme, students will receive a legally accredited Master's degree in Astronomy and Astrophysics and the title of Master of Science (MSc).

Entry Requirements

Applicants should hold a Bachelor's degree in astronomy or physics. This Master's programme is designed as a regular study programme for Dutch students, but has also been adapted to accommodate international students with a relevant Bachelor's degree or relevant science major from a foreign university.International applicants must also fulfil other general entry requirements set by the Faculty of Science regarding academic background, academic average and proficiency in English.

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