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MSc by Research in Astrophysics

Course Description

MSc Astrophysics by Research
The Centre for Astrophysics Research (CAR) is one of the largest astronomy departments in the UK. CAR members carry out research on a range of key science questions in astronomy. Research programmes include observations covering wavelengths from gamma-ray through to the radio, extensive computer modelling, theoretical studies and instrument development.

Galaxy formation, evolution and activity across cosmic time
UH astronomers are addressing the issues of galaxy and structure formation and evolution, over all cosmic epochs, with a variety of techniques. We lead several large observational surveys spanning the whole of the electromagnetic spectrum, using cutting-edge facilities such as the recently launched Herschel Space Observatory and the new near-infrared survey telescope VISTA, in Chile. We combine these with observations of individual galaxies and with detailed theoretical studies of the physical processes involved galaxy formation and evolution, jet-production and the impact of active galactic nuclei on galaxies. With this multi-faceted approach, our aim is to establish a comprehensive picture of how galaxies form and evolve over the history of the Universe and in all environments.

Structure and composition of the Milky Way and its satellites; stars, brown dwarfs, planets and the ISM
UH astronomers are also addressing the key issues of the formation and evolution of stars and planets, from high-mass stars to brown dwarfs and exoplanets. Our work includes the study of ultra-metal poor stars that are key witnesses of the first period of star formation in the Milky Way, and mass loss from evolved stars including supernovae. We study the stellar population of Local Group galaxies, including the Milky Way, to trace age and metallicity gradients as well as their structure using stars in different evolutionary stages.

Staff at the University of Hertfordshire are leading several international surveys covering the whole range of interests within the department.
UH is an international leader in survey astronomy, particularly in the near-infrared where we host three of the six principal investigators of the public surveys being conducted on the new 4-m VISTA near-infrared telescope at Paranal, Chile and two principal investigators of the surveys currently being conducted on the UK Infrared Telescope in Hawaii. Together the VISTA and UKIRT surveys will use >1000 nights over the next five years to conduct detailed studies of the Galactic Bulge and Plane, the Magellanic Cloud System along with a deep multi-band extragalactic survey and a search for exo-planets. A further theme of the Centre's survey activities is the multi-wavelength view of the Plane of the Milky Way: the Centre is also home to the PIs of optical surveys, north (INT) and south (VST) and a JCMT sub-millimetre survey, covering similar sky areas to the NIR Galactic Plane surveys. We also play leading roles in a range of surveys being conducted with the Herschel Space Observatory.

Instrumentation and Laboratory
We maintain our world-standing in the design and construction of polarimeters which now includes joint programmes with the Centre for Atmospheric and Instrumentation Research (CAIR).
Present instrument and laboratory work includes:

* Polarimeters
* Scattering from biological particles
For all research student enquiries, please contact:
Research Student Admissions
Science and Technology Research Institute
University of Hertfordshire
College Lane
AL10 9AB

T: +44 (0) 1707 286083
F: +44 (0) 1707 284185

For enquiries relating to our research work in astrophysics, please contact:
Dr Matt Jarvis
T: +44 (0)1707 285251

Entry Requirements

You will need a second class honours degree in Physics, Astrophysics, Mathematics or Computer Sciences

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