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Astrophysics

Entry Year: 2019

2 study options

Astrophysics BSc (Hons)

Key information

Degree
BSc (Hons)
Duration
3 years
Start
September 2019
UCAS code
F526
Institution code
Q50
Clearing offer
More information on Clearing entry requirements
UK/EU fees
£9,250
International fees
£20,850
Funding information
Paying your fees

Astrophysics MSci (Hons)

Key information

Degree
MSci (Hons)
Duration
4 years
Start
September 2019
UCAS code
F523
Institution code
Q50
Clearing offer
More information on Clearing entry requirements
UK/EU fees
£9,250
International fees
£20,850
Funding information
Paying your fees
Astrophysics
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Overview

Astrophysics applies physics and mathematics to understanding astronomical objects such as planets, stars and galaxies, and to the universe as a whole.

Understanding the origin and evolution of the universe is one of the most exciting and challenging problems in modern science.

In this programme you’ll use practical and theoretical approaches to explore the evolution and properties of astrophysical systems. You’ll apply the methods used by astronomers to determine the composition and distance of other stars and galaxies. And you’ll develop an understanding of the role played by dark matter and dark energy in the large-scale structure of the universe and its accelerating expansion.

Specialist modules focus on cosmology, galaxies, stars and planetary systems and are taught by active researchers in those fields. Extra option modules provide scope for you to explore topics beyond the core syllabus, providing you with a rounded physics education with a specialist focus.

You’ll develop practical skills in lab work and programming that can be applied in commerce, industry or research.

In your final year, you’ll further develop your own interests through the completion of an independent research project, supervised by one of the School’s astrophysicists.

Professional recognition

This programme is accredited by the Institute of Physics

Undergraduate Open Days

Saturday 5 October 2019

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Structure

You can complete your Astrophysics degree in three or four years.

Year 1

Compulsory

  • Classical Physics
  • Electric and Magnetic Fields
  • Mathematical Techniques 1
  • Mathematical Techniques 2
  • Modern Physics
  • Our Universe
  • Professional Skills for Scientists (including introduction to programming)
  • Scientific Measurement

Please note that all modules are subject to change.

Year 2

Compulsory

  • Communication Skills for Scientists
  • Condensed Matter A
  • Electromagnetic Waves and Optics
  • Planetary Systems
  • Quantum Mechanics A
  • Stars
  • Thermodynamics

Choose two from

  • Introduction to Scientific Computing
  • Mathematical Techniques 3
  • Nuclear Physics and Astrophysics
  • Physics of Energy and the Environment

Please note that all modules are subject to change.

Year 3

Compulsory

  • Extended Independent Project (BSc)
  • Physical Cosmology
  • Physics of Galaxies
  • Physics Review Project (MSci)
  • Spacetime and Gravity
  • Statistical Physics
  • Synoptic Physics (study only)

Choose two (BSc) or three (MSci) from

  • Computational Condensed Matter Physics
  • Condensed Matter B
  • Elementary Particle Physics
  • Fluid Dynamics
  • Group Projects for Physicists
  • Mathematical Techniques 3
  • Quantum Mechanics and Symmetry
  • Quantum Mechanics B
  • Radiation Detectors
  • Statistical Data Analysis

Please note that all modules are subject to change.

Year 4

MSci only

Compulsory

  • Physics Investigative Project
  • Physics Research Project

Choose three from

Modules offered at Queen Mary

  • Advanced Cosmology
  • Advanced Quantum Field Theory
  • Astrophysical Plasmas
  • Collider Physics
  • Cosmology
  • Differential Geometry in Theoretical Physics
  • Electromagnetic Radiation in Astrophysics
  • Electronic Structure Methods
  • Extrasolar Planets and Astrophysical Disks
  • Functional Methods in Quantum Field Theory
  • Phase Transitions
  • Relativistic Waves and Quantum Fields
  • Relativity and Gravitation
  • Solar System
  • Stellar Structure and Evolution
  • Supersymmetric Methods in Theoretical Physics
  • The Galaxy

Modules currently offered at other University of London institutions are subject to change at short notice.

Modules offered at King's College London

  • Advanced Condensed Matter 
  • Advanced Photonics 
  • Cellular Biophysics 
  • Dark Matter and Dark Energy 
  • Dynamical Analysis of Complex Systems 
  • Elements of Statistical Learning 
  • Environmental Remote Sensing 
  • Equilibrium Analysis of Complex Systems 
  • Lie Groups and Algebras 
  • Mathematical Biology 
  • Mathematical Methods for Theoretical Physics 
  • Modelling Quantum Many Body-Systems 
  • Standard Model Physics and Beyond 
  • String Theory and Branes 
  • Supersymmetry 
  • Theoretical Treatment of Nano-Systems 
  • Theory of Complex Networks 

Modules offered at Royal Holloway

  • Computer Simulation in Condensed Matter 
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance 
  • Particle Accelerator Physics 
  • Physics at the Nanoscale 
  • Quantum Electronics and Nanostructure 
  • Statistical Data Analysis 
  • Statistical Mechanics 
  • Superfluids, Condensates and Superconductors 

Modules offered at University College London

  • Advanced Physics Cosmology 
  • Advanced Quantum Theory 
  • Advanced Topics in Statistical Mechanics 
  • Atom and Photon Physics 
  • Galaxy Dynamics, Formation and Evolution 
  • Molecular Biophysics 
  • Molecular Physics 
  • Order and Excitations in Condensed Matter 
  • Particle Physics
  • Planetary Atmospheres 
  • Quantum Computation and Communication 
  • Solar Physics 
  • Space Plasma and Magnetospheric Physics

Please note that all modules are subject to change.

Study options

Apply for this degree with any of the following options. Take care to use the correct UCAS code - it may not be possible to change your selection later.

Integrated foundation year

Students who do not meet their UCAS Conditional offer may be considered for the 4 year degree (foundation year plus the 3 year degree). Students who already hold a Conditional offer from Queen Mary will be automatically considered for the 4 year offer.  Queen Mary will also consider students who have not met their Conditional offer from another university, via UCAS Clearing.  The UCAS Tariff (points) required for admission to the 4 year degree is usually confirmed immediately prior to UCAS Clearing.

Students who have studied A Levels, the IB Diploma and US Advanced Placements will have to apply via UCAS Clearing for the 4 year degree.

International students with Year 12 or a completed international high school certificate/diploma qualify for the one year foundation programme commonly known as the ISEFP.

The foundation programme offers a range of transferable skills and an opportunity to improve on your knowledge content for relevant Maths and Science subjects.

You will enrol for a BSc Physics with Foundation which will offer progression to a range of degrees in the Physics Department.  At the end of the foundation programme, students will be required to meet the progression requirements for the degree of their choice.  

MSci

Specialise further by applying for our intercollegiate Astrophysics MSci, which shares fourth-year modules with other prestigious University of London institutions, including King’s College, University College London and Royal Holloway.

Additional Costs

If you choose to take intercollegiate 4th year modules at other London institutions, you’ll need to pay Tube and rail fares to attend classes. 

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Testimonial

The department is very organised so lectures, tutorials, coursework and exams all run very smoothly. The lectures are well planned and online resources are always available to support study. The School of Physics and Astronomy is internationally recognised as a successful research institute which provides graduates with an excellent platform to continue with further academic study or enter many job sectors.

Teaching

Teaching and learning

You’ll learn through a combination of lectures, laboratory sessions and tutorial classes. Your total teaching time will be around 20 hours per week, but you are expected to spend time on independent study and coursework or lab reports. Overall, you should be spending 30-40 hours on your studies each week. 

Assessment

Assessment depends on the nature of the work being carried out. For example, if the module involves practical work only, the assessment will be based on laboratory reports. For non-practical modules you may be assessed by weekly coursework, termly assignments and an end-of-year examination.

Resources and facilities

The School offers excellent on-campus resources to aid your studies, including:

  • teaching laboratories
  • a rooftop observatory
  • a dedicated study space for physics students
  • professional research facilities for use in final-year projects.

Funding

Loans and grants

UK students accepted onto this course are eligible to apply for tuition fee and maintenance loans from Student Finance England or other government bodies.

Scholarships and bursaries

Queen Mary offers a generous package of scholarships and bursaries, which currently benefits around 50 per cent of our undergraduates.

Scholarships are available for home, EU and international students. Specific funding is also available for students from the local area. International students may be eligible for a fee reduction. We offer means-tested funding, as well as subject-specific funding for many degrees.

Find out what scholarships and bursaries are available to you.

Support from Queen Mary

We offer specialist support on all financial and welfare issues through our Advice and Counselling Service, which you can access as soon as you have applied for a place at Queen Mary.

Take a look at our Student Advice Guides which cover ways to finance your degree, including:

  • additional sources of funding
  • planning your budget and cutting costs
  • part-time and vacation work
  • money for lone parents.

Careers

Many graduates continue their studies with a PhD or MSc, often as a precursor to a career in research.

Skills developed through studying astrophysics – such as numeracy, data analysis, coding and problem solving – are also highly transferable into other sectors, including energy, business, marketing, engineering, technology, IT and finance.

Recent graduates of the school of Physics and Astronomy have been hired by:

  • Avanade
  • ESI Media
  • Medical Physics – NHS
  • Open Symmetry (management consulting)
  • Royal Observatory
  • University of Oxford.

Career support

You’ll have opportunities to build valuable work experience and transferable skills through our specialist careers and employability support. We run dedicated internship schemes for students of physics and astronomy, weekly advice sessions and events such as software bootcamps and problem-solving workshops.

The top two students on the Astrophysics programme will be offered fully-funded summer internships at the Skinakas Observatory in Crete.

The Queen Mary careers team can also offer:

  • specialist advice on choosing a career path
  • support with finding work experience, internships and graduate jobs
  • feedback on CVs, cover letters and application forms
  • interview coaching.

Learn more about career support and development at Queen Mary.

Unistats data for these courses

  • Astrophysics - BSc (Hons)

  • Astrophysics - MSci (Hons)

About the School

The School of Physics and Astronomy combines the academic rigour of a Russell Group institution with a friendly and supportive atmosphere. We are highly rated in the National Student Survey (NSS), coming top in London for overall student satisfaction for the past four years.

We run a busy schedule of research seminars, and a successful peer mentoring scheme. The PsiStar physics society is extremely active and has around 200 members.

You’ll be taught by academics who work on high-profile international collaborations, including experiments at CERN and the recently completed NASA and European Space Agency Cassini mission to Saturn.

We’re proud to have played a role in some of the most exciting discoveries of the past 100 years, including Rutherford’s discovery of the atomic nucleus, discovery of the W, Z and Higgs bosons and the first ‘superstring revolution’.  Most recently, Queen Mary astronomer Dr Guillem Anglada-Escudé led a team of scientists to discover the closest exoplanet to Earth, Proxima b.

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