I enjoyed conducting my own observations using the telescope on the roof
What made you decide to study the Astrophysics MSc course in Sheffield?
One of the key reasons for my decision to study at Sheffield was the university’s prestigious reputation. Whilst researching masters courses, I prioritised institutions that were high in global rankings. Sheffield is one of the world’s top 100 universities, which made it an obvious choice for me. Aside from the university’s reputation, the MSc Astrophysics course seemed to be very well-rounded, covering all the background that I would also love to cover at PhD level.
What have you enjoyed most about the course?
COVID restrictions meant that I was unable to experience the full in-person progression of the course. However, I enjoyed the opportunity to conduct my own observations using the 16-inch telescope on the rooftop of Hicks Building. The teaching staff also did an excellent job inspiring the current cohort of students, and providing us with invaluable assistance.
What are you doing for your MSc research project?
My MSc research project is on the relaxation of small N-Body systems. I am focusing on small star clusters with less than 100 members. In my project, I hope to study their evolution using simulations constructed in Fortran.
What scientific skills have you developed during your course?
The most important scientific skills I have developed through the course are an ability to conduct academic research, and write for a scientific audience. Prior to the course, I had no experience of writing a scientific paper. The regular written assignments included during the course, I have been able to gain sufficient experience in academic writing to prepare me for PhD-level study.
What transferable skills have you developed during your course?
Throughout the course, I have learnt a number of programming languages including Fortran, Python and even LaTeX. This allowed me to become more confident in my coding abilities, which will be invaluable in the future, even in fields not directly related to Astrophysics.
What do you hope to do after your degree?
My ultimate goal is to become an academic. Consequently, to achieve this, I hope to complete a PhD after my masters course. I am hoping to be offered a position in a PhD relevant to planet formation simulations, which will bring me closer to a career in academia.
What would you say to a prospective student considering studying MSc Astrophysics at Sheffield?
I would highly recommend the course. I have been really pleased with the course, even in spite of the impacts of COVID on general university life.
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