MSc
2021 start

Astrophysics

Department of Physics and Astronomy, Faculty of Science

Explore the key topics at the cutting edge of modern astrophysics. You’ll get training in the practical skills used by professional astrophysicists and be able to conduct your own astronomical observations.
Astrophysics: field trip

Course description

This course explains the formation and evolution of stars, galaxies and the Universe itself. It includes training on how to perform your own astronomical observations using our 0.5m telescope, which is located on La Palma in the Canary Islands but can be operated remotely from Sheffield. You can also take part in a subsidised field trip to La Palma and visit some of the world’s top observatories.

There are a number of modules to choose from, covering topics to deepen your understanding of the Universe, such as cosmology, dark matter, general relativity and astrobiology. We can run projects on topics including galaxies, quasars, supernovae, massive stars, white and brown dwarfs, star formation, star clusters, planet formation and the evolution of the solar system.

Field trip

MSc Astrophysics students can go on a subsidised field trip to the international observatory on La Palma in the Canary Islands. The island is home to a number of world-leading telescopes that our astrophysicists use, and is an ideal environment for astronomy, being both close to the equator and 2,400m above sea level.

Modules

Explore core and optional modules

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption. We are no longer offering unrestricted module choice. If your course included unrestricted modules, your department will provide a list of modules from their own and other subject areas that you can choose from.

Teaching

You will be taught through lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, presentation skills training, and one-to-one research project meetings with your supervisor.

Assessment

You'll be assessed by examinations, coursework, essays and other written work, and a dissertation and viva.

Duration

1 year full-time

Your career

The advanced topics covered and the extensive research training make this degree great preparation for a PhD and a career in astrophysics research. University of Sheffield graduates have gone to work for organisations such as the UK and European Space Agencies, the European Southern Observatory and top universities around the world.

Astrophysics graduates also develop numerical, problem-solving and data analysis skills that are useful in many careers, such as computer programming, software engineering, data science or technology research and development.

Facilities

We run a 0.5m telescope with the University of Durham on La Palma, which you can operate remotely from Sheffield as part of your training, or during the optional annual field trip. There are also a computer controlled 0.4m telescope and a robotic 0.25m telescope on the roof of our building, which you can use during the course.

Entry requirements

Undergraduate degree in the physical sciences or a related subject (for example mathematics or computer science). We usually ask for a 2:1 degree in physics, astronomy or astrophysics.

Overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

We also accept a range of other UK qualifications and other EU/international qualifications.

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.

Apply

You can apply for postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It's a quick and easy process.

Apply now

Contact

postgradphysics-enquiry@shef.ac.uk
+44 114 222 3789

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