BSc

Astrophysics

Key Facts

Code F510
  • Typical A-level offer

    BBC with B in Physics and B in Mathematics. Candidates taking a science A level with an associated practical skills assessment will also be required to pass the practical component.

  • Course Length

    3 Years

Further details on entry requirements

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Astrophysics (F510), at Aberystwyth University, incorporates the broad disciplines of Astronomy, including: Cosmology and Galactic Astronomy, the Solar System, Gas Giants and Terrestrial Worlds, Red Giants, White Dwarfs, Neutron Stars, Quasars and more.

This allows you to cover a broad area of learning and then specialise later in your career. With foundations in the key areas of Physics and Astronomy, taught in a supportive environment, you will also develop the transferable skills required by employers, in this discipline, for education, business and industry.

Student Satisfaction and Employability Results

Top 10 in the UK for Student Experience for the subject of Physics & Astronomy (The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019)

Department of Physics: 90% student satisfaction for the subject of Physics and Astronomy (NSS 2018

93% of our graduates were in work or further study within 6 months, in line with the figure for Physical Science graduates nationally, also 93% (HESA 2018*)

Overview

Institute of Physics - Juno PractitionerWhy study Astrophysics at Aberystwyth University?

  • On completion of this degree you will leave with accreditation by the IOP (Institute of Physics)
  • Physics has been taught at Aberystwyth since its foundation and it continues to be an innovative learning experience for all
  • You will be taught by experts in their field
  • Our Researchers are involved in the current European Space Agency ExoMars 2020 Project and engineering low dimensional materials (i.e. graphene)
Our Staff

Department of Physics Lecturers are all qualified to PhD level and have a track record of research in their fields of specialisation.

Modules

Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.

Core

Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Algebra and Differential Equations * PH16210 10
Astronomy PH18010 10
Calculus * MP10610 10
Classical Dynamics * PM14010 10
Classical Physics * PH11010 10
Forces and Energy * PH11120 20
Further Algebra and Calculus * MP11010 10
Laboratory Techniques for Experimental Physics (20 Credits) * PH15720 20
Modern Physics PH14310 10
Physics Career Planning and Skills Development * PH12910 10

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh

Core

Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Mathematical Physics * PM26020 20
Planets PH28510 10
Stars PH24610 10
Thermodynamics * PH21510 10
Electricity and Magnetism PH22510 10
Experimental Physics * PH25520 20
Numerical Techniques for Physicists PH26620 20
Optics PH22010 10
Principles of Quantum Mechanics PH23010 10

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh

Core

Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Concepts in Condensed Matter Physics * PH32410 10
Galaxies PH34610 10
Interior of the Sun PH38310 10
Numerical Methods PH36010 10
Space Plasmas PH39710 10
General Relativity and Cosmology PH34710 10
Probing Atoms and Molecules * PH32710 10
Project (40 Credits) * PH37540 40
The Solar Atmosphere & Heliosphere PH38410 10

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh

Employability

What can I do with a physics degree?

Our graduates have discovered career paths in:

  • Medical Physicist
  • Radiation Protection Practitioner
  • Research Scientist

Other graduates from our department have sought careers in:

  • Systems Developer
  • Product Development
  • Technical Author
  • Meteorologist

 

Employability is embedded across all of our teaching and ethics. We instil these skills to our students:

• Research and data analysis skills
• Enhanced mathematical and computational skills
• Effective problem-solving and creative thinking skills
• Ability to work independently
• Time-management and organisational skills, including the ability to meet deadlines
• Ability to express ideas and communicate information in a clear and structured manner, in both written and oral form
• Self-motivation and self-reliance
• Team-working, with the ability to discuss concepts in groups, accommodating different ideas and reaching agreement

 What work experience opportunities exist whilst studying? 

Click here to find out about the various opportunities that our Aberystwyth University Careers team offer. 

Enhance your employability prospects with GO Wales and YES (Year in Employment Scheme) managed by our Careers department. 

Teaching & Learning

What will I learn?

The breakdown below will provide you with an illustration of what you may study during the three year degree scheme.

In the first year you will discover:

  • The main branches of classical and modern physics underpinned by the core mathematical disciplines of algebra and calculus
  • Computational and experimental physics
  • Quantum theory
  • Dynamics
  • The principles of gravitational and electrostatic fields

In your second year you will explore:

  • Solar interior
  • Stars
  • Planets and planetary atmospheres
  • Thermal physics
  • Quantum mechanics
  • Mathematical physics
  • Data handling
  • Statistics

In your third year you will investigate:

  • Cosmology
  • Galaxies
  • Space plasmas
  • The solar atmosphere
  • The heliosphere alongside condensed matter
  • Atoms and molecules
  • Electromagnetism

How will I be taught?

We teach our students through lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, practicals, individual and group-based project work.

We assess our students through coursework, presentations, lab reports, lab diaries and examinations.

Further information:

You will be assigned a personal tutor throughout your degree course, who will help you with any problems or queries, whether these are academic-related or personal issues. You should feel free to contact them at any time for help and advice.

You will also have the opportunity to complete a Personal Development Plan (PDP) at Aberystwyth. This is a structured process of self-appraisal, reflection, and planning, which will enable you to chart your personal, academic and professional development throughout your time at university. By recording your academic performance, and highlighting the skills you already have and those you will need for future employability, the PDP portfolio will equip you with the necessary tools to plan effectively, develop successful approaches to study, and consider your future career options and aspirations.

Student Views

I love Astrophysics because the universe is a wondrous feat of reality, arising from the physical law of nature. A complex mixture of energy, mass, gravity, electric and magnetic fields gives rise to life and to the beautiful galaxies that we see in the night sky. Who wouldn't want to study that? Learning about the big picture of the universe instead of being confined to trivial problems in everyday life is character-building and a worthwhile venture. Geoffrey Knott

Typical Entry Requirements

A Levels BBC with B in Physics and B in Mathematics. Candidates taking a science A level with an associated practical skills assessment will also be required to pass the practical component.

GCSE requirements (grade C min):
English or Welsh, Mathematics

BTEC National Diploma:
DMM with specified subject and B in A level Mathematics

International Baccalaureate:
28 points overall with 5 points in Physics and 5 points in Mathematics at Higher Level

European Baccalaureate:
Pass overall with 60% in Physics and 60% in Mathematics

The University operates an inclusive admissions policy and our offers can vary. Please refer to our country-specific pages for details of the international qualifications we accept. For further information, contact ug-admissions@aber.ac.uk

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