Astrophysics (2016 Entry)

Course type: Dual Honours, Major.
Entry requirements: Read more about entry requirements
Typical offer:BBB or ABC
Tuition fees: Read more about tuition fees
Duration and mode of study: 3 years, Full time
Location of study:Keele University campus
Subject Area: Physics and Astrophysics, Faculty of Natural Sciences
Astrophysics was voted 1st for student satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2016

Astrophysics was voted 1st for student satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2016

Course Overview

Learn to formulate and tackle problems in astrophysics – from below the level of the atomic nucleus to astronomical scales.

Astrophysics is active wherever the laws of physics are being tested to the limit – and beyond. Keele will help you to use astronomical observations, mathematical models and computer simulation to develop theories explaining some of the most complex phenomena. You’ll develop your mathematics and computing skills, and apply them to solving a range of problems in the laboratory and beyond (you’ll have access to Keele’s own on-site observatory). We operate an open-door policy which enables you to have excellent and flexible access to staff to seek advice or feedback on their work. This course is enriched by our research interests and international collaborative research programmes. Take this course as a dual honours or a major route and your degree will be accredited by the Institute of Physics.

Physics/Astrophysics at Keele was ranked #1 in 2016 for student satisfaction amongst UK Physics and Astronomy courses, achieving the highest rankings specifically for the ability and accessibility of staff, the quality of feedback on student work and the course organisation.

Dual Honours

Below is an indicative range of modules you could study as part of dual honours Astrophysics.

First year

Core modules: 

  • Mechanics, Gravity and Relativity
  • Nature of Matter
  • Oscillations and Waves
  • Electricity and Stellar Structure

Second year

Core modules: 

  • Quantum Mechanics
  • Optics and Thermodynamics
  • Statistical mechanics and Solid State Physics
  • Stellar Astrophysics

Third year

Core modules:

  • Group Project and Science Communication
  • Electromagnetism

Optional core modules:

  • Cosmology
  • Physics of the Interstellar Medium
  • The Physics of Compact Objects
  • Quantum Physics of Atoms and Molecules
  • Polymer Physics
  • Particles, Accelerators and Reactor Physics
  • Binary Stars and Extrasolar Planets
  • Life in the Universe
  • Computational Methods in Physics and Astrophysics
  • Data Analysis and Model testing
  • The Physics of Galaxies
  • Quantum Mechanics II
  • Physics of Fluids
  • Atmospheric Physics
  • Plasma Physics

Optional core modules offered vary each year depending on student preferences and staff availability.

Major Minor

Below is an indicative range of modules you could study as part of major honours Astrophysics.

First year

Core modules: 

  • Mechanics, Gravity and Relativity
  • Nature of Matter
  • Oscillations and Waves
  • Electricity and Stellar Structure

Second year

Core modules: 

  • Quantum Mechanics
  • Optics and Thermodynamics
  • Statistical mechanics and Solid State Physics
  • Stellar Astrophysics

Third year

Core modules:

  • Dissertation

Optional core modules:

  • Cosmology
  • Physics of the Interstellar Medium
  • The Physics of Compact Objects
  • Quantum Physics of Atoms and Molecules
  • Polymer Physics
  • Particles, Accelerators and Reactor Physics
  • Binary Stars and Extrasolar Planets
  • Life in the Universe
  • Computational Methods in Physics and Astrophysics
  • Data Analysis and Model testing
  • The Physics of Galaxies
  • Quantum Mechanics II
  • Physics of Fluids
  • Atmospheric Physics
  • Plasma Physics

Optional core modules offered vary each year depending on student preferences and staff availability.

Course workload

This contact time measure is intended to provide you with an indication of the type of activity you are likely to undertake during your programme. The data is compiled based on module choices and learning patterns of students on similar programmes in previous years. Every effort is made to ensure this data is a realistic representation of what you are likely to experience, but changes to programmes, teaching methods and assessment methods mean this data is representative and not specific.

Undergraduate courses at Keele contain an element of module choice; therefore, you will experience a different mix of contact time and assessment types dependent upon your own individual choice of modules. The figures below are an example of activities that you may expect on your chosen course by year/stage of study. Contact time includes scheduled activities such as: lecture, seminar, tutorial, project supervision, demonstration, practical classes and labs, supervised time in labs/workshop, fieldwork and external visits. The figures are based on 1,200 hours of student effort each year for full-time students.

First year

  • Scheduled learning and teaching activities – 40%
  • Guided independent study – 60%

Second year

  • Scheduled learning and teaching activities – 43%
  • Guided independent study – 57% 

Third year

  • Scheduled learning and teaching activities – 30%
  • Guided independent study – 70%

Skills and Careers

What will this mean for my future?

An Astrophysics degree from Keele will prepare you for many different careers, which need not be directly related to astrophysics. You could take up all sorts of roles in industry, management, and public services, including teaching, health and finance. Many employers recognise that the versatility and flexibility of astrophysics means that graduates possess a wide range of very valuable skills, from independent and critical thinking to the solving of sophisticated problems.

Visit our Careers pages (new window)

Codes and Combinations

Codes and Combinations

All students who study a science subject are candidates for the degree of Bachelor of Science (with Honours) (BSc Hons).

can be combined with:

Single Honours, Major and Foundation course information

Astrophysics with Foundation Year: F513 View KIS Stats

Full Unistats data is available at unistats.direct.gov.uk (opens new window)

Study abroad

On the Astrophysics Programme you have the opportunity to spend a semester abroad in your second year studying at one of Keele’s international partner universities. Exactly which countries are available depends on your choice of degree subjects. An indicative list of countries is on the website Partner Universities however this does not guarantee the availability of study in a specific country as this is subject to the university’s application process for studying abroad.

No additional tuition fees are payable for studying abroad but you do have to bear the costs of travelling to and from their destination university, accommodation, food and personal costs. Depending on the destination they are studying at additional costs may include visas, study permits, residence permits, and compulsory health checks. You should expect the total costs of studying abroad to be greater than if you study in the UK, information is made available from the Global Education Team throughout the process, as costs will vary depending on destination. 

Accreditation

This subject is accredited by: The Institute of Physics (IOP). Please note the following:

Graduates with accredited BSc degrees are eligible for Associate Membership of the IOP. After a period of relevant post-degree experience and professional development they may apply for full membership of the IOP and for Chartered Physicist status. 

Find out more about the course

Our Course Information Documents (CIDs) are designed to give you all of the details you need to make an informed decision about what and where to study.

Dual Honours and Major Minor Course Information Document (PDF)

2017 Entry details

Our full course information for 2017 entry is yet to be finalised. We may make changes to our course content from year to year in order to keep pace with current research and innovation.

Here is a list of indicative modules for 2017 entry:

First year

  • Mechanics, Gravity and Relativity
  • Nature of Matter 
  • Oscillations and Waves 
  • Electricity and Stellar Structure

Second year

  • Quantum Mechanics 
  • Optics and Thermodynamics 
  • Statistical Mechanics and Solid State Physics 
  • Stellar Astrophysics

Third year

  • Group Project and Science Communication
  • Electromagnetism 
  • Dissertation
  • Cosmology
  • Physics of the Interstellar Medium
  • The Physics of Compact Objects
  • Quantum Physics of Atoms and Molecules
  • Polymer Physics 
  • Particles, Accelerators and Reactor Physics 
  • Binary Stars and Extrasolar Planets 
  • Life in the Universe
  • Computational Methods in Physics and Astrophysics 
  • Data Analysis and Model Testing
  • The Physics of Galaxies
  • Quantum Mechanics II 
  • Physics of Fluids 
  • Atmospheric Physics 
  • Plasma Physics

It is important that you read the information at Terms and Conditions which explains how and why we might need to make changes to the educational services that we provide.