Astrophysics and Chemistry 

(2018 Entry)

BSc (Hons)

At Keele, studying a combined honours degree will include some modules from both of the single honours degrees. In this case, your programme will be made up of a combination of modules from both Astrophysics and Chemistry.

Combined Honours

Combined Honours degrees allow you to study two different subjects in one degree. Find out more about Combined Honours degrees.


Study abroad
Learn a language
International year
3 years/ 4 years with international year

UCAS code: FF15

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Course Overview

In Astrophysics, you will learn to formulate and tackle problems – 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. This combined course is accredited by the Institute of Physics.

Alongside this you will be studying Chemistry, whereby Keele’s award-winning teaching and research span the wide diversity of chemistry, helping you to develop subject knowledge and transferable skills in a supportive learning environment. You’ll develop a solid foundation of theory and practical skills, building to cover advanced concepts and contemporary issues in chemistry in later years. You can tailor your studies to reflect your interests, and learn how to pursue your own research. You’ll have hands-on experience with state-of-the-art scientific instruments and techniques, and enjoy access to dedicated IT facilities. You’ll learn to use chemistry in problem solving, and to present your theories and findings confidently and imaginatively to your audiences. You could even spend a semester or year abroad.

What will this mean for my future?

Keele enjoys high rates of graduate employment, where in 2016, were recognised nationally as 1st for employability in the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey. 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. From your study of chemistry, you might work in industry, research or education; you could choose to become a chemical engineer, research scientist, toxicologist, patent lawyer, analytical chemist or technical writer. Many students go on to higher study after a first degree in chemistry, allowing them to specialise in an area of interest such as analytical, forensic, synthetic or materials chemistry and eventually work in a wide range of other specialist roles.

Course structure

Our degree courses are organised into modules. Each module is usually a self-contained unit of study and each is usually assessed separately with the award of credits on the basis of 1 credit = 10 hours of student effort.  An outline of the structure of the programme is provided in the tables below.

There are three types of module delivered as part of this programme. They are:

  • Compulsory modules – a module that you are required to study on this course;
  • Optional modules – these allow you some limited choice of what to study from a list of modules;
  • Elective modules – a free choice of modules that count towards the overall credit requirement but not the number of subject-related credits.

Modules Summary

Astrophysics - A summary of the total credit requirements per year is as follows, with a minimum of 90 subject credits (compulsory plus optional) required for each year across both of your Principal Subjects. This document has information about Astrophysics modules only; please also see the document for your other subject.

 

Year

Compulsory

Optional

Electives

Min

Max

Min

Max

1

60

0

0

0

0

2

60

0

0

0

0

3*

30

30

30

0

0

* in year 3 there is the option to choose to specialise in one of your subjects, taking a minimum of 90 credits in this subject rather than taking modules from both subjects

 

Chemistry - A summary of the total credit requirements per year is as follows, with a minimum of 90 subject credits (compulsory plus optional) required for each year across both of your Principal Subjects. This document has information about Chemistry modules only; please also see the document for your other subject.

Year

Compulsory

Optional

Electives

Min

Max

Min

Max

1

60

0

0

0

0

2

60

0

0

0

0

3*

15-105

0-45

15-45

0

0-15

* in year 3 there is the option to choose to specialise in one of your subjects, taking a minimum of 105 credits in this subject rather than taking modules from both subjects

 

It is possible to transfer onto the following courses from BSc Chemistry. You may elect to transfer between any of the courses tabulated below according to the deadlines given:

Degree Title

Duration

Transfer Deadline

BSc Chemistry (Single Honours)

3 years

Transfer by week 1 of semester 1 of year 2

BSc Chemistry with International Year (Single Honours)

4 years

Transfer by week 1 of semester 1 of year 2

BSc Medicinal Chemistry (Combined Honours)

3 years

Transfer by week 1 of semester 1 of year 2

MChem Chemistry

4 years

Transfer by week 1 of semester 1 of year 2

 

A summary of the BSc Chemistry with International Year programme is provided in Annex A. Please consult the MChem programme specification for full details. Please consult the BSc Medicinal Chemistry programme specification for full details.

 

 

Modules - Year One

Year 1 (Level 4)

Astrophysics Year 1 (Level 4)

At level 4, Physics and Astrophysics students require a common knowledge and skills base. Therefore, many of the modules taught at level 4 are common to Physics and Astrophysics disciplines. You will study FOUR lecture-based modules of core Astrophysics.

 

The lecture-based modules are supported by problem classes and assessed problem sheets with an end of semester examination in each. These modules also include lectures, problems classes and tutorials in mathematics, and laboratory classes, which are an essential part of Astrophysics. The module descriptors provide detailed synopses of each module with suggested study reading and are available on the KLE.

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules

Credits

Mechanics, Gravity and Relativity

15

None

 

Nature of Matter

15

   

Oscillations and Waves

15

   

Electricity and Stellar Structure

15

   

 

Chemistry Year 1 (Level 4)

There are two compulsory 30-credit modules taken by all chemistry students at Level 4.

Whilst laying the foundations of the principles and vocabulary of Chemistry, you will be challenged to question knowledge and the nature of knowledge when you start to encounter problems that have more than one answer or interpretation.  You will be exposed to experimental evidence from a variety of sources and start to learn how such evidence supports, undermines or otherwise, the theoretical models and ideas upon which the subject of Chemistry is built. The practical classes emphasise development of core practical skills through hands-on experience of key techniques and procedures, as well as skills in laboratory safety, maintaining a laboratory diary, observation, information retrieval, IT skills, scientific writing and reporting in a variety of formats.

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules

Credits

Chemical Structure and Reactivity

30

None

 

Practical and Professional Chemistry Skills

30

   

 

Modules - Year Two

Year 2 (Level 5)

Astrophysics Year 2 (Level 5)

At level 5 you continue to be taught the fundamentals of Physics. Modules are common to Physics and Astrophysics in the first semester of the second year, but diverge significantly from the second semester of the second year onwards. In the first semester you take an Optics Laboratory and a short series of classes in developing your mathematical skills. In the second semester you take an Astrophysics laboratory.

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules

Credits

Quantum Mechanics

15

None

 

Optics and Thermodynamics

15

   

Statistical mechanics and Solid State Physics

15

   

Stellar Astrophysics

15

   

 

Chemistry  Year 2 (Level 5)

Students will take three chemistry modules (one 30-credit module two 15-credit remaining chemistry modules.

In Year 2 the knowledge and skills acquired in Year 1 are developed with an increasing emphasis on the need to integrate knowledge and critically evaluate experimental evidence in solving theoretical and practical problems. In practical classes, new practical skills are developed and an increasing emphasis is placed on critical evaluation of experimental design and the analysis of complex data from multiple sources, including computational theoretical calculations and the scientific peer-reviewed literature. Sophisticated analytical techniques are introduced and applied to the investigation of a variety of problems, whilst communication skills are developed to include skills in oral presentation.

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules

Credits

Molecular Chemistry and Reactions

30

None

 

Spectroscopy and Analysis

15

   

Physical and Structural Chemistry

15

   

 


 

Modules - Year Three

Year 3 (Level 6)

Astrophysics Year 3 (Level 6)

At level 6, you complete a group research project and follow one compulsory module plus two optional core modules of your choice from a list of available modules.

Compulsory Core modules

Credits

Optional core modules

Credits

Group Project and Science Communication

15

Cosmology

15

Electromagnetism

15

Physics of the Interstellar Medium

15

   

The Physics of Compact Objects

15

   

Quantum Physics of Atoms and Molecules

15

   

Polymer Physics

15

   

Particle Physics and Accelerators

15

   

Binary Stars and Extrasolar Planets

15

   

Life in the Universe

15

   

Computational Methods in Physics and Astrophysics

15

   

Data Analysis and Model testing

15

   

The Physics of Galaxies

15

   

Quantum Mechanics II

15

   

Physics of Fluids

15

   

Atmospheric Physics

15

   

Plasma Physics

15

 

Chemistry Year 3 (Level 6)

In Year 3, increasingly sophisticated theories and ideas are introduced which require you to draw upon, integrate and extend the fundamental chemical principles introduced during Years 1 and 2. Choice of modules is available to allow you to pursue your specific interests, as well as choice within Topics in Chemistry. Course work is designed to allow you to develop a range of subject specific skills, focusing on engaging with scientific literature and experimental data sets, and working towards the Graduate Attributes through presentation, interviews and various written reports. You will also carry out a 15-credit Dissertation or Project (selected from a wide variety of research projects on offer) which places increased emphasis on your ability to work independently and critically evaluate practical investigations and the peer-reviewed scientific literature.

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules1

Credits

Topics in Chemistry

15

Group 1:

Chemistry/Medicinal Chemistry Research Project

Chemistry/Medicinal Chemistry Dissertation

 

15

 

15

   

Group 2:

Advanced Organic Chemistry

Kinetics, Photochemistry & Inorganic
reaction Mechanisms

Inorganic, Physical & Solid State Chemistry

Materials Chemistry & Catalysis

 

15

15

 

15

15

1 Students must select one module from Optional Core Group 1 and two modules from Optional Core Group 2, to a total of 60 credits in Chemistry.

 

 

Modules - Year Four


 

If you choose to specialise in Astrophysics in your final year you will study the following modules:

Compulsory Core modules

Credits

Optional core modules

Credits

Group Project and Science Communication

15

Cosmology

15

Electromagnetism

15

Physics of the Interstellar Medium

15

Dissertation

15

The Physics of Compact Objects

15

   

Quantum Physics of Atoms and Molecules

15

   

Polymer Physics

15

   

Particle Physics and Accelerators

15

   

Binary Stars and Extrasolar Planets

15

   

Life in the Universe

15

   

Computational Methods in Physics and Astrophysics

15

   

Data Analysis and Model testing

15

   

The Physics of Galaxies

15

   

Quantum Mechanics II

15

   

Physics of Fluids

15

   

Atmospheric Physics

15

   

Plasma Physics

15

 

You may, in addition to modules listed, include in level 6 of your Astrophysics course one suitable programme approved elective module from another Principal Course, provided that you are not taking the Principal Course from which that module is derived as part of your Combined Honours combination.

 

You will find that in teaching you we put emphasis on problem solving. This occurs in examples classes where you solve practice problems in Astrophysics in class with staff to assist you, in laboratory teaching where you will be expected to address practical problems and in your directed work for assessment. You are encouraged to call upon module leaders and the director of study for guidance. The academic staff will be willing to see you at almost any time and you will have one-to-one progress interviews each semester. The teaching team will monitor your progress and we will contact you if we find that you are not achieving all that you should and advise you on how to improve.

 

You will benefit from a flexible approach to learning the mathematical skills that are essential to the learning and application of Astrophysics. You will find that the classes on mathematics in level 4 are presented in a series of blocks. An assessment test is taken at the end of the class blocks. You will also attend supplementary supporting tutorials in mathematics.

 

 

If you choose to specialise in Chemistry in your final year you will study the following modules:

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules1

Credits

Chemistry/Medicinal Chemistry Research Project

15

Materials Chemistry & Catalysis

15

Chemistry/Medicinal Chemistry Dissertation

15

   

Advanced Organic Chemistry

15

   

Kinetics, Photochemistry & Inorganic
reaction Mechanisms

15

   

Inorganic, Physical & Solid State Chemistry

15

   

Advanced Chemical Analysis

15

   

Topics in Chemistry

15

   

1 Students may select an alternative level 6 elective module in lieu of Materials Chemistry & Catalysis for a minimum of 105 credits in Chemistry.

 

For further information on the content of modules currently offered, including the list of elective modules, please visit: www.keele.ac.uk/recordsandexams/az