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Measurements flow in every day from satellites in space and from observatories all over the world. Students in the MSc in Astronomy programme are actively involved in research and in the discussion of new discoveries and theories. Students in the programme study new planets orbiting other stars, examine the structure and development of the stars through seismological studies, and explore the earliest stages of the development of the universe, working with computer modelling or measurements from state-of-the-art telescopes and satellites.
FOCUS ON RESEARCH
Teaching in the Astronomy programme is greatly influenced by research, both in the courses and in the thesis work, as the lecturers are active researchers. In this context students benefit from the down-to-earth, informal relationship between faculty and students. Each student is associated with a group of researchers for thesis work in year two, and there is wide scope for specialisation, both within the Department of Physics and Astronomy and (thanks to the departments close collaboration) with researchers from the European Southern Observatory, the European Space Agency, and NASA.
The MSc in Astronomy programme is open to students with a BSc degree in physics or another BSc degree in science with substantial physics and mathematics content. The programme is both practical and research-oriented, and reflects the interests of the business sector, research institutions and the public sector. It is also flexible, and can accommodate the interests and profile of the individual student. Students can specialise within (for example) cosmology, star development or helioseismology; and they can both work with theory and carry out astronomical observations. The programme also qualifies students for a career in research: students may apply for admission to the universitys PhD programme either during the first year of the MSc programme or on completion of the thesis.
Graduates of the Department of Physics and Astronomy are very much in demand in the job market and they find work quickly. There are many career opportunities, both in Denmark and abroad. Graduates skills in image-processing and analysis of large data volumes are highly attractive to the business community, which has employed a high proportion of astronomy graduates over the years. Some graduates continue in research as PhD students, with a view to a career in Denmark or abroad.
The Masters degree in astronomy counts as 120 ECTS credits and mainly consists of subjects within the physics field of study. You specialise by participating in course activities and projects and by writing a thesis. During your very first week, you structure your own individual study programme with the help of a teacher from the Department of Physics and Astronomy by choosing courses from the course catalogue. Your programme is based on your academic qualifications and interests and the subjects you studied for your Bachelors degree. The plan must be approved by the Board of Studies before you can enrol for examinations.
Forms of teaching
At the University of Aarhus, you are in close contact with researchers in a way that you rarely experience at other universities. The door to the professors office is always open if you need clarification of the study material, and you are encouraged to ask questions at lectures and during exercises. We make heavy demands on your academic skills and independence. In return, you gain considerable benefits in the form of academic challenges and scientific knowledge, in addition to broad competences.
The teaching at the university focuses on independence, critical thinking and collaboration. Part of the teaching is in the form of lectures that introduce new angles to the material compared with the textbooks. The theoretical and experimental exercises take place in groups where you study relevant issues in depth.
The varied forms of teaching, collaboration in groups and the opportunity for close scientific dialogue with the researchers provide you with general competences that are in great demand in the global job market. These competences include abstract, critical and independent thinking, analytical skills and strategic planning. You can use these skills in many contexts even in jobs you didnt know you were qualified for.
A year divided into four terms
The teaching is divided into terms with four terms per year. Each term consists of a block of seven weeks followed by an examination period of 24 weeks.
If you have the necessary skills and interest, you have the option of applying for admission to the PhD programme. You can apply when you have completed your Bachelors degree and one year of your Masters degree or when you have completed your Masters degree. In the PhD programme, you start working on a research project and are gradually trained through courses and personal guidance to become a researcher.