Astronomy, Space Science and Astrophysics with a Year Abroad

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Local:$ 9 k / Year(s) Foreign:$ 14.9 k / Year(s) Deadline: Jan 15, 2024
StudyQA ranking:2298 Duration:48 months

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Kent runs a fantastic programme for students who are inspired by the wonders and vastness of the universe. In this course, there are opportunities to investigate the possibilities of life elsewhere in the universe. You get involved with real space missions from ESA and NASA, and can work on Hubble Telescope data and images from giant telescopes.

Astronomy, space science and astrophysics allow us to see the Universe and our place in it. Through studying these subjects mankind has continually enlarged its horizons and explored the cosmos. The subjects continually evolve and change every year based on discoveries by researchers around the world.

Astronomy is one of the oldest sciences, practised by most of the world's ancient civilisations, and one of the most modern, relying for many recent discoveries on high technology and the space programme.

It is an observational science that provides our view of the vast ranges of scales of space, time and physical conditions in the Universe. Astrophysics emphasises the underlying physical concepts of the stars and galaxies, which make up the universe, providing an understanding of the physical nature of bodies and processes in space and the instruments and techniques used in modern astronomical research.

Space is often referred to as the final frontier of exploration by mankind. Space exploration and observations depend to a large extent on satellites and other forms of space probes. Designers of space equipment need a good understanding of physics and astrophysics, together with specialised engineering skills.

In this MPhys programme, core knowledge and skills are enhanced with the further in-depth training required for a science-based career, including the practical aspects of research.

Our international exchange programme allows you to spend the third year of your degree studying in the USA at one of our partner universities, which include University of California Santa Barbara, Pennsylvania State University on the east coast and Indiana University, Bloomington. Our active student society organises trips and events such as virtual observing in Hawaii by remotely controlling a telescope on the other side of the world.

Independent rankings

In the National Student Survey 2013, The University of Kent was ranked 3rd in London and the south-east for student satisfaction. And in The Guardian University Guide 2014 Physics was ranked 4th in the UK for overall student satisfaction.

In the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey, Physics and Astronomy at Kent was ranked 1st in the UK for employment prospects for students who graduated in 2012.

Detailed Course Facts

Application deadline January 15 Tuition fee

  • GBP 9000 Year (EEA)
  • GBP 14860 Year (Non-EEA)

Start date September 2015 Credits (ECTS) 240 ECTS
Duration full-time 48 months Languages Take an IELTS test

  • English

Delivery mode On Campus Educational variant Full-time

Course Content

The course structure below gives a flavour of the modules that will be available to you and provides details of the content of this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation. Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules, you may also have the option to take ‘wild’ modules from other programmes offered by the University in order that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas of interest to you or that may further enhance your employability.

Stage 1

Possible modules may include:

  • PH300 - Mathematics
  • PH301 - Physics
  • PH302 - Computing Skills
  • PH304 - Astrophysics, Space Science and Cosmology
  • PS324 - Introduction to Ballistics
  • PS370 - Skills for Physicists

Stage 2

Possible modules may include:

  • PH502 - Quantum Physics
  • PH503 - Atomic and Nuclear Physics
  • PH504 - Electromagnetism and Optics
  • PH507 - The Multiwavelength Universe Exoplanets
  • PH508 - Spacecraft Design and Operations
  • PH512 - Multimedia for astronomy, astrophysics and planetary science
  • PH520 - Physics Laboratory A
  • PH588 - Mathematical Techniques for Physical Sciences

Year abroad

You spend a year in the USA between Stages 2 and 4, studying equivalent courses to those you take at Kent. Our partner universities include the Pennsylvania State University, several campuses of the University of California and the University of Indiana in Bloomington. If you take this course, you pay a reduced fee to Kent during your year abroad. You do not need to pay fees at the host university.

Possible modules may include:

  • PH790 - Year Abroad

Stage 4

Possible modules may include:

  • PH700 - Physics Research Project
  • PH709 - Space Astronomy and Solar System Science
  • PH711 - Rocketry and Human Spaceflight
  • PH712 - Cosmology and Interstellar Medium
  • PH722 - Particle and Quantum Physics


The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications, typical requirements are listed below, students offering alternative qualifications should contact the Admissions Office for further advice. It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement

  • A level:ABB including A level Mathematics and Physics at B
  • Access to HE Diploma:The University of Kent will not necessarily make conditional offers to all access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis. If an offer is made candidates will be required to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above.
  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma):The university will consider applicants holding BTEC National Diploma and Extended National Diploma Qualifications (QCF; NQF;OCR) on a case by case basis please contact us via the enquiries tab for further advice on your individual circumstances.
  • International Baccalaureate:34 overall and 16 at Higher including Physics 5 at HL or 6 at SL and Mathematics 5 at HL or 6 at SL

International students The University receives applications from over 140 different nationalities and consequently will consider applications from prospective students offering a wide range of international qualifications. Our International Development Office will be happy to advise prospective students on entry requirements.

Work Experience

No work experience is required.


Related Scholarships*

  • Academic Excellence Scholarship

    "The Academic Excellence Scholarship can provide up to a 50 % reduction in tuition per semester. These scholarships will be renewed if the student maintains superior academic performance during each semester of their 3-year Bachelor programme. The scholarship will be directly applied to the student’s tuition fees."

  • Access Bursary

    Bursary for UK students all subjects where the variable tuition fee rate is payable.

  • Alumni Bursary

    Alumni Bursary for UK Undergraduate students

* The scholarships shown on this page are suggestions first and foremost. They could be offered by other organisations than University of Kent.


Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. Our 2015 financial support package includes a £6,000 cash bursary spread over the duration of your course. For Ts&Cs and to find out more, visit our funding page.

General scholarships

Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence, which will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications as specified on our funding pages. Please note that details of the scholarship for 2015 entry have not yet been finalised and are subject to change.




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