University of Glasgow: Astrophysics

InstitutionUniversity of Glasgow View institution profile
Department School of Physics and Astronomy
Telephone 0141 330 4515
Study type Taught


The Masters in Astrophysics gives you an understanding of the principles and methods of modern astrophysics at a level appropriate for a professional physicist.

September start
MSc: 12 months full-time**


This programme is accredited by the Institute of Physics. Accredited MSc programmes automatically meet the master’s level education requirement for Chartered Physicist (CPhys) status. To fully meet the educational requirements for CPhys graduates must also possess an IOP accredited undergraduate degree or equivalent.

The School plays a world-leading role in the design and operation of the worldwide network of laser interferometers that have detected gravitational waves.

The School has a major role in the award winning NASA RHESSI X-ray mission studying solar flares and in several other forthcoming international space missions such as ESA’s Solar Orbiter.

The School of Physics and Astronomy is highly active in research and knowledge transfer projects with industry. Our Masters students have regular opportunities to engage with our industrial collaborators through informal visits, guest lectures and workshops.

You will also benefit from our membership of the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance. The alliance brings together internationally leading physics research across Scotland to form the largest physics grouping in the UK.

You will gain the theoretical, observational and computational skills necessary to analyse and solve advanced astrophysics problems, providing you with an excellent foundation for a career of scientific leadership in academia or industry.

You will develop transferable skills that will improve your career prospects, such as project management, team-working, advanced data analysis, problem-solving, critical evaluation of scientific literature, advanced laboratory and computing skills, and how to effectively communicate with different audiences.

You will benefit from direct contact with our group of international experts who will teach you cutting-edge physics and supervise your projects.


Modes of delivery of the MSc in Astrophysics include lectures, seminars and tutorials and allow students the opportunity to take part in lab, project and team work.
The programme draws upon a wide range of advanced Masters-level courses. You will have the flexibility to tailor your choice of optional courses and project work to a variety of specific research topics and their applications in the area of astrophysics.

**Core courses include**
- Advanced data analysis

- General relativity and gravitation (alternate years, starting 2019–20)

- Gravitational wave detection

- Plasma theory and diagnostics (alternate years, starting 2018–19)

- Pulsars and supernovae (alternate years, starting 2019–20)

- Research skills

- Statistical astronomy (alternate years, starting 2018–19)

- The Sun's Atmosphere

- Extended project

**Optional courses include**
- Applied optics

- Cosmology (alternate years, starting 2019–20)

- Dynamics, electrodynamics and relativity

- Electromagnetic theory 2

- Exploring planetary systems (alternate years, starting 2019-20)

- Galaxies (alternate years, starting 2018-19)

- Heliophysics and Stellar atmospheres (alternate years, starting 2018-19)

- Instruments for optical and radio astronomy (alternate years, starting 2019-20)

- Statistical mechanics

- Stellar structure and evolution (alternate years, starting 2018–19)

**For further information on the content of individual courses please see Honours and Masters level courses.**

**Programme alteration or discontinuation**
The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. For more information, please see: Student contract.


University of Glasgow


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The University of Glasgow is one of the UK’s most prestigious seats of learning, and the fourth oldest university in the English speaking world. Established in 1451 and recognised for its world-changing research and teaching, the University has inspired thinkers from eminent scientist Lord Kelvin and the father of economics Adam Smith, to Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. 


  • ranked joint 69th in the world and was the first UK university to be rated as 5 Stars Plus overall (QS World University Rankings 2019)
  • ranked joint 93rd in the ...

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