You have access to first-class research facilities in our new laboratories, which are equipped for synthetic and analytical techniques ranging from soft organic polymers to nanoparticles to highly sensitive organometallic species.
Our four-year Integrated Master's gives you the opportunity to work on a research project, in an area of your choosing, and gain a valuable postgraduate qualification which can help to give you the edge in the job market.
Reasons to study an Astronomy, Space Science and Astrophysics degree at Kent
Study a wide range of modules and build your degree around your interests, including spacecraft design and operation and nuclear and particle physics. You’ll have access to our state-of-the-art teaching laboratories and research facilities including the Beacon Observatory, which provides a fully automised system with both optical and radio telescope capability You can get involved with real space missions from ESA and NASA, and can work on Hubble Telescope data Our lecturers are both innovative teachers and active researchers working at the cutting-edge of research across a range of fields including quantum materials and space science. Join our student-run Physics, Space and Amateur Rocketry societies, who organise talks, practical demonstrations and social events.Build the connections that matter thanks to our links with optical laboratories, local health authorities, aerospace/defence industries and software and engineering companies.
What you'll learn
In your first year, the focus is on the fundamentals of mathematics, physics and astronomy. These skills are developed further in your second year and third year, along with the chance to explore wider topics such as quantum physics, optics, observational astronomy, and stars, galaxies and the Universe.
In your final year you study advanced space science modules including star formation and galactic structure and rocketry and human spaceflight as well as in undertaking an in-depth project with one of our cutting-edge research groups.
You can also tailor your degree to suit you with a professional placement year or broaden your horizons by studying at another institution for your third year.
See the modules you'll study
Teaching is by lecture, laboratory sessions, and project and console classes. You have approximately nine lectures a week, plus one day of practical work. In addition, you have reading and coursework and practical reports to prepare. In the MPhys final year, you work with a member of staff on an experimental or computing project.
Assessment is by written examination at the end of each year, plus continuous assessment of written coursework. Practical work is examined by continuous assessment.
Please note that there are degree thresholds at stages 2 and 3 that you will be required to pass in order to continue onto the next stages.
Knowledge and understanding
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
- Physical laws and principles, and their application to diverse
areas of physics, including: electromagnetism, classical and quantum
mechanics, statistical physics and thermodynamics, wave phenomena and
the properties of matter as fundamental aspects, with additional
material from nuclear and particle physics, condensed matter physics,
materials, plasmas and fluids.
- Aspects of theory and practice, and a knowledge of key physics, the use of electronic data processing and analysis, and modern day
mathematical and computational tools.
- The fundamental laws and principles of physics and of astronomy, astrophysics and space science and their application.
You gain the following intellectual abilities:
- Identify relevant principles and laws when dealing with problems, and make approximations necessary to obtain solutions.
- Solve problems in physics using appropriate mathematical tools.
- Execute and analyse critically the results of an experiment or
investigation and draw valid conclusions, evaluate the level of
uncertainty in these results and compare them with expected outcomes,
theoretical predictions or with published data to evaluate the
significance of the results in this context.
- Use mathematical techniques and analysis to model physical behaviour.
- Comment critically on how spacecraft are designed, their principles of operation, and their use to access and explore space, and how telescopes are designed, their principles of operation, and their use in astronomy and astrophysics research.
- Solve advanced problems in physics using appropriate mathematical
tools, translate problems into mathematical statements and apply
knowledge to obtain order of magnitude or more precise solutions.
- Interpret mathematical descriptions of physical phenomena.
- Plan an experiment or investigation under supervision and understand the significance of error analysis.
- Have a working knowledge of a variety of experimental, mathematical and/or computational techniques applicable to current research within
- Enhanced knowledge of the science drivers that underpin
government-funded research and the commercial activity that provides
hardware or software solutions to challenging scientific problems in the fields of astronomy, space science and astrophysics.
You gain subject-specific skills in the following:
- Competent use of appropriate C&IT packages/systems for the analysis of data and information retrieval.
- The ability to present and interpret information graphically.
- Communicating scientific information and producing clear and accurate scientific reports.
- Familiarity with laboratory apparatus and techniques.
- The systematic and reliable recording of experimental data.
- The ability to make use of appropriate texts, research-based materials or other learning resources.
- Fluency in C&IT at the level and range needed for project work
such as familiarity with a programming language, simulation software or
the use of mathematical packages for manipulation and numerical solution of equations.
- The ability to communicate complex scientific ideas, the conclusion of an experiment, investigation or project concisely, accurately and
- Experimental methodology showing the competent use of specialised
equipment, the ability to identify appropriate pieces of equipment and
to master new techniques and equipment.
- The ability to make use of research articles and other primary sources.
You gain transferable skills in the following:
- Problem-solving, an ability to formulate problems in precise terms
and identify key issues, the confidence to try different approaches to
make progress on challenging problems, and numeracy.
- Investigative skills in the context of independent investigation
including the use of textbooks and other literature, databases, and
interaction with colleagues to extract important information.
- Communication: dealing with surprising ideas and difficult
concepts, including listening carefully, reading demanding texts and
presenting complex information in a clear and concise manner.
- Analytical skills associated with the need to pay attention to
detail, the ability to manipulate precise and intricate ideas, to
construct logical arguments and use technical language correctly.
- The ability to work independently, to use initiative, meet deadlines and to interact constructively with other people.
The programme aims to:
- Instil and/or enhance a sense of enthusiasm for physics by
understanding the role of the discipline at the core of our intellectual knowledge of all aspects of nature, and as the foundation of many of
the pure and applied sciences.
- Instil an appreciation of the subject's application in different
contexts, in an intellectually stimulating research-led environment.
- Motivate and support students to realise their academic potential.
- Provide a balanced foundation of physics knowledge and practical skills, and an understanding of scientific methodology.
- Enable students to undertake and report on an experimental and/or
theoretical investigation; in the case of the MPhys to base this in part on an extended research project.
- Develop the ability to apply skills, knowledge and understanding in physics to the solution of theoretical and practical problems in the
- Provide knowledge and a skills base from which students can proceed to further studies in specialised areas of physics or multidisciplinary areas involving physical principles; the MPhys is particularly geared
for those wishing to undertake physics research.
- Generate an appreciation of the importance of physics in the industrial, economic, environmental and social contexts.
- Instil an appreciation of the subject through its application in current research.
- Generate an appreciation of the importance of astronomy,
astrophysics and space science and its role in understanding how the
universe in which we live came about and how it continues to exist and
- Provide a grounding in space systems and technology, and the
overlap between the science and commercial drivers in the aerospace