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.
Reasons to study a 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 will study at Kent
In your first year, the focus is on the fundamentals of mathematics, physics and astronomy.
Your second year covers a broad range of subjects such as the multiwavelength universe and exoplanets, spacecraft design and operations, atomic and nuclear physics and quantum physics.
You spend a year working in industry between your second and final years of study, with support and advice from the University.
In your final year, the combination of specialist modules and laboratory work on individual and group projects opens avenues for even deeper exploration: for example, stars, galaxies and the Universe, the Sun, the Earth and Mars, thermal and statistical physics and relativity, optics, and Maxwell’s equations.
See the modules you'll study
Teaching is by lectures, practical classes, tutorials and workshops. You have an average of nine one-hour lectures, one or two days of practical or project work and a number of workshops each week. The practical modules include specific study skills in physics and general communication skills.
For the year in industry you write a final report of the work you did during the placememnt and, on returning to Kent for your final year of study, present a lecture on your experiences.
Assessment is by written examinations at the end of each year and by continuous assessment of practical classes and other written assignments. Your final degree result is made up of a combined mark from the Stage 2 and 3 assessments and your year in industry, with maximum weight applied to the final stage.
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 the theory and practice of astronomy, astrophysics and space science, and of those aspects upon which they depend, including a knowledge of key physics, the use of electronic data processing and analysis, and modern day mathematical and computational tools.
You gain the following intellectual abilities:
- Identify relevant principles and laws when dealing with problems, and to make approximations necessary to obtain solutions.
- The ability to 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 their 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 on how telescopes (operating at various wavelengths) are designed, their principles of operation, and their use in astronomy and astrophysics research.
You gain subject-specific skills in the following:
- Competent use of C&IT packages/systems for the analysis of data and information retrieval.
- The ability to present and interpret information graphically.
- Communicate scientific information and produce clear, accurate scientific reports.
- Familiarity with laboratory apparatus and techniques.
- The systematic and reliable recording of experimental data.
- Use appropriate texts, research-based materials or other learning resources as part of managing your own learning.
You gain transferable skills in the following:
- Problem solving and the confidence to try different approaches to make progress on challenging problems and numeracy.
- Investigative ability including the use of textbooks and other literature, databases, and interaction with colleagues.
- Communication, such as dealing with surprising ideas and difficult concepts, including listening carefully, reading demanding texts and presenting complex information in a clear and concise manner.
- Analytical abilities, in particular attention to detail, 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 interact constructively with other people.
- The ability to work effectively in an industrial or commercial environment.
- The ability to apply skills gained from the programme within the workplace.
The programme aims to:
- Instil a sense of enthusiasm for physics through an understanding of the role of the discipline at the core of our intellectual understanding of all aspects of nature and as the foundation of many of the pure and applied sciences.
- Provide knowledge of its application in different contexts in an intellectually stimulating research-led environment.
- 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.
- Develop the ability to to apply skills, knowledge and understanding in physics to the solution of theoretical and practical problems in physics.
- Provide a knowledge and skills base from which students can proceed to further studies in specialised areas of physics or multi-disciplinary areas involving physical principles.
- Generate an appreciation of the importance of physics in industrial, economic, environmental and social contexts.
- Instil and/or enhance in you a sense of enthusiasm for astronomy, astrophysics and space science, and an appreciation of 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 develop.
- Provide a grounding in space systems and technology, and the overlap between the science and commercial drivers in the aerospace industry.
- Motivate and support a wide range of students in their endeavours to realise their academic potential.
- Provide students with a knowledge and skills base from which they can proceed to further studies in specialised areas of physics or multi-disciplinary areas involving physical principles; the BSc with a Year in Industry is particularly geared for those wishing to explore opportunities to apply their knowledge and experience in an industrial environment and enhance their employability skills.
- Generate in students an appreciation of the importance of physics in the industrial, economic, environmental and social contexts.