Astronomy, Space Science and Astrophysics (BSc (Hons))

University of Kent the United Kingdom

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The award
BSc (Hons)

How long you will study
3 Years

Domestic course fees
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How you will study
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Course starts
September

International course fees
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All study options

About Astronomy, Space Science and Astrophysics at University of Kent

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 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, ending in a third year group project which will open avenues for deeper exploration in an area of your choice, such as stars, galaxies and the Universe. You can also tailor your degree to suit you with a professional placement year or an integrated Master's (MPhys) where you’ll work with one of our cutting-edge research groups and gain an edge in the job market. Choose the ‘year abroad’ version of the MPhys to further broaden your horizons by studying at another institution for your third year. We also offer a foundation year in Physics, which can lead to any of our Physics related degrees. 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.

Assessment is by written examination at the end of each year, plus continuous assessment of written coursework. Practical work is examined by continuous assessment.

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.

Intellectual Skills

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.

Subject-specific skills

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.

Transferable skills

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 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.

Study options for this course

  • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
  • The awardBSc (Hons)How you will study find outHow long you will study3 years
    Course startsSeptemberDomestic course fees find outInternational course fees find out

Notes about fees for this course

Full Time UK/EU: TBC EUR | Full Time Overseas: TBC EUR

Entry requirements

Contact University of Kent to find course entry requirements.

Don't meet the entry requirements?

Consider a Foundation or Pathway course at University of Kent to prepare for your chosen course:

What students think about University of Kent

    Inspirational teaching - Patrique Tanque from Brazil is studying for a BSc in Forensic Chemistry.

    “Choosing Kent was an easy decision. The forensic programmes are ranked among the best in the UK and have a high graduate employment rate.

    “The teachers bring fresh ideas and up-to-date materials from real cases to enrich the lectures. They are keen to help out and always make sure we are getting plenty of support.

    “I was very fortunate to be awarded an International Scholarship, which meant I could dedicate myself to my studies.”

    Academic excellence - Stephanie Bourgeois from France is studying for a BSc in Biochemistry.

    “I like the approach to teaching here; academics are happy to answer questions and to interact with students. I find the lectures very motivational, they pique your curiosity and for me the exciting bit is going to the library and pursuing the things you are interested in.

    “The lecturers at Kent are excellent. You get to know them well and, as you move through the course, they are able to guide you towards projects, ideas or career paths that they think you will like.”

    Specialist research - Sally Gao from China is studying for a PhD in Electronic Engineering.

    “I have been very lucky with my supervisor, Professor Yong Yan, who is a world-class expert and the first IEEE Fellow in the UK in instrumentation and measurement.

    “Professor Yong Yan has helped me to become a better researcher. I am inspired by his novel ideas and constructive suggestions. Under his supervision, my confidence has grown through such milestones as my first set of experiments, writing my first research paper and attending my first conference.”

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