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Cardiff University
3 years
Full time
Bachelor's degree
Scholarships available

Program description


The BSc Astrophysics degree covers core physical and mathematical concepts with a clear focus on our interpretation of the Universe. The course is designed to give a thorough education in theoretical aspects of physics and astrophysics and an understanding of observational astronomy.

In your first two years, you will study a core component of physics and astrophysics modules, delivered to you by a range of teaching methods. In your third year you will study advanced astrophysics and astronomy topics in detail, with additional optional modules. You will also undertake an astrophysics research project.

The course aims to prepare you for a career in industrial or academic research and development, education or other sectors which require a practical, numerate and analytical approach to problem solving.

 You will be part of a friendly and welcoming department currently housed in the Queen’s Building complex, which contains a wide variety of purpose-built laboratories, lecture theatres and computing facilities.

Distinctive Features

  • The opportunity to learn in a department which has a strong commitment to research and is home to one of the UK’s largest Astronomy research groups
  • The involvement of research-active staff in course design and delivery
  • Frequent opportunities to conduct practical work in the School’s laboratory facilities
  • An emphasis on independent learning

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Admission requirements

AAB-ABB to include B in Mathematics and Physics with (where applicable) a pass in the practical element of the science A level. For applicants taking A Level Maths only (NO PHYSICS) you will require A*BB with A* in A Level Maths.  Please note that General Studies are not accepted for entry.

Extended Project Qualification: Applicants with grade A in the EPQ will typically receive an offer one grade lower than the standard A level offer. Please note that any subject specific requirements must still be met.

For more information about admission requirements, please visit the university website.

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Program content

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2020/21 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2020.

Year One

Core Modules

  • Mathematical Methods for Physicists 1
  • Mechanics and Matter
  • Experimental Physics 1
  • Planet Earth
  • Electricity, Magnetism and Waves
  • Experimental Physics 2
  • Computational Skills for Problem Solving
  • Introduction to Astrophysics
  • Mathematical Methods for Physicists 2

Year Two

Core Modules

  • The Physics of Fields and Flows
  • Introductory Quantum Mechanics
  • Structured Programming
  • Observational Techniques in Astronomy
  • The Stars and their Planets
  • Thermal and Statistical Physics
  • Optics
  • Synoptic Astrophysics
  • Introduction to Condensed Matter Physics
  • Observing the Universe

Year Three

Core Modules

  • Atomic and Nuclear Physics
  • Formation and Evolution of Stars
  • Cosmology
  • Particle Physics and Special Relativity
  • High-Energy Astrophysics
  • Galaxies and Galaxy Evolution
  • Physics Project

Optional Modules

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computational Physics
  • Electromagnetic Radiation Detection
  • Digital Medical Imaging
  • Environmental Physics
  • Semiconductor Devices and Applications
  • Laser Physics and Non-Linear Optics
  • Theoretical Physics
  • Statistical Mechanics
  • Commercialising Innovation

Year Four

Core Modules

  • Introduction to General Relativity
  • Energy and Gas in Interstellar Space
  • Project

Optional Modules

  • Large Molecules and Life
  • Instrumentation for Astronomy
  • Data Analysis
  • Advanced General Relativity and Gravitational Waves
  • Physics and Reality
  • Gravitational Wave Astrophysics

Scholarships & funding

For more information about scholarships, please visit the university website.

Tuition fees

The full tuition fees for UK & EU Students is £9,000.The tuition fees for Students from outside the EU is £21,950


What skills will I practise and develop?

Studying this course will enable you to acquire and develop a range of valuable skills, both discipline specific and based around general employability. You will:

  • Develop your experimental, analytical and investigative skills in laboratory classes
  • Learn how to design experimental equipment, electronic circuitry or computer data acquisition or data reduction algorithms
  • Use precise calculations or order-of-magnitude calculations in appropriate situations
  • Use computer packages and/or write software
  • Conduct independent research using source materials such as textbooks, scientific journals and electronic databases
  • Develop your communication skills, both orally and in writing
  • Enhance your team-working skills and ability to critically appraise your own work and the work of others
  • Develop your ability to undertake independent learning and effectively manage your time

Career opportunities

Career Prospects

In the latest survey of graduate employment 93% of the School’s recent graduates reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation.

Employers included UK and international universities plus a large range of organisations such as Rolls Royce, European Space Agency, Lockheed Martin, National Instruments and Barclays.

Graduate Careers

  • Research scientist
  • Research development leader
  • Medical physicist
  • Lecturer
  • Finance and banking
  • Physics teacher

Contact school

Want to know more about this program, Astrophysics? Fill out the following form and include any questions you have. This information will be sent directly to the school, and a representative will respond to your enquiry.

About this institute

Cardiff University

Founded in 1883, Cardiff University combines a prestigious heritage with impressive modern facilities, on one of the most beautiful campuses in the UK. As part of the Russell Group, our students benefit from our outstanding research quality and reputation, while...

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Contact info

Cardiff University

CF10 3AT Cardiff

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