The Institute of Astronomy offers two exciting undergraduate courses: Part II Astrophysics (the University's only dedicated astronomy course at Part II level) and a Part III course that combines a wide choice of high level courses with a substantial research project. (See the FAQ for other options for studying some astrophysics in other Triposes). The courses teach the fundamental physics governing the Universe and explore a range of fascinating issues in contemporary astronomy. The Part II course is taken both by those intending to proceed to Part III Astrophysics (who may go on to postgraduate research) as well as those graduating after three years who go on to to a variety of destinations.
The Institute is one of the foremost research institutions in the world and, with its setting of lawns and woodland, provides a delightful environment for undergraduate study. The Institute of Astronomy prides itself on its friendly atmosphere and students are encouraged to participate in the life of the Institute (e.g. through attending weekly bread and cheese lunches and research seminars). The free coffee and biscuits for students is particularly appreciated! Many students find that studying astrophysics at the Institute re-kindles their interest in science and mathematics.
As one of the world's foremost research institutions in astronomy, the Institute offers exciting opportunities for postgraduate research and study. The Institute offers the opportunity to study for the Ph.D degree, for which the normal duration of study is expected to be three years. The format is almost exclusively research based, although students attend a number of short courses during their first two years on current research topics given by members of the Institute and Cavendish Astrophysics. In addition to this, the Institute offers a taught (MASt) masters courses.
The Institute runs a number of lecture courses for current postgraduate students. Details of which can be found in the Current Postgraduate's section of the website.