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Institute of Astronomy


Undergraduate Courses at the Institute of Astronomy

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.

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 including our weekly bread and cheese lunches and research seminars. The free coffee and biscuits for students are particularly appreciated! Many students find that studying astrophysics at the Institute re-kindles their interest in science and mathematics.

The Pathway to Astrophysics


Students join our Undergraduate Astrophysics courses in either their 3rd or 4th year at the University having successfully completed their first two years (Parts 1A and 1B) in either the Natural Sciences or Mathematics Triposes.

Students usually enter Part II Astrophysics on completion of Part IB in either Mathematics or Physics.

Those going on to Part III Astrophysics have normally taken Part II Astrophysics. There is also a possibility of changing to Part III Astrophysics from Part II Mathematics or Part II Physics.

There is no restriction on entry for Part II Astrophysics, but the number of Part III places is limited by the number of potential projects (and project supervisors) available. Preference is given to students who have taken Part II Astrophysics. It is not necessary for students to decide on whether to apply to go on to take Part III Astrophysics at the time they begin the Part II course.

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