Institute of Astronomy

Part III General Information

It is hoped as a Part III Astrophysics student that you will feel part of the Institute of Astronomy and will participate in some of the activities that maintain its friendly and interactive atmosphere.


The Institute of Astronomy staff have coffee (and tea) in the Hoyle building foyer from about 11.00 am. Part III Astrophysics students are invited to enjoy coffee with the staff and postgraduate students, although this may on occasions not be possible given the location and timing of Part III lectures. There is no charge for coffee for Part III Astrophysics students.

Journal Club and Social

There will be a series of sessions for Part II and Part III students which are designed to build confidence in giving presentations and will also allow socialising between the two year groups.  The sessions are run by enthusiastic PhD students who will offer friendly advice on preparing and giving scientific talks (lecturers do not attend!).  There will also be wine and nibbles after the talk.  Events this term: 15th October, 29th October, 12th November and 26th November, 5pm, Hoyle Committee Room.

Public Outreach

The IoA runs an extremely successful programme of Public Outreach on Wednesday evenings. Student participation is welcome: details available at the introductory session on Wednesday 4th October at 12:30  or email csc(at)


There are a number of possibilities for lunchtime food provision. Snacks can be obtained on site from the vending machine located in the Hoyle building. On Wednesdays the Institute of Astronomy organises a bread and cheese lunch at 12.30 pm. This precedes the seminars. Off-site there are several possibilities for canteen style food (CMS and the Cavendish Laboratory) and a full range of meals at the Hauser Forum as well. Also sandwiches, salads, crisps and cakes can be bought from Victoria's Van, which arrives outside the IoA main entrance at approximately 13:00 Monday to Friday.


Part III students are given full access to the Institute of Astronomy Science Cluster.  A limited number of bookable dedicated terminals are available in Library Room B at the Institute of Astronomy,

A 5-lecture "Introduction to Unix and Computing" course is given at the start of the Michaelmas Term in order to familiarise students with the operating system and use of the Science Cluster.


The Institute of Astronomy library holds 8,000 books and 11,000 volumes of astronomical periodicals. Part III students are encouraged to use the library facilities but may not sign out books. If you need any help ask the Librarian, Mark Hurn, who has an office in the library area in the Observatory Building.


There is a photocopier in the reprographic room (opposite the vending machines), another to the right of the stairs to the Sackler Lecture Theare, and one in the main library in the Observatory building. Course-related copying is free of charge. For private copying there is a charge of 3p per A4 sheet.


Students' correspondence will be delivered via email

CMS Facilities

In the CMS, Part III Astrophysics students may use the large Part III Mathematics Room and the associated facilities. More details may be found in the Part III Mathematics Handbook.

Printing at DAMTP

Part III students are given a free allocation of printer credit for use on the PWF-MATHS printers at CMS. PWF-MATHS credit cannot be spent on UCS or college printers. Similarly, credits purchased at the UCS or in college cannot be used at CMS. If you run out of printer credit send an email to jm(at) You may be asked to explain why the standard allocation proved to be insufficient.

Please note that printing facilities are provided solely for academic use. Please use other printers in college or at the UCS for personal use. Note that non-academic use of printers, or unnecessary waste of paper (including large amounts of output left uncollected), may result in a charge being made.

Page last updated: 30 September 2017 at 15:40