Institute of Astronomy

Part III Lecture Courses - 2019-20

On line timetable      please use the online timetable to build your lecture list

Maths Lecture List

A typical lecture load consists of an average of nine lectures per week during the Michaelmas and Lent terms.  It is usual to attend more courses than this at the start of each term and then cut down to those of greatest interest.  This equates to about 18 examinable units over the year.  The compulsory project accounts for a further 6 units so that a typical total examination entry of 18 units requires that you prepare fully for examination only about two-thirds of the courses for which you have attended lectures.

Michaelmas 2019

Lent 2020

 Physics of the Earth as a Planet †

 Dr J. Rudge & Dr D. Alā€Attar

 M.W.F. 9 Small Lecture Theatre [3 units] [P]

 Formation of Structure in the Universe †

 Prof. R. Maiolino

 M.F. 9 Small Lecture Theatre [2 units] [P]


 Dr B. D. Sherwin

 M.W.F. 9, MR2 [3 units] [M]

 Field Theory in Cosmology

 Dr T. Baldauf, Dr E. Pajer

 M.W.F. 10, MR4 [3 units] [M]

 Formation of Galaxies

 Prof. N. W. Evans

 M. W. F. 10, MR11 [3 units] [M]

 Extrasolar Planets

 Dr N. Madhusudhan

 M.W.F. 11, MR15 [3 units] [M]

 Relativistic Astrophysics and Cosmology †

 Prof. A. C. Fabian and Prof A. N. Lasenby

 M.W.F. 10 Small Lecture Theatre [3 units] [P]


 Dr K. S. Mandel

 M.W.F. 12, MR5 [3 units] [M]

 Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics

 Dr R. Rafikov

 M.W.F. 11,  MR12  [3 units] [M]

 Black Holes

 Prof. H. S. Real

 M.W.F. 12 MR3 [3 units] [M]

 Particle Physics †

 Dr A. Mitov

 M.W.F. 11 Small Lecture Theatre [3 units] [P]

 The Life and Death of Galaxies

 Prof. V. Belokurov

 Tu.W.Th. 9, MR14 [3 units] [M]

 General Relativity

 Prof. D. Tong

 M.W.F. 12, MR2 [3 units[ [M]


 Binary Stars

 Prof. C. A. Tout

 Tu.Th. 11 MR13 [2 units] [M]


 Structure and Evolution of Stars

 Dr A.N. Zytkow

 M.W.F. 12 MR11  [3 units] [M]

 Dynamics of Astrophysical Discs

 Prof. G. Ogilive

 Tu.Th. 12, MR9 [2 units] [M]

 Quantum Field Theory

 Prof. B. Allanach

 Tu.Th.S. 12, MR2 [3 units] [M]

 Exoplanets and Planetary Systems †

 Prof. D. Queloz

 Tu. 3pm W. 10 Small Lecture Theatre [2 units] [P]

In addition, attendance at a short orientation course, covering practical aspects of Unix and use of the Institute of Astronomy Science Cluster is required.

Dr R M Johnstone* Introduction to Unix & Computing –See calendar for timetable of lectures.

All lectures will be held in the Centre for Mathematical Sciences meeting rooms (MR) Clarkson Road except * which will be held at the IoA, Madingley Road and in the Cavendish Laboratory (West Cambridge). [Mathematics [M], Physics [P]].

The majority of courses you choose for examination must be drawn from the above list.  However, there are three pairs of courses from which only one may be chosen:

i)  Relativistic Astrophysics and Cosmology or Cosmology

ii) Formation of Galaxies or Formation of Structure in the Universe

iii) Extrasolar Planets or Exoplanets and Planetary Systems.

You may also choose to be examined in courses, amounting to a maximum of three units, chosen from any of the full suite of Part III Mathematics courses or from the Part III Physics courses. You may not choose the interdisciplinary courses or "Nuclear Power Engineering" from Part III Engineering. All mathematics courses are examined in June. Those of 24 lectures have a 3-hour exam and count 3 units while those of 16 lectures have a 2-hour exam and count 2 units. Physics major options have a 2-hour exam at the beginning of the Lent term and count 3 units. Physics minor options have a 1.5-hour exam at the start of the Easter term and count 2 units. The courses offered in Part III vary from year to year and students should consult the Part III Coordinator for guidance in choosing.

The lecture courses are supported by Examples Classes organised by the lecturer.

Part III Examples and some Lecture Notes are here:


There are a number of seminars of astronomical interest within various Cambridge departments. Students are encouraged to attend seminars, although the large number of possibilities implies that students need to be selective in those they attend. The Institute of Astronomy has two regular series of talks, one being the Wednesday lunchtime talks at 1.15 pm (which are preceded by bread and cheese lunch from 12.30 and which usually constitute two and half hour talks on specialised research topics). The Wednesday talks are quite often given by the 2nd and 3rd year IoA students and would therefore give the Part III/MASt student a good idea of what a research project presentation might involve. The second series are the Colloquia (Thursdays at 4.00 pm during Full Term) which are preceded by tea at 3:30 pm and followed by wine at 5.00 pm. The Colloquia are hour-long talks that generally contain a larger review element, as well as presenting latest scientific results. All IoA students are strongly encouraged to attend the Colloquia weekly.

In addition, the Cavendish Astrophysics Seminar takes place at 4.30 pm on Tuesdays and informal lunchtime talks are held at DAMTP (Monday 1.00 pm for the Cambridge Cosmology and Astrophysics Lunch and Tuesday 1.00 pm for Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics and Nonlinear Patterns).

Commitments to lecture courses and project work mean that it is essential to be selective about which talks to attend. However, in addition to the benefits of attending a talk containing relevant subject matter, critical assessment of a number of talks offers the opportunity to gain direct experience of what does and does not, work when presenting material to a non-specialist audience. Such experience is likely to be of direct benefit when preparing the project oral presentation to the Examiners in the Easter Term.

The schedule of talks for the forthcoming week can be found on the IoA website.

Page last updated: 20 March 2020 at 07:55