The School builds space-based instruments for NASA and ESA. This is the Herschel telescope.
If you are interested in fundamental questions about our Universe then this course may well suit you. In Cardiff, you will study alongside scientists working at the forefront of astronomical research, and are likely to hear quickly about the latest astronomical discoveries, while at the same time, you will be developing advanced scientific skills.
The BSc is a three-year degree that teaches basic physical and mathematical concepts, but also focuses on our interpretation of the Universe. In each of your first and second years, you will study a core component of modules while still having the opportunity to select either an option module from within the School or a free-standing module from the many offered by other Schools within the University. There is a substantial astrophysics-based project in the third year.
The MPhys is a four-year degree designed for those students who already know they want to study astrophysics in more depth than is possible in the three years. In the first three years you will study a similar selection of modules as the students involved in the BSc courses. In the final year you will concentrate specifically on astrophysics, spending half of your time completing taught modules and half working on a major astrophysics project in conjunction with one of the School's research groups.
The same type of final-year projects are available to Physics and Astronomy as Astrophysics students. In addition Physics and Astronomy students have been involved in constructing and operating a wide variety of astronomical instruments. For example the School now has a fibre-fed spectrograph, a radio telescope and a solar telescope all designed and constructed by final-year Physics and Astronomy students. You will normally be assigned a tutor from the Astrophysics group, who will be an active research astronomer and will keep you in touch with the latest developments in astronomy. On graduating you will be equipped either to proceed to astrophysical research or to enter any of the fields open to other physics graduates.