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Astrophysics: Hows it like?

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    • Thread Starter

    I'm still deciding what I want to study an University. I've recently been looking into astrophysics. I just wanted to ask, in general view, how its like, how many course hours you would have, if its difficult or math/physics intensive. Lots of math? How much practical work do you get into. What about job opportunities after graduation?

    Most 'Astrophysics' courses will involve a significant core physics component, so generally you're looking at a very maths/physics intensive course, with potentially a lot of practical work which could involve using telescopes to make observations as well as simulations and coding. Compared to core physics modules, astrophysics modules tend to require that you learn more material but don't involve as much maths.

    I have just finished my BSc in Physics with Theoretical Astrophysics at Nottingham. In first year, everyone follows the same program. In second year and third year I did 20 credits out of 120 of astro modules. It's as employable as any other physics degree as you still do the core content of a straight physics degree. I was on a theory course, so there was no practical (except in first year). In terms of astro-specific practicals, there was the possibility of doing a telescope-based project in third year (but this was VERY competitive).

    I think there's a misconception that astro courses won't be mathematical, but some definitely are. For example, the Cosmology course I took in third year had quite a lot of mathematical content.

    At my university, General Relativity is a required module for Astrophysics, which is definitely not for the mathematically-disinclined.
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