# astrophysics? Watch

1. Hey guys,
I am thinking of applying for the astrophysics undergraduate course.

I looked at the ucl’s astrophysics online timetable,here https://cmis.adcom.ucl.ac.uk:4443/ti.../routeTimet.do .if you count the total amount of hours a week,including the hours of lectures and the hours of lunch breaks,you will spend: mon 9\12.5 hours, tue 12\12.5 hours, wed 4 hours, thu 8.5\9 hours, 8.5\9 hours..in total they are between 47 and 42 hours a week.i mean,I feel like saying,are you serious?..47 hours a week spent at university
I don’t know it this calculation is correct,because I sent ucl an email once,and they told me I would have about 20 hours of lectures a week,I also went to ucl’s study information center and the lady who was there told me I would have about 30 hours of lectures a week in the 1st year,and then less in the 2nd and 3rd years.
So everyone is saying a different thing,and I don’t know what to think about this whole astrophysics thing.

I hope there Is someone here who is studying astrophysics,I don’t care about the university you are studying astrophysics at..i just would like to have a general idea of the amount of time I should spend on this course.

Ok,so the question is this:I would like to know how much time a person, who is attending the astrophysics undergraduate course,spends on this course a week in total.
At ucl they told me on top of the hours of lectures you also have the hours of tutorial times and independent hours.
So For “in total” I mean:how many hours you spend on lectures each day,how many hours you spend on lunch breaks,how many hours you spend on tutorial times and independent hours,how many hours you spend on individual study(homework) each day.

Thank you very much
2. http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki/Physics_Degree according to this most phyics degrees involve around 40 hours of work a week, and when I went to an open day at manchester some ug students I talked to also said that the workload is pretty big.

And although you may be hearing different things about the number of lectures, you will be expected to do a lot of study around those lectures so I will probably still come to the same.

Although it would probably be a lot better for a current physics student to answer this, hope that helped.
3. ~30-80hrs/week depending on how clever you are, what options you take, what year you're in and whether you're cramming for exams at the time or not. Usually closer to the lower end hopefully.

(Original post by elvis L)
https://cmis.adcom.ucl.ac.uk:4443/ti.../routeTimet.do .if you count the total amount of hours a week,including the hours of lectures and the hours of lunch breaks,you will spend: mon 9\12.5 hours, tue 12\12.5 hours, wed 4 hours, thu 8.5\9 hours, 8.5\9 hours..in total they are between 47 and 42 hours a week.i mean,I feel like saying,are you serious?..47 hours a week spent at university
The link doesn't work but I presume you've counted up the hours for absolutely everything in the timetable.

You only choose certain lecture courses and are in certain lab groups so you don't go to everything on the time table. I would guess you have <25 hours a week of contact time.
4. to see that link you have to go on the ucl's website,search "timetable" in the search bar,click on the first link that is highlightened and whose title is "online timetables",then click on "degree programme" and write "astrophysics" in the bar that will appear.
i didnt count every hour..i just counted the number of hours from the first hour to the last hour of every day
5. (Original post by elvis L)
didnt count every hour..i just counted the number of hours from the first hour to the last hour of every day
isn't that the same thing?

What I mean by options is: not everyone takes the same lecture courses. At the start of term you fill in a form choosing which ones you want to take. e.g one person might choose extra lab the other extra maths. The timetable includes all possible options.

What I mean by certain lab groups is: The labs aren't big enough to fit everyone in at a time. So the year is split into groups who do their lab work at different times in the week. See on the timetable where it says COMP1/2/3/etc. and PROB1/2/3/etc.

Also look at the bit on the timetable that says weeks. The timetable isn't just for one week, its an overlay of the whole year. Click on current week on the top right to see an actual week (including all te different lab and tutorial groups)

I hope that helps clarify things.
6. ah ok understood!!..so basically this timetable is useless,because it doesnt tell you how many hours one single person spends on this course.
and when it says that in the current week in "practical skills 1c",which is lab,there are comp1,comp2 and comp3..it doesnt mean that you have to spend 7 hours in the lab,but that those 7 hours are divided among the 3 comps,so a person spends just 2hours and a quarter in the lab,does it?

also,i guess you are studying astrophysics..how many hours do you spend on this course?because i mean there's quite a big gap between 30 and 80 hours..i can understand that when you are cramming for exams the amount of hours can get to 80..but in general..over the year,what is the amount of hours that you usually spend on this course?
an admissions tutor said more or less 20 hours of lectures etc and more or less 20 hours of individual study..i dont know if this is right
7. If I remember correctly my contact times/work hours were as follows for my undergrad (straight Physics at Southampton, but likely to be similar to that for astrophysics)

1st Year - 20 hours contact a week/35-40 hours work a week
2nd Year - 17 hours contact/40-ish hours work
3rd Year - 17-25 hours during the semester with lab work (depending on how nuts the experiment was), 13-14 for the semester with the dissertation. 40-50 hours per week work (dependent on how much got done/how hard the subjects were).
4th Year - 25-30 hours contact a week (this was including project work). Sometimes as high as 40 if stuff was going badly/well. Probably 50 odd hours a week. That said with this work load we got enough data to publish a journal article so this is definitely on the very high side of work per week.

This work load comfortably got me a first, so its definitely possible to relax it and do as well as you want to . This wasn't for lack of not doing other stuff, just worked from 9/10ish until 6 most days and the occasional (becoming most -_- towards 3rd and 4th years) Sunday morning.
8. (Original post by OingyBoing)
If I remember correctly my contact times/work hours were as follows for my undergrad (straight Physics at Southampton, but likely to be similar to that for astrophysics)

1st Year - 20 hours contact a week/35-40 hours work a week
2nd Year - 17 hours contact/40-ish hours work
3rd Year - 17-25 hours during the semester with lab work (depending on how nuts the experiment was), 13-14 for the semester with the dissertation. 40-50 hours per week work (dependent on how much got done/how hard the subjects were).
4th Year - 25-30 hours contact a week (this was including project work). Sometimes as high as 40 if stuff was going badly/well. Probably 50 odd hours a week. That said with this work load we got enough data to publish a journal article so this is definitely on the very high side of work per week.

This work load comfortably got me a first, so its definitely possible to relax it and do as well as you want to . This wasn't for lack of not doing other stuff, just worked from 9/10ish until 6 most days and the occasional (becoming most -_- towards 3rd and 4th years) Sunday morning.
by "work hours" you mean "homework hours",dont you?

when you said "worked from 9/10ish until 6 most days and the occasional (becoming most -_- towards 3rd and 4th years) Sunday morning" you meant that including everything(lectures + homework + anything else that had to do with your physics degree) you studied from 9am to 6pm most days,and sometimes you had to study on sunday mornings too?

1last thing,what do you think about physics\astrophysics' job opportunities?do these degrees open up more doors in the job market,and let you earn more money than degrees like psychology\biology with psychology?
9. Yep, that's total hours, lectures and all. What I often found I did was simply stay around the physics department between lectures and work then. After 6 was normally taken with something else, and lord knows no one should start work again at 11pm.

Job opportunities... well it depends on what you want to do. Obviously for physics/engineering jobs you'll be a fairly decent position, similarly with jobs in the IT sector (management, hardware or software) as you'll gain at least a passing familiarity with them if you do physics. The major extra doors are from taking a numerate degree (so you'd get similar opportunities doing say maths, chemistry or the like) which seems to give the financial sector a warm fuzzy feeling. If you're talking about earning money this is probably what you're after. If you're going to become a scientist/engineer the money won't be bad, but you're probably never going to be raking in millions as it were. More than psychology/biology... well again it depends on what you want to do. You can go into management/business with both, but you can do the same with any academically minded degree. Just pick the one you think you'll enjoy most.

One word however that I think ever potential physicist should be told. In doing a physics degree you have to accept that you're going to be doing maths. A lot of it. You don't have to be fantastic at it, but it at least shouldn't drive you nuts by its presence.
10. everytime you say "work" or you use the verb "to work",you mean "homework"(individual study,self study..the study that you have to do outside of lectures),dont you?

sorry man,im italian,and sometimes i just dont understand what people say(or write)..i didnt understand the 2 phrases below..could you explain to me what you meant please?

(Original post by OingyBoing)
After 6 was normally taken with something else, and lord knows no one should start work again at 11pm.

The major extra doors are from taking a numerate degree (so you'd get similar opportunities doing say maths, chemistry or the like) which seems to give the financial sector a warm fuzzy feeling.
11. (Original post by elvis L)
Hey guys,
I am thinking of applying for the astrophysics undergraduate course.

I looked at the ucl’s astrophysics online timetable,here https://cmis.adcom.ucl.ac.uk:4443/ti.../routeTimet.do .if you count the total amount of hours a week,including the hours of lectures and the hours of lunch breaks,you will spend: mon 9\12.5 hours, tue 12\12.5 hours, wed 4 hours, thu 8.5\9 hours, 8.5\9 hours..in total they are between 47 and 42 hours a week.i mean,I feel like saying,are you serious?..47 hours a week spent at university
I don’t know it this calculation is correct,because I sent ucl an email once,and they told me I would have about 20 hours of lectures a week,I also went to ucl’s study information center and the lady who was there told me I would have about 30 hours of lectures a week in the 1st year,and then less in the 2nd and 3rd years.
So everyone is saying a different thing,and I don’t know what to think about this whole astrophysics thing.

I hope there Is someone here who is studying astrophysics,I don’t care about the university you are studying astrophysics at..i just would like to have a general idea of the amount of time I should spend on this course.

Ok,so the question is this:I would like to know how much time a person, who is attending the astrophysics undergraduate course,spends on this course a week in total.
At ucl they told me on top of the hours of lectures you also have the hours of tutorial times and independent hours.
So For “in total” I mean:how many hours you spend on lectures each day,how many hours you spend on lunch breaks,how many hours you spend on tutorial times and independent hours,how many hours you spend on individual study(homework) each day.

Thank you very much
Hey your post is incredibly long. But I went to UCL and actually did astro. I would say that it's a really good course. And the long hours only last for 2 years. The third year and fourth are really quite relaxed (although you're meant to do a lot more studying in your own time).
PM me if you wanted further insight into astro at UCL.

p.s. it really isnt that bad! you can't expect to do anything less than 20 hours in any uni for physics!
12. (Original post by elvis L)
everytime you say "work" or you use the verb "to work",you mean "homework"(individual study,self study..the study that you have to do outside of lectures),dont you?

sorry man,im italian,and sometimes i just dont understand what people say(or write)..i didnt understand the 2 phrases below..could you explain to me what you meant please?
I mean any work at all, lectures and homework.

After 6 was normally taken with something else, and lord knows no one should start work again at 11pm.
This means that normally I was not working from 6pm-11pm most days at least.

The major extra doors are from taking a numerate degree (so you'd get similar opportunities doing say maths, chemistry or the like) which seems to give the financial sector a warm fuzzy feeling.
This means that financial/banking sector likes graduates from numerate disciplines (i.e. subjects with a lot of maths in them), which is most sciences and engineering subjects.
13. ah ok,i thought by "work hours" you meant "homework".so when you said for example "1st Year - 20 hours contact a week/35-40 hours work a week" you didnt mean that the total amount of hours a week was 20+35\40=55\60..but that the total amount of hours(lectures + self study at home) was 35-40.so 15-20 hours of homework(self study,individual study at home).

do you think that with this amount of work a person could go out 4 nights a week,AND have like 3-4 free hours a day when he can do whatever he wants to?
stan88,the guy above,told me if i want that much free time there's no way i can attend the astro course..and i should enter arts degrees..do you agree with him or not?
14. Doing both... no. Not unless you start going out at 10pm or later. Well, you could do both, but you'd either have to be a physics guru already or don't be surprised if you ended up with a 2.2. Hell even for an arts degree you aren't going to be looking at having that much free time (3-4 hours free a day is a lot. I mean seriously a lot. Doubly so if you want to be going out often). I mostly mixed my hobbies and going out together, but even then I doubt I had that much time when cooking/sleeping get rolled into it.
15. (Original post by OingyBoing)
If I remember correctly my contact times/work hours were as follows for my undergrad (straight Physics at Southampton, but likely to be similar to that for astrophysics)

1st Year - 20 hours contact a week/35-40 hours work a week
2nd Year - 17 hours contact/40-ish hours work
3rd Year - 17-25 hours during the semester with lab work (depending on how nuts the experiment was), 13-14 for the semester with the dissertation. 40-50 hours per week work (dependent on how much got done/how hard the subjects were).
4th Year - 25-30 hours contact a week (this was including project work). Sometimes as high as 40 if stuff was going badly/well. Probably 50 odd hours a week. That said with this work load we got enough data to publish a journal article so this is definitely on the very high side of work per week.

This work load comfortably got me a first, so its definitely possible to relax it and do as well as you want to . This wasn't for lack of not doing other stuff, just worked from 9/10ish until 6 most days and the occasional (becoming most -_- towards 3rd and 4th years) Sunday morning.
Hey elvis,
I think I pretty much agree with what Oingy has said so far...
Physics really ain't easy and if you want some good results, you have to invest some time in it. Really.
16. (Original post by OingyBoing)
Not unless you start going out at 10pm or later. .
yes i would start going out at 10pm and get back home at 3-4am
17. (Original post by elvis L)
ah ok,i thought by "work hours" you meant "homework".so when you said for example "1st Year - 20 hours contact a week/35-40 hours work a week" you didnt mean that the total amount of hours a week was 20+35\40=55\60..but that the total amount of hours(lectures + self study at home) was 35-40.so 15-20 hours of homework(self study,individual study at home).

do you think that with this amount of work a person could go out 4 nights a week,AND have like 3-4 free hours a day when he can do whatever he wants to?stan88,the guy above,told me if i want that much free time there's no way i can attend the astro course..and i should enter arts degrees..do you agree with him or not?
If you are well organised and focused when working then I believe you can. For example:

6 am - 7 am: wake up, wash, breakfast etc.
7 am - 12 noon: working morning. 5 hrs work
12 noon - 3 pm: 3 hrs rest
3 pm - 6 pm: working afternoon. 3 hrs work
6 pm - 9 pm: free evening. 3 hrs rest
9 pm - 10 pm: brush teeth and get ready for bed
10 pm - 6 am: sleep

The above will give you a day of 5+3=8 hrs work, 3+3=6 hrs rest plus 2 hrs "dead" time and 8 hrs of solid sleep.
This will form a week of 8x6=48 hrs work or 8x7=56 hrs work if you decide for either a 6 or 7 day week.

I personally do not need 6 hrs of rest time a day nor 8 hrs sleep (I cope easily with only 6) and I don't know about you but I find that I don't consider "work" the time I spend doing something that really interests me.

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