How do I go about doing a PhD in Astrophysics?

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User1014865
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I have an interest in astrophysics and would like to participate in uncovering the universe and its creation sometime in the future.

I'm currently doing a biochemistry degree (predicted a first). But I have not done pure mathematics and physics since GSCEs (which I got Bs in).

So in that respect, how do I go about doing a PhD in Astrophysics?
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Joinedup
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(Original post by Iamyourfather)
I have an interest in astrophysics and would like to participate in uncovering the universe and its creation sometime in the future.

I'm currently doing a biochemistry degree (predicted a first). But I have not done pure mathematics and physics since GSCEs (which I got Bs in).

So in that respect, how do I go about doing a PhD in Astrophysics?
Would you be interested in astrobiology at all? just thinking it'd be a better match with your undergrad.
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User1014865
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(Original post by Joinedup)
Would you be interested in astrobiology at all? just thinking it'd be a better match with your undergrad.
Yes. However, it's a relatively new field with few and far between courses. I wonder how much I'll gain and how much I could contribute in research in my lifetime as a result. Astrophysics seems more 'established' - but astrobiology needs people to push it forward, right?
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2ndClass
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not doable
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WishingChaff
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I would recommend taking/attending some courses in mathematics and physics at your university. If that is not possible then I suggest that you read books on introductory physics starting at classical mechanics. If I am honest it is unlikely you will be able to do a Phd in this field without at least a masters level degree. However you may be able to get onto a 1 year masters course in astrophysics providing you have enough background knowledge in physics (at least know undergraduate level to a first/2.1 standard). Can I ask why it is you want to do this subject and what level of understanding you currently have? Also, are you wanting to pursue a career is astrophysics long term or just do a Phd?


(Original post by Iamyourfather)
I have an interest in astrophysics and would like to participate in uncovering the universe and its creation sometime in the future.

I'm currently doing a biochemistry degree (predicted a first). But I have not done pure mathematics and physics since GSCEs (which I got Bs in).

So in that respect, how do I go about doing a PhD in Astrophysics?
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User1014865
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(Original post by WishingChaff)
I would recommend taking/attending some courses in mathematics and physics at your university. If that is not possible then I suggest that you read books on introductory physics starting at classical mechanics. If I am honest it is unlikely you will be able to do a Phd in this field without at least a masters level degree. However you may be able to get onto a 1 year masters course in astrophysics providing you have enough background knowledge in physics (at least know undergraduate level to a first/2.1 standard). Can I ask why it is you want to do this subject and what level of understanding you currently have? Also, are you wanting to pursue a career is astrophysics long term or just do a Phd?
I've liked astronomy/astrophysics since a child but didn't develop it until recently where I started reading around/studying the topic. I find it stimulating, fascinating, complex and mysterious. I want to be taught astrophsyics by experts on a profound level. Whether I'll pursue it professionally is uncertain; but it's something I'd certainly like to study.

I didn't really put a lot of effort into mathematics and physics at GCSE as I wasn't particularly stimulated by it, but had I put in the effort I might be studying astrophysics now. In terms of what I know right now: intermediate physics, several recent discoveries and basic maths. Due to current studies, I haven't invested too much time in it yet.

I'd definitely do a master's if it meant I could do a PhD later.
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WishingChaff
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You say that you have read around/studied the topic. Could you elaborate as to what books you have read?

In my honest opinion your only hope of doing a Phd in astrophysics is to go and take an undergraduate degree in physics. Many people say that they want to do research in physics when they start, but after 4 years pack it in due to its intensive nature. So as I said before, you should read some undergraduate physics books with the intention of studying a degree after. If you still want to do research after this then you will have the required skills to take it further. Hope this helps.


(Original post by Iamyourfather)
I've liked astronomy/astrophysics since a child but didn't develop it until recently where I started reading around/studying the topic. I find it stimulating, fascinating, complex and mysterious. I want to want a be taught astrophsyics by experts on a profound level. Whether I'll pursue it professionally is uncertain; but it's something I'd certainly like to study.

I didn't really put a lot of effort into mathematics and physics at GCSE as I wasn't particularly stimulated by it, but had I put in the effort I might be studying astrophysics now. In terms of what I know right now: intermediate physics, several recent discoveries and basic maths. Due to current studies, I haven't invested too much time in it yet.
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Manitude
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Basically you need an undergraduate degree in physics. To get that, you need A Levels in physics and maths.

If you want to look at the creation of the universe then cosmology is your thing, not astrophysics. Astrophysics is more about the study of stars, cosmology is more about the study of large scale structures/the universe. It might not seem like a huge difference, but it might help you pick your undergraduate course as some are "physics with astrophysics" and some are "physics with cosmology" or variants on that. If you specialise in one of these fields, getting a phd in it that particular area will be easier.
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(Original post by WishingChaff)
You say that you have read around/studied the topic. Could you elaborate as to what books you have read?

In my honest opinion your only hope of doing a Phd in astrophysics is to go and take an undergraduate degree in physics. Many people say that they want to do research in physics when they start, but after 4 years pack it in due to its intensive nature. So as I said before, you should read some undergraduate physics books with the intention of studying a degree after. If you still want to do research after this then you will have the required skills to take it further. Hope this helps.
I'd buy the odd Layman astronomy/astrophysics books for leisure e.g. Brian Cox books.

But recently I've been taking a look at the NASA website, 'Astronomy', 'Nature' and a few online lectures from respected departments in astrophysics.

I've also brushed up some fundamental physics using various online sources.

If I'm honest, astrophysics isn't something I'd like to do in the immediate future (I'd actually like to pursue acting professionally) but it's something I'd like to study in my lifetime.
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uberteknik
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(Original post by Iamyourfather)
I'd buy the odd Layman astronomy/astrophysics books for leisure e.g. Brian Cox books.

But recently I've been taking a look at the NASA website, 'Astronomy', 'Nature' and a few online lectures from respected departments in astrophysics.

I've also brushed up some fundamental physics using various online sources.
You have obviously found online lectures in astrophysics, there are the equivalent series of lectures (Stanford etc.) covering an introduction to cosmology. I'm thinkin Leonard Susskind here. I find him a tad slow at the start but that's not a bad thing when he gets to the more complex stuff.

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redferry
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The first step would be looking into any universities that offer Masters in physics to people from your background. My friends doing a Masters in nuclear physics at Liverpool with a 2:2 so I imagine they might.
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Pariah
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Stop watching Big Bang and start working on your maths?
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User1014865
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(Original post by Pariah)
Stop watching Big Bang and start working on your maths?
I hate the Big Bang, funnily enough. And I've obviously made the effort to brush up my maths.
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