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FROM THE SUN TO SUPERNOVAE, NEUTRON STARS, BLACK HOLES AND GALAXIES!

THE ASTRONOMY AND SPACE PHYSICS TRACK IS ONE OF THE FOUR SPECIALISATION TRACKS OF THE MASTER’S DEGREE PROGRAMME IN PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL SCIENCES. IT ENCOMPASSES A BROAD RANGE OF TOPICS FROM THE PHYSICS OF THE SUN AND SOLAR SYSTEM, TO STELLAR AND GALACTIC STRUCTURE AND EVOLUTION, AS WELL AS TOPICS IN HIGH ENERGY ASTROPHYSICS (E.G. ACCRETION PROCESSES, THE PHYSICS OF BLACK HOLES AND NEUTRON STARS) AND COSMOLOGY.

The other tracks of the programme are Materials Chemistry, Materials Physics, and Theoretical Physics. Upon graduation, you will be able to use the diverse set of skills acquired as part of this track, including computational and numerical techniques.

The structure is modular. All modules have 20 ECTS. Each specialisation track has two obligatory modules that contain the core material of the field. In addition, there is one thematic module that may be chosen from the other modules offered within this programme or other programmes at the University of Turku. The fourth module consists of freely chosen courses and an obligatory Finnish language and culture course (5 ECTS). An MSc thesis (30 ECTS) in addition to seminar, internship, and project work (10 ECTS) are also required, details of which depend on the specialisation. See figure below.

Examples of different modules in different specialisations are:

You can replace the project work by participating in a Capstone project (15 ECTS) organised by the Department of Future Technologies. We recommend this for those students who aim to work in the industry after graduation.

Theoretical courses will cover aspects of plasma physics and astrophysics, radiative processes and cosmology, hydrodynamics and magnetohydrodynamics, astrophysical spectroscopy and interstellar medium, as well as stellar structure and evolution.

The methodology module covers observational techniques, data analysis methods, detectors, and numerical methods. Here, you will take courses in the methods of observational astrophysics, statistical and simulation methods, signal and image processing, time-series analysis and Fourier transforms, space technology and radiation and particle detectors.

You are free to choose the thematic module from those offered in the faculty or take a suitable minor subject, even one offered by other faculties. Thematic modules offered by this programme include biomaterials, electronics materials, modelling and functional materials. Possible minor subjects are e.g. computer science, mathematics, chemistry, business creation and innovation. However, for the thematic module, the specialised courses in astrophysics and space physics are highly recommended.

The specialised courses in astrophysics and space physics will give you a deeper understanding of e.g. active galactic nuclei, astroparticle physics, physics of planet formation, galaxies and cosmology, galactic astronomy, heliophysics and high-energy astrophysics as well as nuclear and particle physics. Here you can select the topics that support your Master‘s thesis.

In the other studies module you can choose any courses you want from the entire offering of the university in addition to the obligatory “Finnish for foreigners” course. It is recommended that you take more courses on computing, modelling and theoretical physics, depending on your preferences.

The applicant’s previous degree on the basis of which s/he is seeking admission to the Master’s Degree Programme should be in a relevant field of study. Relevant fields of previous studies for this Master’s Degree Programme are physics, chemistry, astronomy, materials science, theoretical physics or similar depending on the chosen specialisation track.

Applicants may choose only one of the four available tracks upon application. Therefore, it is very important to choose the track that is closest to the field of your previous degree.

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