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Keele University BSc (Hons) Astrophysics and Computer Science
Keele University

BSc (Hons) Astrophysics and Computer Science

Keele, United Kingdom

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Introduction

Studying Astrophysics and Computer Science BSc provides you with the scope to develop your expertise in two fascinating areas.

In astrophysics you will apply physics to understanding how the universe works and possibly explore questions like 'is there an Earth-like planet around another star'? 'Is there a black hole at the centre of every galaxy?' And 'why is the expansion of the Universe accelerating?'

Computer Science is informed by research and our content is kept up-to-date thanks to our close interaction with industry. You will learn the key themes that underpin contemporary computer science, from programming best practices to the use of the latest tools and technology.

Astrophysics equips you with the quantitative, analytic and communication skills needed for analysing data and solving problems, which are prized by employers. The programme is underpinned by a core physics curriculum as set out by the Institute of Physics. This includes, for example, the fundamentals of classical and quantum mechanics, electromagnetism, optics and solid state physics, together with the mathematics used to describe them. Students on this combined honours programme have the opportunity to learn about astronomical techniques and use our own observatory here at Keele.

As you progress, you will build on your existing knowledge in familiar core areas of physics including mechanics, special relativity and gravitation, to focus on astrophysical topics like stellar structure. Later in your degree you will have the options of studying cosmology, binary stars and exoplanets, black holes and gravitational waves or more advanced physics topics.

In your final year you will be involved in a group project. The project for the group is selected by the module leader and has in recent years been based on the analysis of world-class data from NASA's Kepler and TESS missions. The projects often contribute to the research conducted within the Keele astrophysics group.

On our computer science modules you will explore the fundamental concepts and techniques for modern, professional programming. Initial modules are designed to bring everyone up to speed, regardless of the starting level of coding experience, and to provide a gentle introduction to the skills required for effective academic study. You will then move on to learn advanced programming concepts that can be applied in areas such as games programming, mobile app and web development, artificial intelligence and cyber security, not disregarding the human aspect of Computer Science thanks to the focus on user interaction and user interface design, software engineering methodologies (SCRUM, Agile) and cutting edge research in AI and machine learning. We also provide you with the opportunity to align your Astrophysics and Computer Science BSc to your career aspirations and interests by choosing from a variety of optional modules in your final year.

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