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Keele University BSc (Hons) Astrophysics and Mathematics
Keele University

BSc (Hons) Astrophysics and Mathematics

Keele, United Kingdom

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Introduction

Studying a combined honours in astrophysics and mathematics will provide you with a breadth of knowledge and a wide range of skills across two fascinating and deeply interconnected subject areas.

In astrophysics you will apply physics to understanding how the universe works and potentially 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?' These are questions that astrophysics helps you discover the answer to.

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.

The mathematics modules on the programme will carefully explore the core areas of mathematics, including calculus, algebra, probability and analysis. We will train you to think logically, construct rigorous proofs, introduce useful mathematical structures and think in abstract terms.

As you advance through the course you will explore pure mathematics, applied mathematics and statistics. To help develop the skills employers are looking for, you will also learn the programming language Python and understand how mathematics is used in a professional environment. You will also be able to choose to apply your mathematical skills, problem solving prowess and logical thinking to fascinating advanced topics like fluid mechanics, mathematical biology, cryptography and financial mathematics.

You will also have the opportunity to align your Astrophysics and Mathematics BSc to your career aspirations and interests by choosing from a variety of optional modules in your final year.

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