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Physics and Astronomy: Astronomy and Astrophysics (track)

Study programme


The following courses are compulsory:

  • Stellar Atmospheres (6 EC)
  • Basic Linux/Coding (3 EC)
  • Statistical Methods (3 EC)
  • Open Problems in Modern Astrophysics (6 EC)
  • Structure and Evolution of Stars (6 EC)
  • Academic Skills (6 EC in total)

You can choose the rest of your course load  from a broad variety of electives, such as:

  • Fluid Dynamics (6 EC)
  • Space Instrumentation for Astrophysics (6 EC)
  • Particle Cosmology (6 EC)
  • Star and Planet Formation (6 EC)
  • Interstellar and Circumstellar Matter (6 EC)

The programme emphasises interaction, with many courses employing non-traditional, project-based forms of testing. An example is the Observation Project*, which requires you to write a proposal for an observing project and travel to a professional observatory (on La Palma, Canary Islands) to execute it and report on the data.

*The Observation Project is very high in demand, and may become a merit-based course whereby only top students are eligible.

Master's project and thesis

The second year of the programme (another 60EC) is dedicated to an independent state-of-the art research project. You conduct this project by yourself, within one of the UvA research groups, at an institute abroad via e.g. an Erasmus agreement, or within industry - under the close guidance of a UvA staff member. Your project culminates in a written Master's thesis (ideally of publishable quality) and an oral presentation during a public colloquium, usually within the API’s Master Symposium day.

A few recent examples of Master's theses in Astronomy and Astrophysics from the UvA are:

Other A&A Master's theses can be found in the digital theses library of the UvA Faculty of Science.

Bring your own device

All students enrolled in the Physics and Astronomy Master's programme are requested to bring their own laptop. More information on specific system requirements can be found here.