Astrophysics Graduate Course

As part of the D.Phil training, we provide a graduate level course tailored to astrophysics.

D.Phil study often consists of drilling deep into a research topic, providing the student with expertise in a number of techniques and a profound understanding of the research area. A practicing astrophysicist needs to be aware of the wider context of the research area, but also benefits from a broad view of the research landscape, partially so that discoveries and progress in other fields which may impact on their own research are digested, but also because evolving or moving into new, fertile research areas can be very productive.

In addition to a number of seminar series, we provide a more structured graduate course to ensure that students obtain a broad overview of astrophysics. The cohort of D.Phil students spans quite a broad range of backgrounds and may include mathematicians, physicists, engineers, astrophysicists.... and we aim to cover topics that will prepare everyone for a career in astrophysics if they wish to pursue that. The course operates during the first year of study during term time and attendance is required for satisfactory progress. The course typically consists of five components:

  • Compulsory lecture courses totalling approximately 30 hours (including e.g. numerical methods or observational techniques)
  • Courses selected from the third or fourth year undergraduate Physics and/or MMathPhys degrees, totalling 25-30 hours on topics that are helpful to the individual student's progress.
  • Lectures given by members of the Astrophysics sub-department, presenting overviews of their research areas.
  • Master classes on non-research topics,
  • Student Talk sessions to provide practice at presenting results