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Astrophysics - Research

Programme Overview
The major research themes in the Astrophysics Research Centre (ARC) at Queen's focus on the dynamic universe. Time domain studies illustrate the universe is an evolving and exciting laboratory in which to study physics on large scales. We search for distant supernovae and their progenitor stars to understand what drives these explosions. We study the asteroid and comet population in the solar system and have built instruments to take high-frequency observations of the solar surface.

The discovery of planets orbiting other stars in our galaxy (exoplanets) is one of the most active new areas in astronomy. ARC's research teams lead exoplanet discovery and characterisation projects aimed at finding new worlds like our own. All these projects are focused on exploiting or building new observational facilities and are underpinned by the development of theoretical models such as astrochemistry models of star-forming discs and exoplanets, supernova physics, energy transport in the sun, stellar atmospheres, and atomic physics.

We lead major European consortia within, for example, the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and these programmes are supported by external grant funding of over £10m (in the last four years), including major UK STFC, Royal Society, and EU grants.

Entry requirements

Entry Requirements

A research degree offers you the opportunity to develop your research skills and prove yourself as a researcher. Queen's is committed to the enhancement of research training and teaching and offers postgraduate research opportunities across all fields of study. The following postgraduate research study routes for this subject area are: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

Entrance Requirements

The minimum academic requirement for admission to a research degree programme is normally an Upper Second Class Honours degree from a UK or ROI HE provider, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. Further information can be obtained by contacting the School.

English Language Requirements

International students (where English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes. Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.0, with not less than 5.5 in any component (*taken within the last 2 years) is required. For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: go.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this programme, our partner INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability to entry to this programme.

English for University Study - an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level.

Pre-sessional English - a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.

Duration

Mode of study/Duration

Registration is on a full-time or part-time basis, under the direction of a supervisory team appointed by the University. You will be expected to submit your thesis at the end of three years of full-time registration for PhD, or two years for MPhil/MD (or part-time equivalent).

Careers or further progression

Career Prospects
Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes alongside sterling integration with business experts helps our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.

Further enquiries

If you have queries on course content please contact the school representative below.

Professor SJ Smartt
Astrophysics Research Centre School of Mathematics and Physics
Tel: 9097 1245
Email: s.smartt@qub.ac.uk
WWW: http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/SchoolofMathematicsandPhysics/Research/ARC

Comment

Special Features

•ARC is a leading partner in facilities to discovery exoplanets (SuperWASP, HARPS-N and the Next Generation Transit Survey) and in the Pan-STARRS programme to identify moving and explosive phenomena.

•ARC built and runs a state-of-the-art, high-speed solar imager, called ROSA. We lead the development of a first light camera for the world's largest solar telescope under construction in Hawaii (the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope).

•ARC is involved in the development of world-class astronomical facilities and exploits the UK's access to ESO and ESA facilities. We are leading members of the UK consortium joining the future Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, the Pan-STARRS survey, and are members of the EUCLID and European Extremely Large Telescope science and project teams.

Application date

Postgraduate Research

There is no standard closing date. You should however check both the University’s website and refer to the relevant School/Institute webpage for information on deadline dates for postgraduate funding applications, as these will also determine when your application for admission should be submitted.

Research areas

Research Strengths

Recent observational research highlights include finding dozens of extra-solar planets, discovering giant twisting waves in the sun, and studying an asteroid before it entered the Earth's atmosphere. We have also identified progenitor stars of supernovae before they exploded, and discovered some of the most luminous explosions in the universe.

All of these results have been highlighted in recent papers in Science and Nature, illustrating the leading and novel nature of our research. We train and encourage students and Postdoctoral researchers to lead these research projects. Students have the opportunity to spend extensive periods at world-leading research centres such as the ESO and the NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre.

Enrolment and start dates

Year of entry: 2017

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