Astronomy is the study of observable and theoretical objects beyond the reach of earth’s atmosphere. This includes planets, moons, solar systems, stars and galaxies. An astronomy degree educates students on the observation of space, time, processes, and physical concepts. The degree will cover research techniques used in astronomy. Cosmology is the study of the universe as a whole, and is closely related to astronomy.
Entry can be competitive with 10 institutions offering astronomy across the country. Typically, you will require the following grades at A Level to apply:
- A Level Grades: A*AA – BBB
- UCAS Points: 152 - 120
You will need to have studied maths and physics at A Level. It would also be useful to have studied chemistry and further maths.
Astronomy will require good knowledge of these subjects. General Studies and Critical Thinking will count as one of your three A Levels.
For specific information regarding entry requirements you should contact your chosen uni.
As astronomy focuses greatly on physics, the career prospects are high for astronomy graduates. This will allow roles in both a relevant industry of work and a diverse range of areas. Career prospects improve with the completion of a placement year in the industry. Most placement employers offer students full time jobs upon completion of their degree.Some common job roles for astronomy graduates include: Astronomer: Upon graduation it is possible for students to pursue a career as an astronomer. A career as an astronomer can vary greatly. Some job roles will focus on research of the universe, whilst others spend their time planning and supporting space missions. An obvious place of work for an astronomer would be at NASA in the United States. However, working for such a large government agency may require a postgraduate degree. Theoretical Astrophysicist. A theoretical astrophysicist examines the physical makeup of the universe. As well as researching the phases that planets and stars go through over time. The post is highly research led with most of the findings being presented in a written report format. Occasional verbal presentations being necessary. To become a more advanced theoretical astrophysicist a PhD in Astrophysics may be required. Other job roles that are well suited to astronomy graduates include:
- observational astrophysicist
- astronomy lecturer
- physics teacher