Astronomy

About the subject

Human beings have always looked up at the skies and asked themselves questions like "What's out there?" and "Where does everything come from?" This natural curiosity still forms the basis for the science of astronomy, but now we rely on mathematics, physics, chemistry and computer science to find answers to these questions.

If you share this curiosity about the world we live in, Stockholm University offers you a variety of exciting courses and programmes in astronomy. As an international student, you can apply for the MSc programme or, if you prefer, take some individual courses. Our courses deal with different research areas ranging from stars, planets, supernovae, black holes and galaxies, to the evolution of the Universe as a whole. These courses are fairly theoretical as you will study these areas in terms of the relevant physical processes. Other courses combine theory and practice and focus on techniques used to observe astronomical objects. In these courses you will have the unique experience of using actual research telescopes. Irrespective of the course you choose to study with us, there is always a strong connection between teaching and ongoing research and we will actively help you develop basic research and critical thinking skills. If you already have an MSc in astronomy or physics and you are interested in a career in astronomical research, you can apply for our PhD programme. Stockholm University is host to the largest concentration of astronomical research in Sweden and our PhD students benefit not only from the wide range of research topics we specialise in, but also from the strong international connections we have across the globe.

Career opportunities

An MSc degree will allow you to continue with your PhD studies and this can lead to a successful research career in astronomy. Through the MSc programme, you will also acquire skills in programming, data handling, image processing, computational science and problem solving. All these transferable skills create excellent opportunities for a career in IT or the finance industry, for example, as your mathematical and modelling skills are highly valued in these areas. The knowledge and skills you will gain whilst studying with us can also form a basis for becoming an excellent teacher of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects.

Courses and programmes

Degree

To obtain an MSc exam in astronomy, you will need to successfully complete the master programme.

More information about degrees at Stockholm University

Research

Our research ranges from our nearest star, the Sun, to the history of the entire Universe. The Sun is only one of a zillion stars with planets, and in Stockholm we explore how these form and die, for example in supernova explosions, as well as related extreme phenomena such as gravitational waves. Stars form, live and die in galaxies and their structure and evolution is another active research area, stretching from the very first galaxies those of today.