An online study programme
This programme will offer home astronomers, who may have graduated in subjects other than physics, the opportunity to gain a formal postgraduate qualification in Astronomy and Astrophysics, and is designed to give students a robust and up-to-date background in these areas. Over the course of two years, we will explore the solar system, stellar physics, infra-red, radio and high energy astronomy, as well as discussing the foundations of cosmology.
By its very nature, astronomy is a mathematical subject - students will therefore need a background in this area, although fully-supported maths master classes will be a permanent feature on the programme for those who need to refresh their skills in this area.
The programme starts in late September/early October each academic year, as well as a second start date in January each year – places are limited to ensure a constructive atmosphere for discussions.
This is a part-time, postgraduate-level programme delivered wholly online in a fully-supported learning environment. Students can exit with a Postgraduate Certificate after successful completion of the first year if their circumstances change.
Through this programme, students will:
This part-time two-year programme will comprise six 20-credit modules:
Students will be required to complete all these modules in the first instance, though additional modules may be added in the future to accommodate future programme growth and offer a broader learning experience.
It is anticpated that assessments will comprise a balance of short and long critical essays, conference style posters and maths-based open book problems.
Full details of programme structures and the modules which comprise individual awards can be found at General Programme Information.
Our approach to e-learning is distinctive and may be different from your general perceptions about online study:
A key feature of our programme is the availability and quality of support that we offer through module tutors, pastoral support and a dedicated administrative and technical support team.
We hold an optional two-day Residential Weekend at York each year. Each event is an opportunity to meet your fellow students and staff, engage in discussion and share your knowledge of astronomy. These events are free of charge, though students are expected to meet the costs of their travel, accommodation and sustenance. For students who are unable to attend these weekends, there is the option to engage via real-time video conferencing or to watch recordings of the key sessions from each weekend.
The programme is aimed at those with an interest in astronomy and astrophysics.
Normally students will be expected to hold a Bachelor’s Degree in a related subject area. CLL will also favourably consider any student previously awarded a BA/BSc in any subject, and with evidence of recent HE level study. Previous maths skills, to A-Level or equivalent standard, are essential.
CLL reserves the right to ask any student for academic work to support their application.
Any student may be called to interview. It is anticipated that students will be largely from a science background. The programme will be targeted at students who will already have the required skills to study at M level.
Students will not be accepted to the programme unless they can demonstrate the required skills, which could include a maths test for non-traditional applicants.
Students must have an IELTS score of 7.0 overall, with no less than 6.5 in Writing (or equivalent). Details of the requirements for distance learning students can be found at English language requirements: distance learning 2017/18
The online postgraduate diploma in Astronomy is priced in line with other University postgraduate programmes, details of which can be found at http://www.york.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/fees-funding/.
For 2017/18, the cost of the first year will be £2,700; the second year will be the same cost again, plus an inflationary increase of 2% maximum in the second year in line with standard University tuition fees.
Students can spread the cost of their tuition fees, including by paying monthly in advance. More information can be found at Finance and financial support for distance learners.
If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at the University of York, you could be eligible for a 10% discount on your tuition fee. See more information about the York Graduate Loyalty Discount.
How to apply
You can apply for this course using our online application system.
If you've not already done so, please read the application guidance first so that you understand the various steps in the application process.