Master of Science in Astronomy


Program Description

Welcome to the Department of Astronomy! Our MSc program gives you a well-rounded and broad education in astronomy, closely connected to world-leading research. Whether you are interested in black holes, cosmology, exo-planets or exploding stars, this two-year program is the right choice for you. The program covers both theoretical and observational approaches to modern astronomy. Our students acquire skills in current research methods and proficiency to analyze, evaluate and present complex astrophysical data.

Reasons to choose

First-class education and a close connection to department research:

Stockholm University is one of the 100 highest-ranked universities in the world and a leading European university. The Department of Astronomy covers world-leading research, including both theoretical as well as more observational and experimental research. With all our teachers being active researchers, you are offered various ways to get in contact with recent advancements in each respective field through lectures, laboratory sessions or degree projects.

Diverse and technically advanced learning environment:

Stockholm University's and the Royal Institute of Technology's joint research and educational initiative AlbaNova University Centre is an international and dynamic facility. With 600 researchers and Ph.D. students and about 2000 BSc and MSc students, the atmosphere is diverse and progressive. We have a friendly atmosphere at our department and its moderate size allows for informal and close contact between students and teachers, ensuring good educational support throughout the program. Most of your studies take place at AlbaNova where we host Sweden's largest operating optical telescope. During some courses, our students also get to use the 20-meter radio telescope at Onsala Space Observatory and the 2.5 meter Nordic Optical Telescope at La Palma. In addition to this, it is possible to get international experience from collaborative projects such as the Hubble Space Telescope, Zwicky Transient Facility, Very Large Telescope at the European Southern Observatory or the Swedish 1-m Solar Telescope at La Palma.

Program structure

With the collective expertise at our department, the outline of this program is designed to give you a broad skill set. You can apply your knowledge of physics to key astronomical fields and complement your education with the elective courses. Students without sufficient knowledge in astronomy from their BSc studies are provided compulsory introduction courses in Cosmology (7.5 credits*) and Stellar Structure and Evolution (7,5 credits). The final component of your studies is a thesis project where you independently plan, perform and report a research project with supervision from one of our researchers. The program outline is shown below. Please note that this outline may be subject to change.

First year

  • Astrophysical Radiation Processes 7.5 credits
  • High Energy Astrophysics 7.5 credits
  • Late Stages of Start, Super-novae and Gamma-ray Bursts 7.5 credits
  • Observational Astrophysics I 7.5 credits
  • Observational Astrophysics II 7.5 credits
  • Planetary Systems 7.5 credits
  • Elective courses 15 credits

Second year

  • Astrophysical Gas Dynamics 7.5 credits
  • Galaxies 7.5 credits
  • The Physics of the Interstellar Medium 7.5 credits
  • (Elective course 7.5 or 22.5 credits)
  • Degree project 30 or 45 credits

(*60 credits correspond to one academic year)

Career prospects

Our MSc program in astronomy is very versatile and our students acquire a broad set of skills that are useful both inside and outside of the academic field. These skills include good knowledge of physics and information technology and generally excellent problem-solving skills. Therefore education in Astronomy provides you with great opportunities in the labor market. Our alumni not only work in astronomical research but also in insurance analytics, ICT, teaching, data warehouse/software and computer game development, environmental research and leading positions at companies such as Telia and Facilia.

Why Stockholm University?

Studying at Stockholm University makes a difference

Stockholm University is one of the 100 highest-ranked universities in the world and Sweden’s largest institution of higher education with top-quality education and outstanding research in a wide variety of fields.

Our campus is situated in the Royal National City Park, just minutes away from the center of Stockholm city. Stockholm has recently been rated the safest capital in Europe and is famous for its many green and clean areas. Stockholm is leading in areas such as social welfare, equality, IT, sustainability and innovation. Known for being an open society, Sweden is also ranked second in the world in the Social Progress Index.

Eligibility requirements

Bachelor of Science Degree comprising 180 credits, including a major in Astronomy or Physics (or equivalent). In addition, you are required to show English proficiency equivalent to the Swedish high school level.

Application and tuition fees are required unless you are EU/EEA citizen or have long-term/permanent residency status in Sweden (or temporary residency for reasons other than studies).

Last updated Apr 2020

About the School

The Faculty of Science at Stockholm University is the largest science faculty in Sweden and is among the top hundred science faculties in the world on the Shanghai ranking. The Faculty offers top-clas ... Read More

The Faculty of Science at Stockholm University is the largest science faculty in Sweden and is among the top hundred science faculties in the world on the Shanghai ranking. The Faculty offers top-class education in a number of programs and courses, at the Master's level more than 30 study programs are given in English. Read less