The master degree in Astrophysics and Cosmology aims at providing students with a comprehensive, up-to-date view of the main fields of modern astrophysics, including astronomical detectors and techniques, black holes and neutron stars, cosmology, gravitational physics, planets, stars and galaxies. Particular emphasis is placed on a solid background in physics and on the growing ties among astrophysics and different branches of physics (theoretical and experimental particle physics, detector physics, nuclear physics) in the coming era of multi-messenger observations.

Master graduates in Astrophysics and Cosmology will gain a detailed working knowledge of astrophysics both on the theoretical and observational sides. The final thesis (42 ECTS, approximately six months full time) will put the student in direct contact with an advanced research topic, enhancing his/her ability to carry out autonomous work. This will be key for either a successful continuation to a PhD in Astrophysics or in Physics or to a job in the industrial or service sectors based on novel technologies.

Course structure

The master degree in Astrophysics and Cosmology is organized in two curricula:

  • theory and modelling (A),
  • observations, experiments and interpretation (B).

All course units are on a 6 ECTS (48 h lectures) basis. The first semester of the first year aims at providing students with the basis of modern physics/astrophysics and applied mathematics. Mandatory courses include: General Relativity, Mathematical and Numerical Methods, Astrophysics Lab, Fundamentals of Modern Physics or Fundamentals of Astrophysics and Cosmology (depending on the student background at the Bachelor level). These are supplemented by a specific course according to the chosen curriculum. During the second semester, the student will take a total of five courses, two chosen in list of three for each curriculum, two from a broader list plus an entirely free option. This will ensure that in constructing his/her own study plan, the student has enough freedom to follow at best his/her interests and inclinations. In the final year, all courses are placed in the first semester and the second is entirely devoted to the master thesis. One course, different for the two curricula, is mandatory, another one is to be picked up from a suggested list and the remaining one is a free option. Students are required to pass a final examination at the end of each course, usually in the form of an interview. The final thesis consists of a written essay which must contain original contributions in a research field chosen by the student among those suggested by researchers at the Department of Physics and Astronomy or at affiliated research institutions.

List of Course units:

First year

First semester

  • Mathematical and Numerical Methods
  • General Relativity
  • Astrophysics Laboratory I
  • Advanced Astrophysics (curriculum A) OR Observational Astrophysics (curriculum B)
  • Fundamentals of Modern Physics OR Fundamentals of Astrophysics and Cosmology

Second semester

Two-course units among:

  • Theoretical Cosmology(curriculum A)
  • Radiative Processes in Astrophysics(curriculum A)
  • Theoretical Physics (curriculum A)
  • Stellar Astrophysics (curriculum B)
  • Astrophysics of Galaxies (curriculum B)
  • Observational Cosmology (curriculum B)

Two-course units among:

  • Multimessenger Astrophysics
  • Astroparticle physics
  • Gravitational Physics
  • Nuclear Astrophysics
  • Celestial Mechanics
  • Subnuclear Physics
  • Astronomical Spectroscopy
  • Planetary Astrophysics
  • Galactic Dynamics
  • Astronomical Interferometry

Second year

  • Compact Object Astrophysics (curriculum A) OR Astrophysics Laboratory II (curriculum B)

One course unit among:

  • Fluid and Plasma Dynamics
  • Exoplanetary Astrophysics
  • Cosmology of the Early Universe
  • Astrophysics of the Interstellar Medium
  • Astrobiology
  • Astro-statistics and Cosmology

One free-choice course unit

Master Thesis (42 CFU-ECTS)

Career opportunities

Job opportunities for graduates in Astrophysics and Cosmology include:

  • coordinator or member of research groups at universities and public or private research institutions
  • employment in industries with a technological profile (in particular space, optics, microelectronics, telecommunications, information technology)
  • employment in sectors that require skills in modelling, testing, and interpreting large and complex data sets, such as consulting companies, research centers and public administration
  • high-level teaching and/or dissemination of scientific culture, with particular reference to various theoretical, experimental and applicative aspects of classical and modern physics, astrophysics and cosmology.

Entry requirements

Admission to the Master course requires a few criteria are met, namely: good knowledge of classical physics and basic knowledge of quantum mechanics and statistics; mastery of the main mathematical tools (mathematical analysis and geometry); experience in the physics laboratory.

Entry requirements are quantified as follows:

  • 24 ECTS acquired in the physics area (SSD FIS/01-07)
  • 24 ECTS acquired in the math area (SSD MAT/01-09)

For candidates with a foreign degree, the academic requirements are verified by an admission committee that checks the congruence of bachelor studies and assesses the merit. The evaluation of the applicant's curriculum studiorum may be integrated by an interview (remote connection) if needed.

Language requirements

English knowledge: B2 level reading and listening

Program taught in:

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Last updated February 26, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Oct 2019
2 years
2,600 EUR
Fees for a.y. 2018/19. Tuition can be significantly waived based on your “Equivalent Economic Status Index – ISEE”.
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