Astrophysics - Liverpool John Moores University

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Albert Dock Pete CarrLiverpool LifeOne of the most affordable and safest student citiesin the UK, Liverpool is packed with attractions.There’s a legendary music scene that’s bigger thanthe Beatles; a city centre brimming with clubs, pubs,bars, restaurants and cafes; award-winning shoppingfacilities, museums, galleries and theatres, not tomention two Premier League football clubs, golfcourses, beautiful parks and outstanding countrysidejust a short drive away.AREA BY AREAWaterfronResurgentafterCome to study in this magnificentcity and youaretoo many years in the doldrums,guaranteed a second home forLiverpool’slife.Waterfront really is world-class. With thenewextensionAnd when it comes to exploringLiverpool,thankstotothe Leeds/Liverpool canal scythingour numerous cultural partnerships,you’llthehavea hostthroughPierHead, the jaunty new Museum ofof opportunities to get involved with the city’s artsLiverpool,thescrubbedup Three Graces (the triptycscene during your studies. Whether it’s listening to aof grand buildingsof which the Liver Building is bestclassical concert in the newly refurbishedPhilharmonicHall, watching a performance inthe award-winningknown)and the handsome huddle of warehouses maEveryman, or visiting Tate Liverpool in the Albert Dock,up the Albert Dock, the city has returned to the riveras an LJMU student you will have unprecedentedstyle. The Dock’s museums and galleries, bars andaccess to world-class attractions.restaurants can easily fill a half day’s exploration andshould you itch to get closer to the water you’ve a fewoptions: you can take a ‘ferry ‘cross the Mersey’ or tryyour hand at canoeing (or a range of other watersporat the Watersports Centre. Further south, the promewalk of Riverside Drive offers great river views all thway to the pretty Festival Gardens.1 8 A R EA BY A R E A1seven streets guide12.indd 18

Welcome to LJMU’sAstrophysics Research InstituteThe Astrophysics Research Institute (ARI) is one of the world’sleading authorities in astronomy and astrophysics. Its workencompasses a comprehensive programme of observationaland theoretical research, telescope operation, instrumentdevelopment, academic learning and outreach activities.The ARI has been honoured with various awards and prizesincluding:ntnA Queen’s Anniversary Prize for the development of the world’slargest fully robotic telescope plus an innovative educationalprogramme (2005)nThe Times Higher award for Research Project of the Year for‘Measuring Gamma-Ray Bursts‘ (2007)nThe Royal Astronomical Society’s ‘Group Achievement Award’for work on 2-degree Field (2dF) Galaxy Redshift Survey (2008)(co-recipient)The Institute also does a great deal of work in the community,with the National School’s Observatory and Merseyside visitorattractions such as Spaceport - which attracts 100,000 payingcustomers a year.Bold Street Coffeeegchtakingind,wyrts)enadeheEtsu208/08/2014 11:58


Postgraduatestudy optionsQUALIFICATIONS AVAILABLELJMU offers a wide range of taughtand research programmes deliveredby academics actively involved ininnovative research and ground-breakingconsultancy projects. Indeed, it is thiscombination of academic expertise and‘real world’ experience that helps ensure ourprogrammes: are up-to-date, accreditedby key professional bodies and deliver theknowledge, skills and experience required toachieve your professional ambitions.Postgraduate Certificates (PgCert)and Diplomas (PgDip)nncan act as stand-alone professionalqualificationscan mark interim achievements en routeto a full (taught) masters qualificationThe Postgraduate Certificate orDiploma in Education (PGDE or PGCE)nnoffers a route into teaching for thosewith an undergraduate degreefocuses on developing teaching skillsTaught Masters (MA, MSc, MBA)Leading the wayin educationIn 2016, LJMU became the first university to receive twocommended judgements in the Higher Education Review by theQuality Assurance Agency (QAA).All UK universities undergo a rigorous independent review by the QAA to checkthat they meet set standards. Our review saw us far exceeding the criteria, beingcommended for the quality and enhancement of our student learning opportunitiesand being praised for nine other areas of good practice.nnnnnMaster of Research (MRes)nnnThe benefits of studying at LJMU were clearly outlined by the QAA.The report commented on our:nnnnnnnnprovision of clear expectations for studentscurriculum enhancing placementscontinual development of teaching staffwork, enabling students to reach their graduate potentialprogramme monitoring and improvement processesability to collect and act on student feedbackidentification of enhancement opportunities for studentsstrengthening collaborative partnershipspartnerships with postgraduate research studentsThis ground-breaking result means that, as a future student, you canhave total confidence that LJMU delivers an exceptional learning experience andranks amongst the very best in the UK.focuses on individual researchproject workideal if you want to pursue aresearch careerprovides you with an academic mentorwho will become your Director of Studiesshould you progress to a PhD programmeMPhilnnbuilds on undergraduate knowledgeand skillscan be studied 12 months full-time,with a two year part-time optionoften availableoften enables you to select specialistoptional modules based on your owninterestsinvolves a dissertationsometimes available for those with little/noacademic experience in the subject areanfocuses on using appropriate researchmethods and techniques to conduct anindependent enquirycan be completed in one to four years,depending if you are a full or part-timestudentDoctorate or PhDnnfocuses on making an original, personalcontribution to the understanding of aproblem, the advancement of knowledgeor the generation of new ideastakes between three and six years tocomplete, depending on your modeof study4

Why studyat LJMU?5

A global universityLJMU is a global university, welcoming students and stafffrom over 100 different countries and working in collaborationwith businesses, professional bodies and educationalinstitutions from all over the world.We offer students and staff exciting opportunities to work,train or study overseas, encouraging them to embraceinternational employment opportunities. Our appetite forcollaboration has created huge success and inspired ourgraduates to see beyond national boundaries and culturaltraditions.Excellent facilitiesIn 2004, LJMU designed and built the Liverpool Telescope,one of the world’s largest and most sophisticated groundbased robotic telescopes. Since then, the ARI has playedan instrumental role in the development of a global networkof robotic telescopes that have helped to revolutionise thestudy of astronomy.The two metre Liverpool telescope is situated on an extinctvolcano at the Observatorio del Roque de Los Muchachosin the Canarian island of La Palma. Thanks to its uniquecombination of rapid slew speed, robotic control softwareand purpose-built instrumentation, the telescope canrespond quickly to transient events, such as gamma raybursts - the brightest electromagnetic events known tooccur in the universe.The ARI is now scoping out the technical requirementsand scientific goals for the New Robotic Telescope orNRT. This will build on the Institute’s existing successin the field of ‘time domain astronomy’, which coversobservations of astronomical objects that changein brightness or position over time e.g. near-Earthobjects such as asteroids, cosmic explosions such assupernovae, and extrasolar planets.The Liverpool Telescope has had a phenomenalimpact on research, public understanding and publicengagement with science through the National SchoolObservatory (NSO).The NSO enables schools in the UK and Ireland to requestobservations from the Liverpool Telescope. It has around3,000 registered schools, with over 11,600 teachers andpupils benefitting from free and full access to its facilities.Employment OpportunitiesThe Faculty of Engineering and Technology has an excellentemployability record. Indeed, the number of postgraduatesin professional and management positions six months aftergraduation stood at an impressive 95% in 2015.First class learning resourcesLJMU has three libraries: the Aldham Robarts library atthe Mount Pleasant Campus, the Avril Robarts library inthe City Centre and the IM Marsh library.A hub for all front-line student services, our libraries arethe place to: register and enrol, hand in your coursework,pay fees and get guidance on anything related to thestudent experience. All libraries have WiFi so you canwork on your own device, borrow a laptop or book a PC.You can also book a space to work quietly with friendsand can print, copy and scan items here too.In essence, our libraries offer:n2,000 study spaces - including designatedpostgraduate areas for when you need some quiettime to focus and meeting areas so you cancollaborate in groupsnhelpful and friendly academic liaison librarians for eachDepartment/FacultynWi-Fi accessnnetworked PCs and access to 2000 applicationsnlaptops you can borrow when you need to be outand aboutnhelpdesk and induction sessions to familiarise yourselfwith the resources and facilities availablena user-friendly search engine to search more than820,000 items including 650,000 printed resources,129,000 e-Books, 45,000 electronic journal titles,online newspapers, legal databases, companyjournals and special collectionsWorld-leading researchIn 2014, an amazing 99% of LJMU physics-relatedresearch submitted for the REF was classed as worldleading or internationally important. This research isdivided into:nStar formation and stellar populationsnGalaxy formation and evolutionnComputational galaxy formationnTime domain astrophysics (particularly novae,supernove and gamma-ray bursts)nAstronomical instrumentationLJMU’s Astrophysics Research Institute has formalpartnerships with several major international projectsincluding: CTA gamma-ray observatory, LIGO-Virgo gravitywave experiments, Euclid, Sloan IV Digital Sky Surveyproject, WEAVE on the William Herschel Telescope, LOFARand the LSST.Research is underpinned by external grant funding,including the STFC for science exploitation. ARI staff alsohave access to the 2m Faulkes Telescopes in Hawaii andAustralia and the 2.4m Yunnan Telescope in China.In 2008, Institute staff led the development of theASTRONET Infrastructure Roadmap for the future ofEuropean astronomy on behalf of STFC and otherEuropean funding agencies. They continue to serve onnational and international committees and panels of theResearch Councils and other bodies.“I would encourage anyone to come to LJMUto study at postgraduate level.”Mature student, Catherine Gadd6

Our peopleOur academics have the specialist knowledge and industry insight to makea real difference to your future. Here are just some of the tutors based in theAstrophysics Research Institute.PROF PHILIP JAMESDR MATT DARNLEYAstrophysics/Observational AstrophysicsAstrophysics“I encourage students to ask questions, nomatter how basic or naïve they may seem.Every so often a question from a studentwill contain or point to an important truth.”“I enjoy linking the research I carry out withthe teaching I deliver - particularly on theTime Domain Astronomy module.”With a PhD in Astrophysics from Imperial CollegeLondon and research postings at the RoyalObservatory in Edinburgh and the University ofHawaii in Honolulu, Professor Philip James hasspent more than a year observing the night skiesat mountain-top observatories in the Canaries,Hawaii and South Africa.Specialising initially in spiral and dwarf galaxiesand latterly in supernovae, Phil has written andcontributed to a large number of publications.He considers one of the most enjoyable aspectsof his role to be supervising MSc and PhDproject students as they begin their research.Outside of academia, Phil has a US privatepilot’s licence for glider flying and used to be akeen hang-glider pilot, flying in the UK, Franceand Spain.7With an undergraduate degree in physics fromthe University of Oxford (Lincoln College) and aPhD in astrophysics from LJMU, Matt has beenworking as a senior lecturer at LJMU for over10 years. He has recently become a Reader inTime Domain Astrophysics.His research interests include: time domainastronomy; explosive transients, includingnovae and their link to Type Ia supernovae;luminous red novae; extragalactic microlensing;observational astronomy and hydrodynamicmodelling. He has published widely in theseareas.Outside of academia, Matt is a strong middle/long distance runner.“The AstrophysicsResearch Instituteinspires andstimulates peopleof all ages throughits world-leadingresearch.”

WHAT OUR STUDENTS THINK Graduating with a BSc in NaturalSciences from the Open University,Andrew Hanson decided to study fora masters in Astrophysics, fitting hiseducation around his family life and hiswork as a senior manager in the healthservice.“This unique programme for distancelearning students plugged a much-needed gap for those wanting to go onto postgraduate study.For distance learning programmes thereisn’t usually a lot of direct interactionwith other students and staff but theteam at LJMU has been good at trying tobridge this and I have had support fromthe tutors and teams delivering eachmodule.The modules themselves have beenvery well delivered and supported withexamples and further reading fromcurrent research. I particularly enjoyedthe novae and supernovae portions ofthe time-domain module which wereincredibly in-depth.”8

AstrophysicsMScOffering access to research-class facilities andexpertise, this MSc in Astrophysics is deliveredby world-leading experts and designed tofacilitate further postgraduate study.Why study this course atLJMU?Astrophysics is enjoying an unprecedentedburst of new discoveries and, as a result ofrevolutionary techniques, new opportunitiesare emerging to explore planets, stars, galaxiesand the entire Universe. LJMU’s AstrophysicsResearch Institute has played a leading role inmany of these advances and our programmeoffers you the chance to benefit from ourexpertise and further your academic career inthis exciting and dynamic field.This distance-learning MSc will give you thefoundations from which to carry out furtherresearch through a PhD or equivalent. Eachprogramme module provides you with theopportunity to explore current literature, withsupport from experienced tutors, all of whomare engaged in cutting-edge research. Youwill develop high-level skills in: computing,accessing and manipulating complex data fromlarge databases, assimilating information fromresearch literature and scientific writing.Open to international studentsTeaching and assessmentProgramme assessment is via a combinationof online progress tests, written assignments,formal written exams, project reports, thedissertation and oral presentations.The research project and dissertation areexamined by a written report and an oralpresentation/interview. In most cases theinterviews are via video link, though you mayopt to come to Liverpool to do this in person.Graduate employmentThis programme is particularly focusedon preparing you for a research career inastronomy, astrophysics, space science orrelated disciplines. In these areas, entry totop-level research is almost always via the PhDroute, and it is anticipated that most studentswill be interested in further study at PhD leveland beyond.“Both carryingout new researchto discover newthings about theUniverse and thewealth of friendly,knowledgeableand experiencedacademics at LJMUare real highlights ofmy time here.”Claire Burke,Astrophysics Research InstituteThe ARI has a long-standing and healthy PhDprogramme, and we are well-placed to helpyou in applying for PhD places on our ownprogramme and in other institutions world-wide.Many research topics on the course involveobservational studies, which can be supportedby access to the Liverpool Telescope, atwo metre aperture research-quality robotictelescope, designed and built by LJMU expertsand sited on La Palma in the Canary Islands. Therobotic nature of the telescope means that youinteract with it via a computer interface, givingunrivalled flexibility for studying rapidly changingobjects in the night sky.You will study the followingmodules:nnnAstrophysical ConceptsAstrophysics ProjectObservational AstrophysicsOptional modules are also available coveringtopics such as:nCosmologynComputational AstrophysicsnTime-Domain AstrophysicsDistance Learning. Study full-time over oneyear or part-time over two yearsEntry Requirements:Minimum 2:2 in physical sciences or a STEMsubject, degree level physics knowledgeand competence in maths techniques plusa reference. Non-standard applications arewelcome.IELTS 6.5 (minimum 5.5 in each component)or equivalent.Fees:See website for details.Programme Leader:Prof Phil James



Observational AstrophysicsMScOpen to international studentsThis innovative MSc in ObservationalAstrophysics is delivered by world leadingacademics. It provides access to LJMU’sresearch class robotic Liverpool Telescope and isdesigned as a route to PhD study.Why study this courseat LJMU?This masters has been developed to enablestudents, throughout the world, to share in newdiscoveries about the universe we live in.The programme is ideal if you have a strongbackground in mathematics and a goodknowledge of basic physics at degree level.Entry to top-level research in this field is almostalways via the PhD route, and it is anticipatedthat most of the students taking this MSc willbe interested in further study at PhD level andbeyond.The programme emphasises independentstudent learning and each module provides youwith the opportunity to explore current literature,with support from experienced tutors, all ofwhom are engaged in cutting-edge astrophysicalresearch.Teaching and assessmentYou will be tested via a combination of onlineprogress tests, written assignments, formalwritten exams, project reports and oralpresentations. Most taught modules include awritten exam.The research project and dissertation includes awritten report and an oral presentation/interview.In most cases interviews are carried out via videolink, although you may opt to come to Liverpoolto do these in person.Graduate employmentThis Observational Astrophysics MScprogramme is focused on preparing you fora research career in astronomy, astrophysics,space science or related disciplines.The MSc also provides key transferable skillsin: computing, accessing and manipulatingcomplex data from large databases, assimilatinginformation from research literature, and scientificwriting. These skills are vital for a broad range ofcareers in academic and industrial research.All learning materials are delivered byBlackboard, LJMU’s Virtual LearningEnvironment, and you will have access to allmajor astrophysical research journals and acarefully selected range of e-books to supportyour studies and extend your reading.During your studies you will be able to accessthe Liverpool Telescope, one of the world’slargest robotic telescopes, which was designed,built and is now owned and operated by LJMU.Over the last decade, this has become one ofthe most flexible and powerful observatoriesfor the study of rapidly varying sources such asgamma-ray bursts, novae and supernovae.Distance learning. Study full-time over oneyear or part-time over two yearsEntry Requirements:Minimum 2:2 in physical sciences or a STEMsubject, degree level physics knowledgeand competence in maths techniques plusa reference. Non-standard applications arewelcome.IELTS 6.5 (minimum 5.5 in each component)or equivalent.Fees:See website for details.Programme Leader:You will study the followingmodules:nAstrophysical ConceptsnObservational AstrophysicsnTime-Domain AstrophysicsnObservational Astrophysics ProjectOptional mo

Astrophysics Research Institute The Astrophysics Research Institute (ARI) is one of the world’s leading authorities in astronomy and astrophysics. Its work encompasses a comprehensive programme of observational and theoretical research, telescope operation, instrument development, academic learning and outreach activities. The ARI has been honoured with various awards and prizes including: n .

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