Shafali - Why I love Astrophysics

January 1 2020
Bayfordbury planetarium

What I love about my course

Having had the privilege of studying Astrophysics at two universities I can say that the education is very similar, this, of course, can only be said for this degree but what really differentiates the universities are by what they have to offer rather than solely the teaching aspect.

At Herts, Physics and Astrophysics are offered, both at BSc and MSc levels which allows for a choice. This freedom continues onto the module choice in each year which I am particularly fond of as I prefer the mathematical modules offered here. Astrophysics is slightly more restricted than Physics as you must choose at least one Astro module however we do get to choose at least one module per semester, and in the third year we largely choose our modules where there is a range of options, scaling from theoretical physics to mathematical physics to engineering modules, the choice is yours!

On top of this, the grade weightings for assignments and exams are mostly 40/60 for physics modules and 20/80 for mathematics modules along with modules which are worth 100% coursework such as Planetary Systems and Programming, which means less pressure when it comes to the exam period.

I also love the support available here at Herts, academic and otherwise. Lecturers are sure to have office hours available for students to answer any questions and have regular drop-in sessions with academics to help with assignments or for any queries. Furthermore, each year has a student rep elected by the students, one person each for Physics and Astrophysics, who are there to help get across any concerns students may have about the course or anything else that might need bringing to attention so your voice is always heard and valued.

I especially love the emphasis on graduate prospects, internships, working abroad and placement years here at Herts. In the Physics, Astronomy and Mathematical school (PAM) we have our own dedicated career advisor who sends us regular emails about prospective jobs, internships, and placement opportunities available to our school and how we can apply to this. In the second year, all students must complete a non-credited module called Career Planning and Development which is a highly valuable module designed to further our skills even after we have graduated; focusing on employability alongside gaining a degree which will benefit in the long run.

Finally, Go Herts is a recognised award which helps you stand out from the rest in prospective job applications, it is offered to students who have engaged in a range of extra-curricular activities outside of the assessed part of your degree (such as a part-time job) which is awarded to you at the end of your programme of study which is an added recognition just for doing what you would do anyway!

That’s what I love about Herts!