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Astrophysics Research Institute

“To confine our attention to terrestrial matters would be to limit the human spirit.” 

- Stephen Hawking

Picture yourself a few years from now – a graduate from the Astrophysics Research Institute. You'll have experienced a thought provoking, challenging and thoroughly enjoyable course. With your imagination fired up and your horizons broadened, you'll have the skills and knowledge to pursue a rewarding career whether you decide to go into scientific research, industry, education, computing or business.

What can I gain from studying astrophysics at LJMU?

  • You’ll be studying one of the most challenging and fundamental of sciences in one of the best astrophysics departments in the UK
  • You'll be learning from passionate, world-leading academics within specialist facilities, including a number of professional observatories
  • When you graduate you’ll be eligible to join the Institute of Physics to gain Chartered Physicist status

But if you need more reasons, consider the fact that our graduates are highly regarded by employers. Employers appreciate the dedication and hard work that a physics degree entails. And they find the range of transferable skills you’ll acquire during the course particularly attractive. A good degree in physics is well-respected, but a degree from one of the best astrophysics departments in the UK will take you further.

The course provides an excellent insight into the many different areas within physics and I have gained considerably more confidence in key skills such as presentation, analytical, numeric and computing skills. Staff have been extremely helpful throughout the course which is a real asset.

Joanne Bibby, Physics with Astronomy graduate


How we'll help you achieve your dream career

Here are just a few ways we can help you reach your goals:

We will ensure our courses are professionally relevant

Along with the specialist skills and knowledge you will gain on our programmes, you will acquire a range of transferable skills in problem-solving, numeracy, analysis, practical experimentation, computing, teamwork and communication – all of which are attractive to potential employers. These skills are vital in preparing you to enter the job market.

Physicists often pursue careers in a wide range of areas including pure research, telecommunications, microelectronics, renewable energy, nuclear power and instrumentation, cryogenics, astronomy, geophysics, medical physics, materials science, information technology, commerce and management.

You can also opt to take your studies further by pursuing postgraduate research opportunities within the Astrophysics Research Institute.

Practical learning is a key part of your course

You’ll have the opportunity to learn from and work alongside world-leading academics within specialist facilities at both Liverpool John Moores University and the University of Liverpool, including a purpose-built astrophysics teaching laboratory.

You’ll also benefit from access to a number of observatories so you can perfect your skills in astronomical measurement and use state-of-the-art detector technology. Our MPhys and BSc Astrophysics students have the opportunity to spend a week at the Izana Observatory on Tenerife, where they become familiar with the workings of a professional observatory, or alternatively they can take part in a week-long project based at the Astrophysics Research Institute. All students on both BSc and MPhys programmes will have access to data from the world’s largest robotic telescope, the Liverpool Telescope, located in the Canary Islands and owned and operated by LJMU as a national astronomical facility. This telescope provides students with unique access to research-level astronomical data from one of the leading facilities in time-domain astronomy.

We will maintain our accreditations by professional bodies

As a graduate of either the MPhys Astrophysics or Physics with Astronomy programme, you’ll be eligible to join the Institute of Physics to obtain Chartered Physicist status.

We will create and maintain connections to the scientific community

The Institute has partnerships with major international projects including Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA), Sloan Digital Sky Survey, LIGO-Virgo, Euclid, WHT Enhanced Area Velocity Explorer (WEAVE) on the William Herschel Telescope, Low Frequency Array (LOFAR) and the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) to name just a few. These links ensure that our course content is informed by the latest research and development within the realm of astrophysics.

In addition, for over ten years the Astrophysics Research Institute has owned and operated our own telescope. The unmanned two metre fully robotic Liverpool Telescope is sited on the island of La Palma in the Canaries. The Telescope enables us to gain new insights into the physics of transient astronomical sources over timescales of a few seconds to many years.

You will have access to careers support

Our careers service offers a wide range of resources to help you plan your next step, both while you are at university and after you graduate.

We offer in-depth careers advice and guidance, a My Jobs & Placements website for placements and graduate jobs, opportunities to meet and engage with employers and an extensive programme of careers and employability workshops, all designed to help you get the job you want.

Find out more about how our careers service can help you.


I enjoyed the field trip to Tenerife as we gained hands on experience in a professional observatory and studied a variety of objects which inspired me to continue onto PhD level study and into an astrophysics career.

Rebekah Hounsell - studied at ARI now a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Space Telescope Science Institute