The undergraduate major in Astrophysics at UCT

The undergraduate major in Astrophysics at UCT has been offered since 2006. In 2013, we have introduced a second 2nd-year course (AST2003H: Astronomical Techniques). This course combines a large practical component (radio and optical astronomy practicals) with theoretical background in astronomical techniques, instrumentation and data analysis.

The undergraduate major in Astrophysics provides an excellent qualification for postgraduate studies in Astrophysics and related disciplines. For more information about the postgraduate studies in Astrophysics at UCT we refer to the additional information on our web site (see the tabs on the left).


Astronomy and Astrophysics undergraduate courses offered by the Department of Astronomy

AST1000S Introduction to Astronomy

AST2002H Astrophysics

AST2003H Astronomical Techniques

AST3002F Stellar Astrophysics

AST3003S Galactic and Extragalactic Astrophysics

Details of the Astrophysics major

The core components of the undergraduate major in Astrophysics are indicated below.

First year level:
Compulsory: PHY1004W, MAM1000W
Strongly recommended: AST1000S, CSC1010H, MAM1043H, MAM1044H

Second year level:
Compulsory: AST2002H, AST2003H, PHY2004W, MAM2000W
Alternative for MAM2000W: MAM2004H (Advance Calculus + Linear Algebra modules) and MAM2047H (Ordinary Differential Equations + Boundary-Value Problems modules).

Third year level:
Compulsory: AST3002F, AST3003S

The compulsory courses listed above are the back-bone of the Astrophysics major. With the addition of selected courses in either physics, or applied mathematics you can tailor your astrophysics major towards two different streams.

Steam 1. Astrophysics and Physics
With the addition of PHY3004W, you will automatically qualify for a major in astrophysics and physics. See also page 20 and page 29 of the UCT Science Faculty student handbook (2022).

Stream 2. Astrophysics and Applied Mathematics
With the addition of MAM1043H, MAM1044H, MAM2046W and MAM3040W you will qualify for a major in astrophysics and applied mathematics. See also page 19 of the UCT Science Faculty student handbook (2022).

For more information about the undergraduate major in Astrophysics, please contact the Physics/Astrophysics student advisor Dr. Spencer Wheaton.

Undergraduate applications

To apply to study Astronomy/Astrophysics at undergraduate level, candidates must apply directly to UCT. For information on how to do this, please see:

For further information on the entrance requirements to be accepted into the UCT Faculty of Science (to study Astronomy/Astrophysics), please see the Science Faculty undergraduate admission web page, and check for details of admission criteria for a BSc majoring in Astrophysics.

The Department of Astronomy cannot answer queries about entrance requirements as these are determined at the Faculty level.

[Last updated: 27 December 2022]