Talk to us arrow

hipchat Call
text.skipToContent text.skipToNavigation
Astronomy banner

Study Astronomy

As a child, were you fascinated by the starry night sky? Have you ever wondered how the universe came into being? Studying Astronomy will not only help you satisfy your curiosity about the universe but also open up exciting career opportunities for you. 

$119,730

$119,730: average annual salary of astronomers

Bx Line chart

23,300 astronomers and physicists to be employed in US by 2030 

Bx Line chart

Rank in the top 11% of careers for job satisfaction

$189,690

$189,690: average annual salary of top astronomers 

Astronomy is one of the oldest natural sciences. It is the study of celestial bodies and phenomena. Astronomy applies principles of mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology and geology to understand the origin and evolution of the universe. Students learn about objects as colossal as galaxies and as small as neutrinos.

Aspiring astronomers learn what forces and energies enable the movement of heavenly bodies. They also develop observational skills and learn to theorise about the origin, nature and future of the cosmos.

  

Astronomy programmes consist of many mathematics and physics modules qualifying astronomy graduates to work on satellites, navigation systems, aerospace and transport systems. Astronomy graduates can apply their skill set to find occupations in astronomical observatories, planetariums, space programmes and agencies, aerospace industries, computer science and science journalism.

Some common course modules students can expect to study include cosmology, solar system, computational astrophysics, astronomical observation methodology, astrostatistics, electromagnetism, planetary physics and science communication.

Astronomy majors usually have a curious and inquisitive nature. You must have the same burning curiosity, for understanding the nature of the universe, to thrive in this field. Successful astronomers usually excelled in physics and mathematics early on and are able to quickly grasp abstract ideas.

  

Furthermore, analytical skills are indispensable if you want to succeed in the field of Astronomy. You should be able to analyse vast amounts of data and identify patterns. Patience is another required key trait due to the nature of the work: astronomers spend long hours making observations, analysing data and writing research papers.

  

Apart from these innate talents, students must cultivate two key skills to stand out among their peers. Firstly, they must be proficient in computer use. Astronomers must often run large amounts of numerical data to test their hypotheses. Data mining and statistical analysis of large data sets is not possible without computer proficiency. Secondly, astronomers must have enviable public speaking skills. Astronomers must often explain their findings to their peers and many astronomy occupations are based upon public speaking such as in science journalism or a planetarium. Students must avail the opportunities provided during their college life to practice their communication skills.

High levels of qualifications are needed to become an astronomer. The first step you can take in your journey to become a professional astronomer is to earn a bachelor’s degree in astronomy. During their bachelor’s students are taught the rudiments of observational and theoretical astronomy. A bachelor’s degree in Astronomy costs on average $53,420 per year in the US.

A master’s degree in Astronomy will allow you to focus on a branch of astronomy. During your master’s, you’ll learn professional observational techniques and research methodology. Students must conduct original research for their master’s thesis to obtain this degree.

   

A PhD degree in Astronomy will open a sea of opportunities for you. In fact, 91% of all astronomers are doctoral degree holders. A PhD degree focuses on research in a specific area of Astronomy such as galactic, cosmos, radio or solar astronomy. A PhD degree in Astronomy can take 4-5 years to complete.

  

Pop culture references in shows like the Big Bang Theory and movies like Don’t Look Up coupled with the internet attention amassed by astronomers such as Neil deGrasse Tyson has helped popularise Astronomy. To add to the mix, space exploration companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin is another reason for the emerging eminence of the field. This popularity has led to a sizeable increase in employment opportunities for Astronomers.

  

The high income and increasing employment opportunities make it a favourable field of study to pursue for the future.

  

Use your expertise or transferable skills to enter a range of different career paths related to Astronomy.

Science Journalist/ Science Writer

A solid foundation in science acquired during your astronomy degree will help you write high-quality science articles for various publications. Your work will allow the public to follow the progress in the field of science. Science writers frequently contact scientists for their expert opinions. Some science writers become editors in peer review science journals and help write research papers and grant proposals. The average annual income of a science writer is $80,621.

University Professor

Astronomy degree holders that are more academically inclined might pursue a career as a lecturer. In this role, you will teach astronomy related courses to students and help students conduct research. The average annual income for a university professor is $83,997.

Planetarium Director

Planetariums and planetary museums employ astronomers to manage the facility. Planetarium directors have strong interpersonal skills and industry connections. They oversee the day-to-day activities of a planetarium. The average annual income of a planetarium direction is $85,489.

  

Astrophysicist

Astrophysicists study the universe and associated phenomena from a physics framework. They try to understand the nature and properties of heavenly bodies. They research topics like dark matter, black holes, cosmic rays and general relativity. As an astrophysicist you will devise hypotheses and test their validity using the scientific method. You will also write and publish your finding in research journals. The average annual income for an astrophysicist is $119,580.

  

Top Astronomy courses

  • At University of Canterbury
    uni-location

    Nelson , New Zealand

    THE world university rank: 501

    school-outline-white

    Course qualification

    Postgraduate Diploma

    turn-around

    Entry score

    6.5

    Fees

    Total course fee

    LKR 4,403,262 ? NZD  38,400 Program fees are indicative only. Speak to your IDP study counsellor to get up-to-date course prices.

  • At University of Sussex
    uni-location

    Brighton , United Kingdom

    THE world university rank: 151

    school-outline-white

    Course qualification

    Masters Degree (Taught)

    turn-around

    Entry score

    6.0

    Fees

    Total course fee

    LKR 5,295,096 ? GBP  22,975 Program fees are indicative only. Speak to your IDP study counsellor to get up-to-date course prices.

  • At Western University
    uni-location

    London , Canada

    THE world university rank: 201

    school-outline-white

    Course qualification

    Masters Degree

    turn-around

    Entry score

    6.5

    Fees

    Total course fee

    LKR 5,109,440 ? CAD  37,968 Program fees are indicative only. Speak to your IDP study counsellor to get up-to-date course prices.

  • At Columbia University
    uni-location

    Rochester , United States

    THE world university rank: 11

    school-outline-white

    Course qualification

    Ph.D.

    turn-around

    Entry score

    7.5

    Fees

    Total course fee

    LKR 47,361,966 ? USD  252,480 Program fees are indicative only. Speak to your IDP study counsellor to get up-to-date course prices.

  • At University of Sussex
    uni-location

    Brighton , United Kingdom

    THE world university rank: 151

    school-outline-white

    Course qualification

    Ph.D.

    turn-around

    Entry score

    6.0

    Fees

    Total course fee

    LKR 20,742,489 ? GBP  90,000 Program fees are indicative only. Speak to your IDP study counsellor to get up-to-date course prices.

  • At Oklahoma State University
    uni-location

    Oklahoma City , United States

    THE world university rank: 501

    school-outline-white

    Course qualification

    Ph.D.

    turn-around

    Entry score

    7.0

    Fees

    Total course fee

    LKR 11,739,194 ? USD  62,580 Program fees are indicative only. Speak to your IDP study counsellor to get up-to-date course prices.

Top Universities to study Astronomy

Monash University

Monash University

THE ranking: 57

uni-location Australia

Macquarie University

Macquarie University

THE ranking: 192

uni-location Australia

The Australian National University

The Australian National University

THE ranking: 54

uni-location Australia

The University of Adelaide

The University of Adelaide

THE ranking: 111

uni-location Australia

The University of Western Australia

The University of Western Australia

THE ranking: 132

uni-location Australia

The University of Southern Queensland

The University of Southern Queensland

THE ranking: 401

uni-location Australia

Ontario Tech University

Ontario Tech University

THE ranking: 601

uni-location Canada

University of Waterloo

University of Waterloo

THE ranking: 201

uni-location Canada

Carleton University

Carleton University

THE ranking: 601

uni-location Canada

McMaster University

McMaster University

THE ranking: 80

uni-location Canada

Saint Mary's University

Saint Mary's University

uni-location Canada

Queen's University

Queen's University

THE ranking: 251

uni-location Canada

University of Calgary

University of Calgary

THE ranking: 201

uni-location Canada

University of British Columbia

University of British Columbia

THE ranking: 37

uni-location Canada

University of Manitoba

University of Manitoba

THE ranking: 301

uni-location Canada

University of Alberta

University of Alberta

THE ranking: 125

uni-location Canada

University of Victoria

University of Victoria

THE ranking: 301

uni-location Canada

Western University

Western University

THE ranking: 201

uni-location Canada

University of Toronto

University of Toronto

THE ranking: 18

uni-location Canada

University of Canterbury

University of Canterbury

THE ranking: 501

uni-location New Zealand

Royal Holloway, University of London

Royal Holloway, University of London

THE ranking: 351

uni-location United Kingdom

University of Leicester

University of Leicester

THE ranking: 185

uni-location United Kingdom

Cardiff University

Cardiff University

THE ranking: 189

uni-location United Kingdom

University of Manchester

University of Manchester

THE ranking: 50

uni-location United Kingdom

University of Kent

University of Kent

THE ranking: 351

uni-location United Kingdom

University of Sheffield

University of Sheffield

THE ranking: 110

uni-location United Kingdom

University of Southampton

University of Southampton

THE ranking: 124

uni-location United Kingdom

University of Edinburgh

University of Edinburgh

THE ranking: 30

uni-location United Kingdom

Durham University

Durham University

THE ranking: 162

uni-location United Kingdom

University of St Andrews

University of St Andrews

THE ranking: 201

uni-location United Kingdom

University of Liverpool

University of Liverpool

THE ranking: 178

uni-location United Kingdom

University of Nottingham

University of Nottingham

THE ranking: 141

uni-location United Kingdom

University of Portsmouth

University of Portsmouth

THE ranking: 501

uni-location United Kingdom

University of Hertfordshire

University of Hertfordshire

THE ranking: 601

uni-location United Kingdom

University of Sussex

University of Sussex

THE ranking: 151

uni-location United Kingdom

University of Lincoln

University of Lincoln

THE ranking: 501

uni-location United Kingdom

University of Dundee

University of Dundee

THE ranking: 201

uni-location United Kingdom

Birkbeck, University of London

Birkbeck, University of London

THE ranking: 351

uni-location United Kingdom

North Seattle College

North Seattle College

uni-location United States

California State University, Los Angeles

California State University, Los Angeles

uni-location United States

Glendale Community College - California

Glendale Community College - California

uni-location United States

Humboldt State University (California State University, CSU)

Humboldt State University (California State University, CSU)

uni-location United States

Seattle Central College

Seattle Central College

uni-location United States

Santa Barbara City College

Santa Barbara City College

uni-location United States

University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth

University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth

THE ranking: 201

uni-location United States

Northern Arizona University

Northern Arizona University

THE ranking: 501

uni-location United States

SUNY New Paltz

SUNY New Paltz

uni-location United States

Florida Institute of Technology

Florida Institute of Technology

THE ranking: 801

uni-location United States

Harvard University

Harvard University

THE ranking: 2

uni-location United States

University of Indianapolis

University of Indianapolis

uni-location United States

California Institute of Technology

California Institute of Technology

THE ranking: 2

uni-location United States

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

uni-location United States

Princeton University

Princeton University

THE ranking: 7

uni-location United States

Tufts University

Tufts University

THE ranking: 172

uni-location United States

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

THE ranking: 5

uni-location United States

Yale University

Yale University

THE ranking: 9

uni-location United States

Washington State University

Washington State University

THE ranking: 351

uni-location United States

University of Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania

THE ranking: 13

uni-location United States

University of Pittsburgh

University of Pittsburgh

THE ranking: 140

uni-location United States

Lehigh University

Lehigh University

THE ranking: 601

uni-location United States

University of Alabama in Huntsville

University of Alabama in Huntsville

THE ranking: 601

uni-location United States

Emory University

Emory University

THE ranking: 82

uni-location United States

Texas Tech University

Texas Tech University

THE ranking: 601

uni-location United States

University of California, Riverside

University of California, Riverside

THE ranking: 251

uni-location United States

Michigan State University

Michigan State University

THE ranking: 93

uni-location United States

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

THE ranking: 801

uni-location United States

Boston University

Boston University

THE ranking: 62

uni-location United States

Texas A and M University - College Station

Texas A and M University - College Station

THE ranking: 193

uni-location United States

University of New Hampshire

University of New Hampshire

uni-location United States

Florida State University

Florida State University

THE ranking: 251

uni-location United States

University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign

University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign

THE ranking: 48

uni-location United States

Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgia Institute of Technology

THE ranking: 45

uni-location United States

Rice University

Rice University

THE ranking: 136

uni-location United States

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

THE ranking: 601

uni-location United States

Central Michigan University

Central Michigan University

uni-location United States

University of Washington

University of Washington

THE ranking: 29

uni-location United States

University of Utah

University of Utah

THE ranking: 251

uni-location United States

University of Massachusetts - Amherst

University of Massachusetts - Amherst

uni-location United States

Drexel University

Drexel University

THE ranking: 351

uni-location United States

DePaul University

DePaul University

uni-location United States

University of Missouri - Kansas City

University of Missouri - Kansas City

uni-location United States

University of Iowa

University of Iowa

THE ranking: 251

uni-location United States

Brigham Young University - Provo

Brigham Young University - Provo

uni-location United States

Montana State University

Montana State University

THE ranking: 601

uni-location United States

University of Virginia

University of Virginia

THE ranking: 127

uni-location United States

Ball State University

Ball State University

uni-location United States

Iowa State University

Iowa State University

THE ranking: 401

uni-location United States

Wichita State University

Wichita State University

uni-location United States

University of Toledo

University of Toledo

THE ranking: 601

uni-location United States

University of Maryland - College Park

University of Maryland - College Park

THE ranking: 93

uni-location United States

Purdue University - West Lafayette

Purdue University - West Lafayette

THE ranking: 105

uni-location United States

Dartmouth College

Dartmouth College

THE ranking: 99

uni-location United States

Syracuse University

Syracuse University

THE ranking: 351

uni-location United States

Brown University

Brown University

THE ranking: 64

uni-location United States

SUNY Stony Brook University

SUNY Stony Brook University

THE ranking: 301

uni-location United States

University of Missouri

University of Missouri

THE ranking: 501

uni-location United States

Georgia State University

Georgia State University

THE ranking: 401

uni-location United States

Missouri University of Science and Technology

Missouri University of Science and Technology

THE ranking: 401

uni-location United States

University of California - Santa Cruz

University of California - Santa Cruz

THE ranking: 201

uni-location United States

University of Memphis

University of Memphis

THE ranking: 801

uni-location United States

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

THE ranking: 501

uni-location United States

University of California, Los Angeles

University of California, Los Angeles

THE ranking: 20

uni-location United States

University of Delaware

University of Delaware

THE ranking: 301

uni-location United States

University of Wyoming

University of Wyoming

THE ranking: 601

uni-location United States

University of Central Florida

University of Central Florida

THE ranking: 601

uni-location United States

University of Maryland, Baltimore County

University of Maryland, Baltimore County

THE ranking: 601

uni-location United States

University of Chicago

University of Chicago

THE ranking: 10

uni-location United States

University of Missouri - St. Louis

University of Missouri - St. Louis

THE ranking: 601

uni-location United States

University of Colorado - Boulder

University of Colorado - Boulder

THE ranking: 158

uni-location United States

Case Western Reserve University

Case Western Reserve University

THE ranking: 126

uni-location United States

Columbia University

Columbia University

THE ranking: 11

uni-location United States

University of Tennessee

University of Tennessee

THE ranking: 301

uni-location United States

Cornell University

Cornell University

THE ranking: 22

uni-location United States

Howard University

Howard University

THE ranking: 251

uni-location United States

Indiana University - Bloomington

Indiana University - Bloomington

THE ranking: 167

uni-location United States

Michigan Technological University

Michigan Technological University

uni-location United States

Kansas State University

Kansas State University

THE ranking: 801

uni-location United States

New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

THE ranking: 601

uni-location United States

Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University

THE ranking: 13

uni-location United States

Northwestern University

Northwestern University

THE ranking: 24

uni-location United States

North Carolina State University - Raleigh

North Carolina State University - Raleigh

THE ranking: 301

uni-location United States

Ohio State University - Columbus

Ohio State University - Columbus

THE ranking: 85

uni-location United States

Pennsylvania State University - University Park

Pennsylvania State University - University Park

THE ranking: 119

uni-location United States

Oklahoma State University

Oklahoma State University

THE ranking: 501

uni-location United States

University of California - San Diego

University of California - San Diego

THE ranking: 34

uni-location United States

University of California - Davis

University of California - Davis

THE ranking: 67

uni-location United States

University of California - Berkeley

University of California - Berkeley

THE ranking: 8

uni-location United States

University of California - Santa Barbara

University of California - Santa Barbara

THE ranking: 68

uni-location United States

University of California - Irvine

University of California - Irvine

THE ranking: 96

uni-location United States

University of Cincinnati

University of Cincinnati

uni-location United States

University of Hawaii - Manoa

University of Hawaii - Manoa

THE ranking: 251

uni-location United States

University of Georgia

University of Georgia

THE ranking: 351

uni-location United States

University of Florida

University of Florida

THE ranking: 154

uni-location United States

University of New Mexico

University of New Mexico

THE ranking: 251

uni-location United States

University of Montana

University of Montana

THE ranking: 501

uni-location United States

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

THE ranking: 114

uni-location United States

University of Notre Dame

University of Notre Dame

THE ranking: 183

uni-location United States

University of Rochester

University of Rochester

THE ranking: 142

uni-location United States

University of Oklahoma

University of Oklahoma

uni-location United States

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

THE ranking: 24

uni-location United States

Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University

THE ranking: 113

uni-location United States

Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech

THE ranking: 201

uni-location United States

University of Texas - Austin

University of Texas - Austin

THE ranking: 47

uni-location United States

Valparaiso University

Valparaiso University

uni-location United States

Wayne State University

Wayne State University

THE ranking: 401

uni-location United States

University of Wisconsin - Madison

University of Wisconsin - Madison

THE ranking: 58

uni-location United States

University of Kansas - Shorelight

University of Kansas - Shorelight

THE ranking: 401

uni-location United States

University of Wisconsin - La Crosse

University of Wisconsin - La Crosse

uni-location United States

Louisiana State University - Shorelight

Louisiana State University - Shorelight

THE ranking: 501

uni-location United States

California State University - Northridge

California State University - Northridge

uni-location United States

San Diego State University

San Diego State University

THE ranking: 601

uni-location United States

San Francisco State University

San Francisco State University

uni-location United States

Montclair State University

Montclair State University

uni-location United States

Rochester Institute of Technology

Rochester Institute of Technology

THE ranking: 801

uni-location United States

University of the Pacific - Shorelight

University of the Pacific - Shorelight

uni-location United States

Peralta Community College District

Peralta Community College District

uni-location United States

University of Utah - Shorelight

University of Utah - Shorelight

THE ranking: 251

uni-location United States

Baylor University - International Study Center (StudyGroup)

Baylor University - International Study Center (StudyGroup)

THE ranking: 801

uni-location United States

Arizona State University - Kaplan International

Arizona State University - Kaplan International

THE ranking: 132

uni-location United States

Suffolk University - INTO USA

Suffolk University - INTO USA

uni-location United States

George Mason University - INTO USA

George Mason University - INTO USA

THE ranking: 251

uni-location United States

Pittsburg State University

Pittsburg State University

uni-location United States

Illinois Institute Of Technology - CEG

Illinois Institute Of Technology - CEG

THE ranking: 351

uni-location United States

DePaul University - StudyGroup USA

DePaul University - StudyGroup USA

uni-location United States

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

uni-location United States

College of San Mateo

College of San Mateo

uni-location United States

University of York International Pathway College - Kaplan UK

University of York International Pathway College - Kaplan UK

uni-location United Kingdom

RMIT University

RMIT University

THE ranking: 301

uni-location Australia

Show more +

Please select a level of study

Enter subject, choose from the list or hit search

  • Start typing, choose from the list or hit search

  • Enter subject, choose from the list or or hit search

Please type and select an institution

  • Type 3 characters of a university name and select from the list

  • Enter a university or school name and select from the list

Please select a level of study

Got any ideal countries in mind?