Astrophysics and Cosmology - a.y. 2019/20


Level: Master

Field of study: LM-17 Physics and LM-51 Sciences of the Universe

Degree awarded: Master of Science in Astrophysics and Cosmology

Start date: October 2019

Location: Padova

Available places: European candidates or non-European candidates residing in Italy: unlimited; non-European candidates residing outside Italy: 10 places  (2 for candidates joining the Marco Polo Project)

  Course description

The master degree in Astrophysics and Cosmology aims at providing students with a comprehensive, up-to-date view of the main fields of modern astrophysics, including astronomical detectors and techniques, black holes and neutron stars, cosmology,  gravitational physics, planets, stars and galaxies. Particular  emphasis is placed on a solid background in physics and on the growing ties among astrophysics and different branches of physics (theoretical and experimental particle physics, detector physics, nuclear physics) in the coming era of multi-messenger observations.

Master graduates in Astrophysics and Cosmology will gain a detailed working knowledge of astrophysics both on the theoretical and observational sides. The final thesis (42 ECTS, approximately six months full time) will put the student in direct contact with an advanced research topic, enhancing his/her ability to carry out autonomous work. This will be key for either a successful continuation to a PhD in Astrophysics or in Physics, or to a job in the industrial or service sectors based on novel technologies.

  Course structure

The master degree in Astrophysics and Cosmology is organized in two curricula:

  • theory and modelling (A),
  • observations, experiments and interpretation (B).

All course units are on a 6 ECTS (48 h lectures) basis. The first semester of the first year aims at providing students with the basis of modern physics/astrophysics and applied mathematics. Mandatory courses include: General Relativity,  Mathematical and Numerical Methods, Astrophysics Lab, Fundamentals of Modern Physics or Fundamentals of Astrophysics and Cosmology (depending on the student background at the Bachelor level). These are supplemented by a specific course according to the chosen curriculum. During the second semester the student will take a total of five courses, two chosen in list of three for each curriculum, two from a broader list plus an entirely free option. This will ensure that in constructing the his/her own study plan, the student has enough freedom to follow at best his/her interests and inclinations. In the final year all courses are placed in the first semester and the second is entirely devoted to the master thesis. One course, different for the two curricula, is mandatory, another one is to be picked up from a suggested list and the remaining one is a free option. Students are required to pass a final examination at the end of each course, usually in the form of an interview. The final thesis consists in a written essay which must contain original contributions in a research field chosen by the student among those suggested by researchers at  Department of Physics and Astronomy or at  affiliated research institutions.

List of Course units:

First year

First semester

  • Mathematical and Numerical Methods
  • General Relativity
  • Astrophysics Laboratory I
  • Advanced Astrophysics (curriculum A) OR Observational Astrophysics (curriculum B)
  • Fundamentals of Modern Physics OR Fundamentals of Astrophysics and Cosmology

Second semester

Two course units among:

  • Theoretical Cosmology(curriculum A)
  • Radiative Processes in Astrophysics(curriculum A)
  • Theoretical Physics  (curriculum A)
  • Stellar Astrophysics (curriculum B)
  • Astrophysics of Galaxies (curriculum B)
  • Observational Cosmology (curriculum B)

Two course units among:

  • Multimessenger Astrophysics
  • Astroparticle physics
  • Gravitational Physics
  • Nuclear Astrophysics
  • Celestial Mechanics
  • Subnuclear Physics
  • Astronomical Spectroscopy
  • Planetary Astrophysics
  • Galactic Dynamics
  • Astronomical Interferometry

Second year

  • Compact Object Astrophysics (curriculum A) OR Astrophysics  Laboratory II (curriculum B)

One course unit among:

  • Fluid and Plasma Dynamics
  • Exoplanetary Astrophysics
  • Cosmology of the Early Universe
  • Astrophysics of the Interstellar Medium
  • Astrobiology
  • Astro-statistics and Cosmology

One free-choice course unit

Master Thesis (42 CFU-ECTS)

  Career opportunities

Job opportunities for graduates in Astrophysics and Cosmology include:

  • coordinator or member of research groups at universities and public or private research institutions
  • employment in industries with a technological profile (in particular space, optics, microelectronics, telecommunications, information technology)
  • employment in sectors that require skills in modelling, testing, and interpreting large and complex data sets, such as consulting companies, research centers and public administration
  • high-level teaching and/or dissemination of scientific culture, with particular reference to various theoretical, experimental and applicative aspects of classical and modern physics, astrophysics and cosmology.

  Entry requirements

Admission to the Master course  requires a few criteria are met, namey: good knowledge of classical physics and basic knowledge of quantum mechanics and statistics; mastery of the main mathematical tools (mathematical analysis and geometry);  experience in physics laboratory.

Entry requirements are quantified as follows:

  • 24 ECTS acquired in the physics area (SSD FIS/01-07)
  • 24 ECTS acquired in the math area (SSD MAT/01-09)

For candidates with a foreign degree, the academic requirements are verified by an admission committee that checks the congruence of bachelor studies and assesses the merit. The evaluation of the applicant's curriculum studiorum  may be integrated by an interview (remote connection), if needed.

  Language requirements

English knowledge: B2 level reading and listening


For general information on application procedures, please check How to apply.

Please read carefully the Call for Applications before applying online. Guidelines for application are available below.

The payment of the application fee (€30,00) is a compulsory step to complete your application. The application fee is non-refundable. If you wish to apply for more than one programme, you need to pay the application fee for each course you are applying for. Guidelines are available below.

  Tuition fees

Information on 2019/20 fees is not yet available, but the amounts will be more or less be the same of 2018/19. Please check:

The total amount (€2600,00 for a.y. 2018/19) can be significantly waived based on your “Equivalent Economic Status Index – ISEE”. For further information on how to obtain your ISEE and other income-based reductions, see Funding and fees > Key Documents.

Applicants receiving an offer of admission, either unconditional or conditional, will be asked to pay a tuition fee deposit of €185,00 within 30 days to secure their place on the programme.

  Scholarships and fee-waivers

The University of Padova offers different types of scholarships and fee-waivers to international students.

For detailed information:


Academic coordinators: Prof. Roberto Turolla: ( - Prof. Paola Marigo (

Info: Alessandra Zorzi (