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Honours Programme

The Honours Programme, which started in February 2003, is hosted at the University of Cape Town. Lectures will be given by staff in the NASSP consortium and will cover most areas of modern astronomy, astrophysics and cosmology. In addition to lecture courses, students will be expected to take a substantial practical component which will involve several field trips to some of southern Africa's space science research facilities. These include the South African Astronomical Observatory site at Sutherland where SALT, the Southern African Large Telescope (the largest optical telescope in the southern hemisphere) is located, the radio telescope facility at Hartebeesthoek and the High Energy Stereoscopic System (HESS).

This unique new opportunity in Southern Africa aims at producing highly skilled people who will be in demand in fields ranging from aerospace to financial services to telecommunications - all areas where astronomers trained overseas have been successful. Other graduates will join the growing community of African researchers who will use the continent's new, "giant eyes" to explore the Universe - our environment on the grandest possible scale.

Programme Outline

Students are required to take a total of 12 units in order to acquire a breadth of knowledge as well as depth. Each unit corresponds to about 24 lectures and 6 tutorials. The honours programme is made up of three parts: A theory component, a component covering observational and research techniques, and a project/seminar component. These are detailed below: 

A theory component, consisting of the following courses:

Course
Units
Lecturer
Affiliation
Cosmology
1
Prof
Roy
Maarten
(UWC)
Electrodynamics
1
Prof
Fabio
Frescura
(Wits)
General Astrophysics
2
Dr
Prof
Prof
Michelle
Thebe
Claude
Cluver
Medupe
Carignan
(UWC)
(NWU)
(UCT)
Spectroscopy
1
Dr
Steve
Crawford
(SAAO)
Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics
1
Prof
Fabio
Frescura
(Wits)
General Relativity
1
Prof
Denis
Pollney
(Rhodes)
Computational Methods in Astronomy
2
Dr
Ed
Elson
(UCT)

A component covering observational and research techniques in:

Course
Units
Lecturer
Affiliation
Observational Techniques 1: Optical and Infrared Astronomy
1
Dr
Sudhanshu
Barway
(SAAO)
Observational Techniques: Radio Astronomy
1
Dr
Sarah
Buchner
(SKA)


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Panel | by Dr. Radut