Alexandra Amon

The flexibility of the programme allows you to choose courses as diverse or specific as you like or as theoretical or experimental as desired.

I chose to study at the University of Edinburgh solely because that year, it had ranked number one for Physics in the university guide book that I had. I had never been to Edinburgh, or anywhere in Scotland for that matter! A gamble like that could have been a disaster, but it was precisely the opposite. Edinburgh is breathtaking and magical - the inspiration for Hogwarts is evident. It seems all the elements of a huge and diverse capital have been shoved into a much smaller space, making the sights and events accessible and the social scene infinite. 

The University provided a challenging and engaging Astrophysics degree. The flexibility of the programme allows you to choose courses as diverse or specific as you like or as theoretical or experimental as desired. In my first two years I studied other branches of science alongside physics while in later years I tailored my degree to prepare me for a research career by studying as many theoretical courses as I could. More specifically, the Astrophysics MPhys programme enabled me to choose specialist modules such as Advanced Cosmology, General Relativity and Quantum Theory after gaining a solid foundation across all areas of astrophysics.

The astrophysics courses are unique in that a lot of your time is spent at the city’s Royal Edinburgh Observatory. The close-knit community there is phenomenal and I got a chance to interact with many members of staff who assisted me to get two summer scholarships to do research. Eventually, I decided to remain at the institution and study for a PhD in Astrophysics. After five years, the School of Physics and Astronomy have been nothing but supportive and inspiring.

Aside from the formal education provided, the number of sports and societies that the university has to offer is overwhelming! You can juggle between entirely different clubs such as rowing, swimming and yoga as I did, or get stuck into one of the more competitive sports on offer. It is guaranteed that whether you fancy chocolate or chess, there is a society for you and if you’d rather something less social, just hop on a bus to the Highlands!

MPhys Astrophysics, 2013