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Wits Planetarium credit Shivan Parusnath
Astronomy and Astrophysics Study astronomical data and understand how the universe works.
Astronomy and Astrophysics Study astronomical data and understand how the universe works.

Qualification: BSc

Faculty: Science

Duration: 3 years

School: Physics

Study mode: Full-time

Overview

Astrophysicists interpret astronomical data gathered by astronomers to understand how our universe works. Astronomers view the entire electromagnetic spectrum – called “Multi-Frequency Astronomy” – through optical telescopes, radio telescopes, microwaves, gamma-rays, and X-rays.

An exciting career awaits you in Astronomy and Astrophysics in South Africa, which was awarded the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project.

This comprises a core of radio telescopes in the Karoo, and is one of many projects supported by our own South African Large Telescope (SALT), an optical telescope sited at Sutherland.

  • Astrophysicist
  • Physicist
First-year

Physics I (Major)

AND

Mathematics I (Major):

  • Algebra I
  • Calculus I

AND

Computational and Applied Mathematics I

AND

Astrophysics:

  • Introduction to Astronomy I
  • Modern Astrophysics I
Second-year

Physics II:

  • Physics IIA (Major)
  • Physics IIB (Major)

AND

Mathematics II:

  • Multivariable Calculus II
  • Introduction to Mathematical Statistics II
  • Linear Algebra II

AND

Computational and Applied Mathematics II

AND

Cosmology: The Origin and Evolution of the Universe

Third-year

Physics III:

  • Quantum Mechanics III
  • Applications of Quantum Mechanics III
  • Statistical Physics III
  • Waves and Modern Optics III
  • Advanced Experimental Physics and Project III

Astrophysics III:

  • Relativity: The Basis of Cosmology and Astrophysics III
  • Advanced Astrophysics III
  • Modern Radio and Gamma-ray Astronomy III

APS 43+

English Home Language OR First Additional Language Level 5

Mathematics Level 6

Physical Science Level 6

Wait-listing

Applicants with 40-42 points may be wait-listed, subject to place availability.

National Benchmark Test

All Faculty of Science applicants must write the National Benchmark Tests (NBT) before being considered for admission.

There are two tests: The Academic and Quantitative Literacy Test and the Mathematics Test. Your test results are used in addition to your Grade 12 results to identify students who may need additional support during the course of their studies.

Rules for the NBT

You must register on the NBT website, or via mobile phone, to write the tests. Registration closes about three weeks before each test date. You can register for the NBT before you submit your application to Wits. DO NOT wait for an official notification from Wits to register for and write the tests, because you may miss the end of September deadline.

The test fee can be paid once you have registered to write the test. The tests must be written by 31 October 2021. You are encouraged to write the tests as early as possible. For a comprehensive list of test dates, registration dates and available venues, please refer to the NBT website. Both tests must be written in one session. ONLY the first attempt results will be considered so we advise against writing the tests more than once in a year.

Application Closing Date: 30 September 2021

Residence Applications: 30 September 2021

  • The Student Enrolment Centre at Wits handles all student applications.
  • Please click here for an overview of the application process.
  • Check the admission requirements for your degree. Check if any additional selection requirements apply. 
  • Submit your application, required documentation and application fee before the closing date.
  • Once you have applied, an admissions consultant will be assigned to your application.
  • Applicants can monitor the progress of their applications via the Self Service Portal.
  • If you are an international applicant and/or have a foreign qualification, please click here.

Compliance with the minimum requirements does not guarantee a place at the University. The University has a specific number of places for first year undergraduates, approved by the Department of Higher Education and Training. Final selection is made subject to the availability of places, academic results and other entry requirements where applicable.

Click here to see the current average tuition fees for the first year of study. The Fees Office website also provides information about the payment of fees and closing dates for fees payments. Once you have applied you will be able to access the fees estimator on the student self-service portal. 

The Financial aid office provides information about on student funding and scholarships. University funded Scholarships include Vice-Chancellor's Scholarships, University Entrance Scholarships, Equality Scholarships, Sports Scholarships and National Olympiad winner awards. For information about NSFAS funding, please visit the NSFAS websiteExternal bursaries portal: The Bursaries South Africa website provides a comprehensive list of bursaries in South Africa.