AstroMundus is a 2-years Erasmus Mundus Masters Course (120 ECTS) in Astronomy and Astrophysics offered by a consortium of 5 partner universities in 4 different countries: Austria, Italy, Germany, and Serbia.
Its main objective is to provide top-ranked students with an excellent background in Astrophysics, to introduce them to the world of modern astrophysical research, and foster their future career in this field. At the same time, in the spirit of the Erasmus Mundus programmes, we promote cultural exchanges between Third Country and European students and academics.
AstroMundus students carry out their master studies in at least 2 and up to four of these countries, in a stimulating and scientifically excellent international environment.
The official language of the course is English, but students are given the possibility to learn the languages of the host countries by attending language courses at the partner universities.
Successful students will be awarded a Joint Master Degree by all partner universities they have visited during the Master studies.
In addition they will obtain a Diploma Supplement to facilitate the recognition of their degree in other universities/countries.
At the end of each 2-years cycle of the Master Programme the best master thesis of the cycle will be awarded a prize.
AstroMundus offers an excellent educational level in all branches of Astrophysics, as insured by the wide variety of expertise in the field covered by this international partnership. The main topics covered by the Master programme are:
* Galactic Astrophysics (the Sun and the Solar system, the Milky Way, stellar evolution, the interstellar medium)
* Extrasolar planets
* Extragalactic Astrophysics (galaxies, galaxy evolution, galaxy clusters, intra-cluster medium, star formation)
* Active Galactic Nuclei (including accretion theory, relativistic jets, modelling)
* Cosmology (including observational cosmology, galaxy surveys, gravitational lensing, very early universe)
* Particle Cosmology
* Astroparticle Physics
* Gravitational waves
* Observational astrophysics from the ground and from space
* Computational astrophysics (N-body simulations, magneto-hydrodynamic simulations)
AstroMundus is a two-year Erasmus Mundus Master Course in Astronomy and Astrophysics. This Course is based on the expertise of the Universities of Innsbruck, Padova, Roma, and Göttingen, and the University of Belgrade as a Third Country partner. The Master is closely related with institutions such as: Asiago Observatory, Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica-Osservatorio Roma, Belgrade Astronomical Observatory.
The main objectives of the Master are initiation in scientific research and applied training in Astronomy and Astrophysics. Emphasis is put on the application of modern techniques both in the observational and theoretical/computational domain. The various specialities of the partner institutions result in an increased offer of pathways for the students: Theoretical Astrophysics, Models, Simulations and Computation, as well as Observational Astrophysics based on data from the ground and from space and on the exploitation of modern data archives.
Organization of the Masters Course
The programme lasts for two years. The AstroMundus consortium adopts the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). Students will earn a minimum of 120 ECTS during their master studies.
During the first semester the students attend courses at the entrance university (University of Innsbruck). The second semester is spent at a second University of choice among the 2 Italian partner Universities (Padova and Rome). The third semester is spent in one of the three partner institutions at Rome, Göttingen, or Belgrade depending on the astrophysical branches which the students will select to specialise on (but see important note below!). Finally the fourth semester is mainly devoted to the Masters thesis (30 ECTS) that can be accomplished in any of the partner institutions, with the possibility of joint supervision by a member of another of the partner universities.
Students are given the possibility to attend additional advanced courses/seminars during the 4th semester, especially on topics related to their thesis work. The first semester is focused on basic learning in Astronomy and Astrophysics, while the subsequent ones offer to the students the possibility to specialise in different branches. The organization in semesters is summarised in the table below. The detailed lists of courses offered at the various universities in the relevant semesters are available in the section Curricula.
Important note: Although the students can choose their mobility path through the consortium universities from the second semester onward, in order to ensure an excellent quality of the course a maximum fraction of students per site is allowed. Therefore, at mid-course of each semester students will be asked to give their preference(s) for the subsequent semester. The Selection Committee may re-direct some students to sites different from their chosen ones when the maximum capacity of one or more sites is reached. Maximum capacities are indicated in the table below in terms of maximum fraction of students per site.
Language and admission policies
Courses will be taught in English. Intensive tutoring of Master students will be assured during the whole course of their Master studies. Also, English will be the language of choice for tutoring and examinations. However, students will have access to language courses within each of the partner Universities. About forty students will be involved in the programme for each cycle of Master. Admission criteria include a Bachelors degree in physical or mathematical sciences or an equivalent degree (180 ECTS) and depends mainly on academic qualifications. Admitted students will be required to sign a Student Agreement.
Students who successfully complete the requirements of the programme will be awarded a Joint Master Degree by the Consortium universities where they accomplished the various parts of their Master studies. In addition they will receive a Diploma Supplement.
A limited number of scholarships will be funded by the Erasmus Mundus 2009 - 2013 cooperation and mobility programme, under Action 1.
Applicants that wish to apply also for an Erasmus Mundus scholarship will have to state so in the application form. No additional application is required. Students that already received in the past an "Erasmus Mundus" scholarship are not eligible for a new one. Also, a student can apply for a maximum of 3 different Erasmus Mundus Masters Courses starting in the same academic year. Students that apply for more than 3 EM Courses will be excluded from the selection for an Erasmus Mundus scholarship.
There are two categories of scholarships:
* Category A: They are intended as full scholarships and are reserved to Third Country students. Category A scholarships cover the registration fees (including the insurance), include a contribution to travel, installation and any other type of costs of 8000 , and a monthly allowance of 1000 /month for the whole duration of the Masters Course (24 months).
* Category B: They are intended as a financial contribution for European students or for students that have carried out their main activity in one of the European or associated countries for more than 12 months during the last 5 years. Category B scholarships cover the registration fees (including the insurance), include a contribution to travel, installation and any other type of costs of 3000 (this contribution is provided only to students that will have a mobility period at the university of Belgrade), and a monthly allowance of 500 /month for the whole duration of the Masters Course (24 months).
Not more than 2 students with the same nationality can be selected for an Erasmus Mundus scholarship.
Holders of Erasmus Mundus scholarships are subject to special regulations.
In particular, holders of category A scholarships can spend a maximum of 3 months (or the equivalent of 15 ECTS) at the University of Belgrade (provided Serbia is not their country of origin), since this is a Third Country partner of the Astromundus consortium. Periods in excess of this duration are not covered by the Erasmus Mundus scholarship.
Holders of category B scholarships can spend a minimum of 3 months and a maximum of 2 semesters at the Third Country partner university (i.e. the University of Belgrade). Periods in excess of this duration are not covered by the scholarship.
All Erasmus Mundus scholarship holders must spend a period of studies in at least 2 European partner countries different from the country where they have obtained their last degree. This implies that scholarship holders who obtained their last degree either in Austria or in Italy must spend a period of study (at least 1 semester) in Germany. Because of the limited number of Erasmus Mundus scholarships, we strongly recommend that prospective students seek and apply for other scholarships that might be funded, e.g., by their own Country and/or Institution of origin or by other organizations.
European students can apply for the EU Erasmus mobility grant oriented to promote studies abroad. The student's home university will give information and support on how to apply for these scholarships.
A scholarship consists of a living allowance (including travel costs) of 1200 euros per week for a minimum duration of 2 weeks and a maximum duration of 3 months per scholar.
Each scholar selected to receive a scholarship should come from a different higher education institution.