Master's Programme in Astronomy

The objective of the Astronomy master's training is to provide a comprehensive knowledge of astronomy including related interdisciplinary areas. Students will also acquire competencies in the wider field of scientific research, in the use of technical language, in team work and in the communication of scientific results; they will also develop an ability to resolve novel or unusual problems arising in a multidisciplinary context. On the basis of the competencies acquired they will be prepared for doctoral studies.


Training period - 4 semesters for well-prepared students already having a basic knowledge of astronomy.

Our training extends to interdisciplinary areas overlapping with astronomy such as space physics or planetology. The training programme is built upon a set of courses providing a solid theoretical knowledge in astrophysics, celestial mechanics and galactic dynamics. Solar system studies as well as the use and processing of observational satellite data are given special attention during the training. Opportunities to develop students' observing skills are offered in our regular courses held at our own campus observatory equipped with a 40-cm RCC telescope, as well as at Hungary's prime astronomical observatory at Piszkéstető. The range of educational technology at our disposal also includes a digital planetarium. The training programme is maintained in close collaboration with a large number of invited lecturers from Hungary's prime astronomical research institute, the Konkoly Observatory of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. The training also imparts skills needed for scientific research, for the use of scientific terminology, for team work and for the communication of research results, all of which are potentially quite useful in a much wider area of applications.

Students must acquire at least 120 credits during the training. One credit reflects around 30 hours of student workload over the course of one 13-week semester. The programme can be finished in two years (4 semesters) if the applicant already has the necessary background in astronomy. For students admitted without mentionable previous knowledge in the field of astronomy, completing the programme will likely take more than the minimal 2 years.

The breakup of the 120 credits is as follows:

66 credits to be obtained in a fixed selection of courses: Partial differential equations, Relativity, Fields and particles, Astronomical instrumentation, Astronomical Information Technology, Astronomical spectroscopy, Seminar in modern astronomy, Observational astronomy, Celestial mechanics, Theoretical astrophysics, Galactic astronomy, Structure of the Universe

22 credits to be obtained in optional courses. Selection of courses from previous years: Radio astronomy, Infrared astronomy, Astrostatistics, Dynamics of stellar systems, Advanced astronomical IT, Astronomy from space, The history of astronomy 1-2, Information technology in astronomy, Physics of the Solar System, Evolution of circumstellar disks, Transneptunian objects, Magnetic activity on late-type stars, Precision optical photometry, High energy astronomy, Theory of stellar pulsation

Students with no mentionable previous knowledge of astronomy who were therefore exempted from the entry examination will be required to attend some or all of the following courses, at the cost of their 22 optional credits: Introduction to astronomy, Astrometry, Astrophysics, Exercises in astronomical observing

A 3-week summer research internship (value: 2 credits) in academy/industry is part of the study requirements after the 1st year.

A thesis summarizing the results of guided research undertaken by the student needs to be written and submitted by the end of the training programme. The workload of the thesis is 30 credits.

Note! In addition to successfully obtaining the 120 credits, a further requirement must be fulfilled for a degree to be issued. Hungarian legislation requires that in order to obtain a degree, students must present a certificate of medium (B2) level written and oral skills in a foreign language other than their first language. If the certificate was not issued by an official Hungarian examination centre, it needs to be nationalized. Students should consult the Study Administration Office concerning the validity and acceptability of any particular language skills certificate for this purpose.


After completing the requirements listed above, students are awarded an MSc degree. The MSc degree qualifies its holder to take up positions in the relevant fields and to enlist to a postgraduate (PhD) study programme.



Admission requirements

BSc degree or equivalent in physical sciences, earth sciences or any other area of natural sciences BSc-level knowledge of key areas of mathematics, physics and information technology (IT).

If BSc degree is in (or with a specialisation in) physical sciences, this knowledge is assumed; otherwise, evidence in the form of transcripts must be presented. Preferably, BSc-level knowledge of astronomy.

If BSc degree is in (or with a specialisation in) astronomy or astrophysics, this knowledge is assumed; otherwise, evidence in the form of transcripts must be presented.

Language proficiency requirements

The successful applicant must have a good command of English. Several kinds of internationally recognized certificates of English language at advanced level are accepted. In the absence of a certificate the applicant's command of English will be assessed during the interview.

The certificates need not be translated, they are accepted in most of the European languages.

Required documents

  • Bachelor-level degree
  • Transcript of records
  • CV
  • Application form
  • Copy of the main pages of the passport (needs to be valid)
  • Copy of application fee transfer
  • Certificate of English language skills

Application procedure

Applicants has to apply by the deadline given.

The application starts by completion of the online registration form ( and by emailing all the required documents, including proof of the application fee payment, to the international coordinator of the faculty. Proper application packages will be forwarded to the program coordinator for consideration of previous achievements and certificates. Within a few weeks, the applicant will be informed about the outcome: if the application fulfills the criteria, s/he will be invited to an interview (typically via Skype), the time of which will be set. Applicants who claim to have a basic knowledge of astronomy not supported by transcripts can also pass an entry examination, together with the interview, in order to be exempted from taking preparatory courses.

If the interview is successful, a final decision on admission will be made in another 2-3 weeks.

Application deadline

01 JUNE 2017

Start date

01 September 2017

Application fee


EU/EEA students

non-EU/EEA students

Tuition fee/semester

4190 (EUR)*

4190 (EUR)*

Application fee

160 (EUR)

160 (EUR)

Registration fee

60 (EUR)

60 (EUR)

 * It is possible to apply for scholarship to reduce tuition fee.


Program leader

 Prof. Kristóf PETROVAY

International program coordinator

Ms. Angelika ÚJVÁRY, inter [at]