17. May 2023 | Press releases:

Getting close to outer space New Master's programme "Solar System Physics"

Ready for exciting space missions: The focus of the new Master’s programme “Solar System Physics” at Technische Universität Braunschweig is the solar system with its planets, moons, asteroids and comets, and with its central star, the sun. This part of space can be reached by missions. TU Braunschweig is involved in many of these international space missions. The findings of the missions flow into teaching and students have the opportunity to actively participate in the missions, for example as part of their Master’s theses.

The English-language Master’s degree programme “Solar System Physics” offers students an opportunity that is unique in Germany to receive a broad education in the field of solar system physics. The technologies needed for space missions are constantly being developed or refined. For this, a deep understanding of the physics of the solar system is a fundamental prerequisite, which is taught in this degree programme.

The research-oriented degree programme teaches the motivation and planning of science and space projects. The curriculum covers, among other things, the formation of planetary systems, the sun and its heliosphere, planetary surfaces, the internal structure and internal processes of planets, as well as atmospheres and magnetospheres of planetary bodies. In the process, students will be able to assess and apply the physical, scientific and mathematical principles for analysing and solving space physics problems by means of data evaluation, modelling, calculations, digital simulations and experiments, and to evaluate and classify the results and observations accordingly.

Students actively involved in space missions

During their studies, students benefit from TU Braunschweig’s participation in numerous space missions. The knowledge gained from these missions is integrated into teaching and flows directly into the training of Master’s students. For example, students are actively involved in the missions through project work and Master’s theses in current projects. The hardware planned and developed at TU Braunschweig is, among other things, on board the ESA mission BepiColombo, which is on its way to Mercury, and on the recently launched JUICE mission, which is on its way to Jupiter. Likewise, TU Braunschweig was involved in the already successfully completed Rosetta mission to the comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

Both the research and the degree programme at TU Braunschweig in the field of solar system physics are integrated into an international network. Among others, there are intensive cooperations with the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) in Göttingen, the Institute for Planetary Research of the DLR in Berlin, but also with the European, American and Japanese space agencies ESA, NASA and JAXA, the Institute for Space Research in Graz (Austria), Imperial College in London (UK) and the Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, USA).

Career prospects

The Master’s programme “Solar System Physics” prepares students for a future career in the space industry by providing them with a fundamental physics education. Graduates will have the necessary knowledge and skills to plan and accompany future missions and to analyse the data obtained.

What students need to know

The English-language Master’s degree programme will commence in the winter semester 2023/24. The programme can be started in the winter and summer semesters. The standard duration of study is 4 semesters, after which students receive a Master of Science degree. The research-oriented Master’s programme is aimed at students with a Bachelor’s degree in a natural science or engineering subject, for example in physics, chemistry or aerospace engineering. Selection also takes place via an online selection interview. Criteria include not only subject knowledge but also specific talents and motivation of the students.

There are 25 places available per year. The programme is supported by eight professors and has a very good supervision rate. All students receive an academic mentor at the beginning of their studies who accompanies and advises them throughout their studies.