Planned and delivered by the University of Aberdeen's ground-breaking planetary sciences team, this MSc provides an informed understanding of planetary atmospheres and landforms, space environment, remote sensing, data analysis, astrobiology and space systems engineering and instrumentation, giving students with a springboard for a career in the rapidly expanding space sector.
Space exploration requires technological expertise and innovation, but also an understanding of the commercial, political and legal aspects of space agencies and the wider space industry. That is why the MSc Planetary Sciences is open to students from any academic background.
We live in a time of unprecedented investment and collaboration in space exploration led by the ‘big six’ space agencies – NASA, ESA, Roscosmos, CNSA, ISRO and JAXA – and an ever-growing list of national space agencies and private companies such as SpaceX, Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin, who are keen to compete in the rapidly expanding spaceflight sector.
The ambitious plans for the following decades include sending humans back to the moon, establishing a colony on Marrs, searching for life near Saturn, sending missions to probe the metalcore of a dead planet, and exploring the hidden ocean on Jupiter's moon Europa.
These plans pose significant scientific and technological challenges which can only be overcome through an interdisciplinary approach. This MSc, therefore, draws on the diverse expertise and experience of the planetary sciences team at the University of Aberdeen to provide you with a detailed understanding of the pioneering research and technological developments that will guide the future development of space exploration.
You will begin from the observation and exploration of Earth to other objects of the solar system such as the Moon, Mars and exoplanets, to understand the critical steps of formation of these objects, including the physics of atmospheres, magnetic fields, geomorphology of the surface, isotopic differentiation and the formation of habitable environments before moving on to focus on developing the key technical research skills needed for deep space exploration.
Our aim, therefore, is to educate, to an advanced specialist level, a new generation of geologists, physicists, chemists, biologists and engineers of all disciplines.
The interdisciplinary training included in this programme will provide you with the skills to tackle other problems outside of space exploration, such as instrument design, geology, microbiology and environmental sciences, planetary sciences and data analysis in remote sensing.