Find Your Scholarship

M.Sc. Astronomy, Astrophysics and Spatial Engineering

Astronomy and Astrophysics, Observatoire de Paris

The techniques used today for Astronomy and Space project are complex systems pushed to the highest performance levels. They are conceived in research laboratories with international support, carried out by industrialists, and executed by national and European agencies, e.g. the National Centre for Space Studies (CNES), the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Southern Observatory (ESO)). The conception and the functioning of these systems, together with contacts between engineers, researchers and industrialists, offers exceptional training possibilities in a high-technological and advanced international context.

The vocational education master degree "Astronomical and Space-based Systems Engineering" is intended for students in Physics, Applied Physics, Technology, Electronics, Computer Science, Materials Science etc., interested in Astronomy and Science or Space technology. Students will undergo a complete training in partnership with international-level laboratories and with leading industrialists.

This degree will train physicists for a wide range of skills, appropriate for those whose intention is to take responsibility for subsystems, equipment and engineering systems, and also for future project managers, working in the aerospace industry or similar technological industries or in national and European agencies. Specialized industries, equipment producers, small subcontracting firms and laboratories from the public sector, are also possible outlets.

This short course (1 year) is given in collaboration with national and international institutions, laboratories and industries. It benefits from the network of laboratories associated with the Astronomy and Astrophysics doctorate school of the Ile-de-France. It includes a long training period (5 to 6 months) and a theoretical and practical specialization given by universtity and industrial teachers.

The course, of one year duration, is divided in three parts : the core syllabus, the specialization and the training period.

The Core syllabus and the specialization include courses, practical work and projects. One specialization ("computational physics") is directed towards digital techniques, programming tools and simulations, the other specialization ("instrumental techniques") focusses on the methods for pushing instrumentations to the highest performance levels. A training in the conception and the behaviour of complex systems (telescopes, satellites, observatories, interplanetary probes, etc.) will be delivered in the core syllabus. In addition, students will lead and develop practical projects. Finally, an obligatory training period of 5 to 6 months in a company, an agency or a specialized laboratory, completes the course.

The "computational physics" specialization includes advanced programming techniques, civil engineering software, user interafaces, a complete training for the use of professional calculation software and data acquisition and processing.

The "instrumental techniques" specialization includes training in signal detection and its treatment under very demanding conditions, knowledge of spatial environments and study of sensors, notably optical, used in signal processing.

The total training period is 500 hours, of which half is delivered by engineers and professionals.

Educational facilities

The lectures take place at the Observatory of Paris and the Institut d´Astrophysique Spatiale. For the practical work, the students have access to the Observatory of Paris (Paris and Meudon), the Institut d´Astrophysique Spatiale (Paris-Sud University), the Service d´Astrophysique (CEA, Saclay) and the applied Physics Laboratory of the University of Paris 6. These facilities include : computer rooms, computer networks, software, practical training rooms, optical and electronics laboratories, clean rooms, calibration room and anechoidal room.

Educational support

The vocational education master degree is associated with the Astronomy and Astrophysics doctorate school of Ile-de-France. About 45 doctorants with varied profiles qualify each year (physicists, theorists mathematicians, experimenters, modellers, technicians, computer scientists, etc). About 30 laboratories (CNRS, CEA, Observatory of Paris, Universities, ONERA, etc...) in the Ile-de-France region, as well as national and international institutions (CNES, IRAM, ESO, ESA/ESTEC..) and laboratories (Max Planck Institutes, CalTech...) participate to this school. The laboratories of the doctorate school support the vocational education master degree, by vertue of their experience and skills in instrumental activity or digital simulation (system competency, the search for ultimate performance, management of complex systems, links with agencies and industrialists, ...).


The course consists of :

* a common core (13 weeks) : Science of the Universe, signal acquisition and processing, project management, industry, and english language one option (6 weeks)
* a choice between : "Instrumental techniques " and "computational physics"
* group projects
* practical work in digital processing and instrumentation
* a long training period (5 to 6 months) involving a placement in industry, a European institute or a space agency technical centre.

Teaching is provided by scientists and engineers belonging to the network of laboratories from the Doctorate School, as well as professionals from industry and different public establishments (Centre National d´Etudes Spatiales, European Space Agency, ONERA, European Southern Observatory...).

Computational physics Instrumental techniques Intensive calculations. Structure calculations (mechanical, vibration, civil engineering). Data acquisition and processing. Interfaces. Filtering. Wavelet transform. Guided and active optics, interferometry. Microwaves, radars and applications. Thermics, cryogenics, materials. Sensors, microelectronics. Each unit includes theoretical and practical courses.

Project study : Personal contribution (50 hours) to a Phase 0 on Phase A project. The students will work in pairs.

Training courses : A training period of 5 to 6 months in industry, space agency, foreign laboratory or observatory.

Examinations :

A collective exam on the core syllabus A collective exam on the options, including the use of computational or instrumental devices. The project includes a marked thesis. The training course´s results are presented to a jury made up of two of the postgraduate course teachers and the training course director. The translation the various components of the evaluation in ECTS is :


* Core syllabus : 17 ECTS
* Training course : 30 ECTS
* Option : 8 ECTS
* Project : 5 ECTS

Paris is the capital and most populous city of France. It is situated on the River Seine, in the north of the country, at the heart of the Île-de-France region.

Overview of Paris

Area: 40.7 sq miles (105.4 km²)
Population: 2.211 million (2008)
France, officially the French Republic, is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe, with several overseas regions and territories.

Overview of France

Capital: Paris
Currencies: Euro, CFP franc
Population: 65.7 million (2012)
Dialing Code: 33
Degree Level: Masters
Tuition Fee: € 300 / Year (EEA) , € 300 / Year (Non-EEA)
Duration:2 Years
Start Date:September  2019
Delivery Mode:On Campus
Study Nature:Part-time, Full-time
Disciplines: Astronomy
Sponsored Links