Each year the 4th-year Astrophysics students go on an observing trip to the Observatoire de Haute-Provence in France, as part of their final year project. They spend five nights at the observatory, during which time they plan and take observations using two research-level telescopes. When they return home to Maynooth, the students then calibrate and analyse this data as part of their final year projects.
During the last few years the 2nd-year Astrophysics students have visited the Jodrell Bank Observatory in England and did radio astronomy observations. We are planning a new trip this year.
There are also occasional trips to the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in The Netherlands, to which students of all years can sign up.