Planetary Science MSc
Options: PG Diploma
This interdisciplinary MSc offers students a wide programme of study related to planetary and space environments, including planetary interiors, atmospheres and magnetospheres; the impact of the space environment on human physiology and life; and the application of current knowledge to investigations of extrasolar planets – worlds in other stellar systems.
Mode of study
- Full-time 1 year
- Part-time 2 years
- UK/EU Full-time: £8,500
- UK/EU Part-time: £4,250
- Overseas Full-time: £21,700
- Overseas Part-time: £10,800
- All applicants: 1 August 2014
More details in Application section.
What will I learn?
Students develop insights into the techniques used in current projects, and gain in-depth experience of a particular specialised research area, through project work, as a member of a research team. The programme provides the professional skills necessary to play a meaningful role in industrial or academic life.
Why should I study this degree at UCL?
UCL Physics & Astronomy is among the top departments in the UK for graduate study. The department's participation in many international collaborations means we provide exceptional opportunities to work as part of an international team.
Examples include work with the teams who manage scientific instruments aboard the Cassini spacecraft, and teams who are involved in planning the next generation of deep space planetary missions.
For students whose interests tend towards the theoretical, there is access to national supercomputer facilities, such as the Legion and HECToR services. In some cases, opportunities exist for students to broaden their experience by spending part of their time overseas.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of a choice of three core modules (45 credits), three optional modules (45 credits), a research essay (30 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits).
A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, full-time nine months, part-time two years) is offered.
All students submit a critical research essay and MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a substantial dissertation and oral presentation.
Teaching and Learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, practical classes, computer-based teaching, fieldwork, and tutorials. Student performance is assessed through coursework and written examination. The research project is assessed by literature survey, oral presentation and the dissertation.
Further details available on subject website:
Candidates may be eligible for a Santander scholarship. For further details please visit:
Scholarships available for this department
This award is based on financial need.
The Scholarships are awarded to conduct a 10 week research project in Condensed Matter and Materials Physics over the summer vacation period.
Further information about funding and scholarships can be found on the Scholarships and funding website.
A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.
Select your country for equivalent alternative requirements
English language proficiency level: Standard
How to apply
Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.
The deadline for applications is 1 August 2014.
Who can apply?
This MSc is particularly suitable for students with an undergraduate degree in physics, astronomy, astrophysics or related discipline, who wish to develop a career in planetary science, space science and related fields. The programme provides an ideal foundation for further research and entry onto the PhD programme.
What are we looking for?
When we assess your application we would like to learn:
- why you want to study Planetary Science at graduate level
- why you want to study Planetary Science at UCL
- what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
- how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
- where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Physics opens up many avenues to employment through the skills acquired: these embrace problem-solving, the training of a logical and numerate mind, computation skills, modelling and material analysis and the ability to think laterally. These combined with team work, vision and enthusiasm make physics graduates highly desirable members of all dynamic companies. Physics-established careers embrace a broadband of areas e.g. information technology, engineering, finance, research and development, medicine, nanotechnology and photonics. It is no wonder that employers regard a physics degree as a flexible and highly desirable university training.
Dr Nicholas Achilleos
T: +44 (0)20 7679 7030
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"I chose to study at UCL as it is among the best universities in the field of high energy physics. The contacts I made while studying at UCL have allowed me to participate on the board of a research council and other interesting activities."
Managing Director, GI Partners, 1995
"My primary reason for applying to UCL was the strength of the High Energy Physics group's research and its reputation. The group is involved in a wide range of interesting experiments around the world."
Degree: High Energy Physics PhD