Astrophysics MSc

This MSc provides students with the skills, knowledge and research ability for a career in astrophysics. The programme is designed to satisfy the need, both nationally and internationally, for well-qualified postgraduates who will be able to respond to the challenges that arise from future developments in this field.

Key Information

Modes and duration

  • Full-time: 1 year
  • Part-time: 2 years

Programme start date

September 2016

Tuition Fees (2016/17)

£9,020 (FT) £4,510 (PT)
£23,020 (FT) £11,460 (PT)

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 5 October 2015
Close: 29 July 2016
Optional qualifications: This degree is also available as a PG Diploma with fees set accordingly.

Entry Requirements

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.

English Language Requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Standard

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

Degree Information

Students develop insights into the techniques used in current astrophysics 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.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of a choice of four core modules (60 credits), two options (30 credits), a research essay (30 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, full-time nine months, part-time two years) is offered.

Core Modules

  • Planetary Atmospheres
  • Solar Physics
  • High-energy Astrophysics
  • Stellar Atmospheres and Stellar Winds
  • Galaxy and Cluster Dynamics
  • Cosmology
  • Mathematics for General Relativity
  • Space Plasma and Magnetospheric Physics
  • Please note: students select four of the above.


  • Physics MSc Core Modules
  • Space and Climate Science MSc Core Modules
  • Medical Physics MSc Core Modules
  • Intercollegiate fourth year courses
  • Physics and Astrophysics MSc fourth-year courses
  • Plastic and Molecular (Opto)electronics


Students submit a critical research essay of approximately 8,000 words and undertake an in-depth research project which culminates in a formal report and oral presentation.

Teaching and Learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical, laboratory and computer-based classes. Student performance is assessed through coursework and written examination. The research project is assessed by literature survey, oral presentation and the dissertation.

Further information on modules and degree structure available on the department web site Astrophysics MSc


Candidates may be eligible for a Santander scholarship. For further details please visit:

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed (where available) below. For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Brown Family Bursary - NOW CLOSED FOR 2015/16 ENTRY

£15,000 (1 year)
UK students
Based on both academic merit and financial need

Summer Scholarship in Condensed Matter Physics

Variable (1 year)
UK, EU, Overseas students
Based on academic merit

More scholarships are listed on the Scholarships and Funding website


Astrophysics-based careers embrace a broad range of areas e.g. information technology, engineering, finance, research and development, medicine, nanotechnology and photonics. Employers regard a physics degree as flexible and highly desirable university training.

Top career destinations for this degree

  • PhD in Astrophysics, UCL (2011)
  • Data Analyst, Expedian (2012)
  • PhD, German Institute of Astrophysics (2011)
  • Analyst, Lloyds Banking Group (2011)


Astrophysics opens up many avenues to employment through the skills acquired; problem-solving, the training of a logical and numerate mind, computation skills, modelling and material analysis and the ability to think laterally. In addition, work vision and enthusiasm make physics graduates highly desirable members of all dynamic companies.

Why 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 the Dark Energy Survey, investigating the origin of the accelerating universe and the nature of dark matter, the Hubble Telescope and the Cassini project.

In some cases, opportunities exist for students to broaden their experience by spending part of their time overseas.

Student / staff ratios › 230 staff › 30 taught students › 200 research students

Department: Physics and Astronomy

Degree reviews

Alumni review

"I work in academic publishing, so all the contacts that I made with my lecturers and teachers at UCL are invaluable. I'm grateful to them for taking the time to speak to me about what they want from a publisher, PhD studies, and writing a book."

Low Lehr Feng

Astrophysics MSc (2014)
Student review

"The rigour and the quality of the modules I have taken so far have particularly impressed me. MSc classes are typically much smaller than undergraduate lectures, allowing for a healthy dialogue with lecturers and students. London, for me, is the most vibrant city in the world. Combined with UCL's fantastic reputation it means that the calibre of other students on the programme is really high and that for me has been the biggest benefit."

Paul Nathan

Astrophysics MSc
Student review

"Cosmology is about understanding the big questions pertaining to the universe, and because of the advancements in technology that allow for ever more fine-tuned instruments, cosmologists are starting to find partial but very important answers. It's a cutting-edge field, where there are always unknowns, but that makes it both exciting and very challenging."

Tania Marques

Astrophysics MSc

Application and next steps


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.

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 astrophysics and related fields. The programme provides an ideal foundation for further research and entry on to a PhD programme.

Application deadlines

All applicants
29 July 2016

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:
  • why you want to study Astrophysics at graduate level
  • why you want to study Astrophysics 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
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.


  • Register interest in your chosen subjects
  • Receive notice of graduate open days, events and more
Register now

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