Modes and duration
- Full-time: 1 year
- Part-time: 2 years
Programme start date
Tuition Fees (2016/17)
- £9,020 (FT) £4,510 (PT)
- £23,020 (FT) £11,460 (PT)
A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline, preferably with substantial physics content, 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.
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:
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.
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, of three core modules (45 credits), three optional modules (45 credits) and a research essay (30 credits); full-time nine months is offered.
- Deep Earth and Planetary Modelling
- Earth and Planetary Materials
- Planetary Atmospheres
- Space Plasma and Magnetospheric Physics
- Remote Sensing and Planetary Surfaces
- Physics of Exoplanets
- Please note: students choose three of the above.
- Any remaining core module
- Earth and Planetary System Science
- Melting and Volcanism
- Solar Physics
- Astronomical Spectroscopy
- Physics of the Earth
- Space Medicine and Extreme Environment Physiology
- Comets, Asteroids and Meteorites
- Advanced Topics in Planetary Science
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.
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.
- £15,000 (1 year)
- UK students
- Based on both academic merit and financial need
- Variable (1 year)
- UK, EU, Overseas students
- Based on academic merit
More scholarships are listed on the Scholarships and Funding website
Physics-based careers embrace a broad band of areas e.g. information technology, engineering, finance, research and development, medicine, nanotechnology and photonics. A graduate of science MSc programmes at UCL go on to engage in a variety of careers, for example: Research Associate (UCL), Carl Sagan Postdoctoral Fellow (Harvard), Consultant (Deltica), Systems Test Engineer (Elekta), and Scientist (UK Met Office).
A Master's degree in Science from UCL is highly regarded by employers. Students engage in a variety of learning activities, including undertaking their own research projects, which encourages the development of problem-solving skills, technical and quantitative analysis, independent critical thinking and good scientific practice. In addition, team 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 leading departments in the UK for graduate study. The curriculum of the Planetary Science MSc draws on a variety of other academic departments within UCL including Space & Climate Physics (Mullard Space Science Laboratory), Earth Sciences, Cell & Developmental Biology and the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Birkbeck. The programme thus has a strong interdisciplinary flavour, in line with the ethos of the Centre for Planetary Sciences at UCL/Birkbeck.
The combination of taught courses, tutorials and project work allows prospective students to study a wide variety of topics related to planetary and space environments, such as: 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.
Student / staff ratios › 230 staff › 30 taught students › 200 research students
Department: Physics & Astronomy
"At UCL I took part in four different international summer schools/field schools, and enjoyed UCL hosting the 2013 European Planetary Science Congress, which brought all the top international researchers to London. I also visited UCL’s Mullard Space Science Laboratory, the largest university space research group in the UK. Since graduating I am now a PhD research student at the Space Research Centre, University of Leicester, studying martian meteorites."
Jane MacArthurPlanetary Science
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 a 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.
- 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 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
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.