UCL Astrophysics Group




  • The deadline for applications for admission, for commencement in academic year 2021-22, for UK/Home students, is 29 January 2021. Applications should be submitted online via UCL's Portico system, using this link: Submission link, PhD (Astro, Physics and Astronomy Dept)

  • We will be considering all applications received and will invite a shortlist to interview in March 2021.

  • EU Students: There will be important changes to the admissions procedure for EU students. Starting from the 2021-22 academic year, EU students will be considered as 'Overseas' for the purposes of tuition fees, if they do not have UK citizen rights. (This is a consequence of the UK withdrawal from the EU). 

  • UPDATE: For those EU (non-UK) applicants applying to start in the 2021-22 academic year (commencing Sep/Oct 2021):

- Irish citizens will generally continue to be treated as 'home fees' students for the purposes of application.

- EU nationals with pre-settled status and 3 years’ residence in the UK, EEA, Gibraltar, Switzerland or any British/EU overseas territory will generally be eligible for home fees – “unless that residence was wholly or mainly for the purpose of education”.

- EU nationals who have been granted settled status under the EUSS will generally be eligible for home fee status if they have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least 3 years.

- The UCL Registry assign final fee status as part of the application process. If you are unsure about your eligibility for home fees, please contact UCL central Postgraduate Admissions (postgraduate-admissions@ucl.ac.uk).

  • If you are an EU national eligible for home fees status (see above), we recommend that you consider submitting an online application in our 'Home' admissions round by the 29 January, 2021 (more information at https://www.ucl.ac.uk/astrophysics/postgraduate-study). 

  • More details may be found here: 

  • UCL Fee Schedules 2021-22

  • UK Parliament Statement Regarding Tuition Fees

  • Overseas Nationals (both non-EU and EU) should refer to 'How to apply'  as there is an earlier deadline (30 November, 2020) for initial expressions of interest and CV.

  • Additional opportunities for PhD study are available through:

    • the UCL Centre for Doctoral Training (Data Intensive Science). For more information, see their admission pages
    • the London NERC Doctoral Training Programme.  For information about applications and research topics, visit the London NERC website.
    • Please note that these additional opportunities will require a separate application to be made.
  • PhD admissions enquiries can be addressed to the committee (physast.phd@ucl.ac.uk). Your email will usually be answered by the chair of the admissions committee, or by another committee member. But it's likely that many questions will be answered in these pages so please read through before contacting us.

Where next?

About UCL Astrophysics

UCL hosts one of the largest communities in the UK researching astrophysics, space science, and related topics. Studies are carried out in the Departments of both Physics & Astronomy and Space & Climate Physics (the latter at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory, MSSL). Our research encompasses a wide range of topics including extrasolar planets, cosmology, star formation, galactic astrophysics, atmospheric physics, space-plasma physics, solar and solar-terrestrial physics, planetary sciences, galaxies and Active Galactic Nuclei, gamma-ray bursts, neutron stars, and neutrino astrophysics. Research ranges across observations, theory and instrument development. 

While the two UCL departments are distinct, there is much interaction between them resulting from common interests; these overlaps are developed further through the UCL Institute of Origins and the Centre for Planetary Sciences at UCL/Birkbeck

Nevertheless, for a variety of administrative reasons, the postgraduate admissions procedures for the two Departments operate separately so separate applications are required. In practice, this means that you should consider carefully to which Department you should apply — or, of course, you may submit applications to both. Application details for postgraduate admissions to MSSL are given on the MSSL website.

The remainder of the information given here applies primarily to the Astrophysics Group in the Dept. of Physics & Astronomy, itself one of the largest research groups in the UK, with approximately 100 members of academic, research and support staff. We conduct research in atmospheric physics, instrument development, and most areas of astrophysics (including cosmology, galaxies, stellar astrophysics, star formation, and planetary sciences)