UCL Astrophysics Group


How to apply

Overseas (Both EU and Non-EU) Students

Note that, in the first instance, Overseas students seeking a UCL studentship need to express preliminary interest by 30 November, 2020 as detailed on the studentship page. As outlined on the Admissions page, some EU students will now be considered as ‘Overseas’ due to the UK withdrawal from the EU. Those applicants should follow this same procedure.

As stated in ‘Admissions’, those EU students with UK Citizen Rights may be eligible for Home tuition fees – thus we recommend EU students in this category follow the ‘UK/Home’ students procedure below.

UK/Home Students

For UK/Home students, you will need to complete the online UCL application form, by using the link on the Admissions page.This application gets automatically forwarded to us once your two nominated referees provide their letters of support. Please note:

  • You will need to include in your 'personal statement' an explicit note of which of our research areas interests you most. This can be as broad or narrow as you like (e.g., "cosmology", "brown dwarfs" or "reionisation with SKA"); take a look at our list of projects. If you haven't decided, or if you're interested in anything and everything, that's absolutely fine; please state this explicitly. You will be able to revisit your preferences if you change your mind before or during the interview days.
  • There is no need to write a research project, despite what the UCL application form says. Instead what we need is a short personal statement describing your reasons for applying, career plans, and any relevant experience, achievements, awards and publications you may have.  Your statement should also mention your scientific interests, as well as the purpose of the research you would like to undertake and / or the type of research questions you are hoping to investigate.
  • Please consider choosing experienced referees who know you well, and can give well-informed statements on your research work and academic performance.

Deadlines and requirements

  • The deadline for PhD applications to reach the Dept. of Physics & Astronomy is 29 January 2021 for UK/Home candidates. Overseas candidates must email us an initial CV and covering note by 30 Nov 2020. If you are an EU student, please see the advice above as to whether you should follow the ‘Overseas’ or ‘UK/Home’ admissions route (see also Studentships). 
  • Our normal minimum requirement for admission is a 2:i MPhys/MSci or equivalent (if your course can lead to that qualification; 2:i BSc otherwise), in an appropriate subject and programme of study (normally, but not exclusively, physics or astrophysics).
  • If you don't meet these requirements, you may be interested in our MSc programme in astrophysics or planetary science; the MSc meets entry requirements for our PhD programme. At the risk of generating confusion: for obscure administrative reasons, all students entering our PhD programme are initially registered for an MPhil (not an MPhys, MSci, or MSc), and formally transfer to PhD studies at the end of the first year. If you encounter reference to the "MPhil" anywhere, just ignore it — in practice, our Master's-level degree is the MSc.
  • If you are eligible for STFC funding (see Studentships for eligibility criteria)  you do not need to apply for funding separately. All you need to do is click 'Studentship' under the funding header of the application. If we offer you a place, this will automatically come with a studentship. If you are not eligible for STFC funding, please check the information above about the admissions routes / tuition fee status, and also take a look at sources of funding for non-UK residents.

Next step

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