UCL Astrophysics Group


How to apply

All PhD applications to the Astro group should be submitted online via UCL's Portico system using this link: Submission link (Physics and Astronomy). The name of the research degree is "Physics and Astronomy: Astrophysics and Atmospheric Physics". 

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 the end of November (currently closed) as detailed on the studentship page. Please indicte which of our research areas interests you most; take a look at our list of projects. If you haven't decided, that's absolutely fine; please state this explicitly. 

As outlined on the Admissions page, some EU nationals may be eligible for 'home fees' status.

UK/Home Students

For UK/Home students (including EU nationals eligible for home fees, see Admissions) 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 a sort '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. See for more information about personal statement below
  • There is no need to write a research project, despite what the UCL application form says. 
  • 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 28 January 2024 for UK/Home candidates. Overseas candidates must email us an initial CV and covering note by 30 Nov 2023. 
  • Our normal minimum requirement for admission is a 2:1 MPhys/MSci or equivalent (if your course can lead to that qualification; for BSc qualifications, please confirm with UCL Registry regarding your eligibility for postgraduate study), 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.

Personal statement 

As a guide, please consider answering the following questions: 

    1. Which of our research areas interests you most and why? This can be as broad or narrow as you like (e.g., Instrumentation, (Extra-)Galactic Astrophysics, Cosmology, (Exo-)planets, or brown dwarfs, reionisation with SKA etc); take a look at our list of projectsYou can indicate faculty members in our group you see as potential supervisors. 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.
    2. What research approaches (observation, modeling, computation, theory), or combination of approaches, are you most interested in applying to your research?
    3. What are your goals and motivations (personal/professional) in applying to the Ph.D. program and how do you expect coming to the Astro group will help you achieve these goals? 
    4. What special skills, achievements, awards or publications do you bring to this PhD that will help you succeed here?  Feel free to consider experiences beyond the academic realm. 
    5. (Optional) If you feel that your academic record and experience are not representative of your abilities and potential in pursuing a PhD, please let us know any details you wish to share. 


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