UCL Department of Physics and Astronomy



MSc 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

The MSc programme in Astrophysics aims to provide students with a sound knowledge of the underlying principles which form a thorough basis for careers in these and related fields, enable students to develop insights into the techniques used in current projects and allow an in-depth experience of a particular specialised research area.

In addition they are meant to develop the professional skills for students to play a meaningful role in industrial or academic life, and give students the experience of teamwork, a chance to develop presentation skills and learn to work to deadlines.

The programmes include a number of lecture courses relevant to the discipline such as Planetary Atmospheres and Cosmology in the Astrophysics course, though some flexibility is built in so that courses can also be taken on topics removed from the immediate subject.

A research topic is included so that 50% of the marks are made up by completing an individual task. These are built around cutting-edge topics from the Department's research programme. The supervisor will provide a topic in which the student has a real chance to make a contribution to the research. In Astrophysics in recent years, for example, this has meant topics such as re-analysing extrasolar planet orbits to improve their characterisation, looking at datasets that inform the cosmology of Dark Energy and investigating the possibility that life could exist on a recently discovered "super-Earth" orbiting a nearby red dwarf star.

These projects give a real feel for what it is like to do postgraduate research, or work in a project team in an advanced industry.

Course structure

MSc (180 credits)

Option 1 

Option 2 

Research Essay

Research Dissertation

4 courses must be chosen (60 credits)2 courses must be chosen (30 credits)(30 credits)(60 credits)
  • Cosmology
  • Galaxy Dynamics, Formation and Evolution
  • High-energy Astrophysics
  • Mathematics for General Relativity
  • Planetary Atmospheres
  • Solar Physics
  • Space Plasma and Magnetospheric Physics
  • The Physics of Stars
  • Advanced Physical Cosmology






  • Advanced Quantum Theory
  • Atom and Photon Physics
  • Cosmology
  • Galaxy Dynamics, Formation and Evolution
  • Graduate level Physics and Astrophysics courses
  • High-energy Astrophysics
  • Intercollegiate 4th year courses
  • Mathematics for General Relativity
  • Medical Physics MSc core courses
  • Molecular Physics
  • Order and Excitations in Condensed Matter
  • Particle Physics
  • Planetary Atmospheres
  • Plastic and Molecular (Opto)electronics
  • Solar Physics
  • Quantum Computation and Communication
  • Space Plasma and Magnetospheric Physics
  • Space and Climate Science MSc core courses
  • The Physics of Stars
An extended literature survey on a topic related to your research projectAn independent research project based in one of the Departmental research groups, culminating in a
dissertation and oral presentation.

Entry Requirements

Academic Entry Requirements


A minimum of a 2:1 Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline with a strong physics basis from a UK university or an equivalent overseas qualification.

Further information

There is further information on UCL's information for prospective students page, MSc Astrophysics Prospectus, including:

  • International equivalent qualifications by country
  • English language requirements for international applicants
  • Latest tuition fees

How to Apply

The department is now open for applications for entry in September 2023 and applicants should apply online.

Deadline for applications: 31 March 2023

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places.

Apply for MSc