This MSc provides students with the skills, knowledge and research ability for a career in astrophysics. The programme is designed to satisfy the need, both nationally and internationally, for well-qualified postgraduates who will be able to respond to the challenges that arise from future developments in this field.
Covid-19 programme updates
Due to COVID-19, there may have been updates to this programme for the 2020 academic year. Where there has been an update, these are indicated with a red alert and a link which will provide further information.
Modes and duration
One year programme which is also available part-time over two years.
Tuition fees (2020/21)
Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website.
A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline 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:
About this degree
Students develop insights into the techniques used in current astrophysics 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 six optional modules (90 credits), a research essay (30 credits) and a research project and dissertation (60 credits).
Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MSc in Astrophysics.
Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.
Optional modules 1 (15 credits each)
Students choose three of the following:
- Planetary Atmospheres
- Solar Physics
- High-energy Astrophysics
- The Physics of Stars
- Galaxy Dynamics, Formation and Evolution
- Advanced Physical Cosmology
- Mathematics for General Relativity
- Space Plasma and Magnetospheric Physics
Optional modules 2 (15 credits each)
Students choose three of the following:
- Physics MSc modules
- Space Science MSc modules
- Medical Physics MSc modules
- Intercollegiate fourth year modules
- Physics and Astrophysics MSci fourth-year modules
- Selected Physics and Astrophysics MSci third-year courses
- Plastic and Molecular (Opto)electronics
Alternatively, students may also choose additional modules from the Optional modules 1 list above.
Students submit a critical research essay and undertake an in-depth research project which culminates in a substantial dissertation and oral presentation.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical, laboratory and computer-based classes. 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.
Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.
- This scheme is now closed for 2020/21
- £15,000 (1 year)
- Based on both academic merit and financial need
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Astrophysics-based careers embrace a broad range of areas, for example information technology, Large Data science (in commerce and industry), engineering, finance, research and development, medicine, nanotechnology and photonics. Employers regard a physics degree as flexible and highly desirable university training.
Astrophysics opens up many avenues to employment through the skills acquired: problem-solving; the training of a logical and numerate mind; computation skills; modelling and material analysis; and the ability to think laterally. In addition, 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 top departments in the UK for this subject area: UCL is consistently placed in the global top 20 across a wide range of university rankings - and is currently 10th in the QS World University Rankings 2019, and 4th in the UK for Physics & Astronomy.
The department's participation in many international collaborations means we provide exceptional opportunities to work as part of an international team. Examples include our academics who work on the Dark Energy Survey - investigating the origin of the accelerating universe and the nature of dark matter; astrophysicists using the Hubble Space Telescope; or the Cassini mission to Saturn.
Department: Physics & Astronomy
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.
There is an application processing fee for this programme of £80 for online applications and £105 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.
Who can apply?
This MSc requires students to have an undergraduate degree level of knowledge in physics, astronomy, astrophysics or related discipline, who wish to develop a career in astrophysics and related fields. The programme provides an ideal foundation for further research and entry on to a PhD programme.
- All applicants
- 11 August 2020
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 Astrophysics at graduate level
- why you want to study Astrophysics 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.
UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.