Astrophysics involves a broad frontier of technologies including materials science, optics and electronics. This three-year programme teaches students to apply their knowledge of physics to astronomical observation and to the interpretation of the data and images obtained.
Covid-19 programme updates
For the most up-to-date advice and information concerning UCL's response to the coronavirus outbreak please go to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) information pages. There is a Frequently Asked Questions section for prospective students and schools.
- UCAS code
Full-time: 3 years
- Institute of Physics
- Application deadline
- 29 January 2021
- London, Bloomsbury
- Mathematics and Physics required.
- English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 5.
- AAB (more about contextual offers)
- A in Mathematics and Physics required.
- English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 5.
- A total of 18 points in three higher level subjects including Mathematics and Physics at grade 6, with no score below 5.
- 36 (more about contextual offers)
- A total of 17 points in three higher level subjects including Mathematics and Physics at grade 6, with no score below 5.
UK applicants qualifications
For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:
Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.
Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.
D3,D3,D3 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects, including Mathematics and Physics.
AAA at Advanced Highers (or AA at Advanced Higher and AAA at Higher), including A in Mathematics and Physics at Advanced Higher.
Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A-Levels at grades AAA, including Mathematics and Physics.
In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.
Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates
UCL Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are intensive one-year foundation courses for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.
Typical UPC students will be high achievers in a 12-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.
For more information see: www.ucl.ac.uk/upc.
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. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.
The English language level for this programme is: Standard
A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.
The programme is accredited by the Institute of Physics (IOP) and includes the very latest developments and discoveries in the field, based on our highly rated research.
Collaborative links with both industry and international research laboratories provide insight into the practical application of your studies.
You will undertake practical work at the UCL Observatory (UCLO) and benefit from our close association with the Royal Astronomical Society.
This programme is accredited by the Institute of Physics. Holders of accredited degrees can follow a route to Institute of Physics membership and the Chartered Physicist (CPhys) professional qualification. Graduates of accredited Integrated Master's (MPhys or MSci) degrees have fulfilled the educational requirements for CPhys status, while graduates of accredited Bachelor's (BSc) degrees have partially fulfilled these requirements.
In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 15 or 30 credits, adding up to a total of 120 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 30-credit module is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).
Compulsory modules in the first two years provide a grounding in mathematics and classical and quantum physics. You will also undertake modules which build up an increasing exposure to topics in astronomy and astrophysics. This starts in the first year with compulsory modules in Physics of the Universe and Practical Astronomy. This is followed in the second year by Astrophysical Processes and Practical Astrophysics, leading into compulsory third-year modules in Interstellar Physics, Physical Cosmology, and Astronomical Spectroscopy. The third year also provides for optional modules to further enhance and enrich your knowledge of astrophysics topics.
This programme is offered both as a three-year BSc and a four-year MSci, with common structures and subjects for the first two years. However, the additional fourth year of the MSci programme allows for a greater depth of study and we recommend you apply for an MSci initially, as this keeps more options open.
Upon successful completion of 360 credits, you will be awarded a BSc (Hons) 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.
PHAS0003 Practical Skills 1A (Astronomy) (Level 4) 15 credits
PHAS0004 Atoms, Stars and the Universe (Level 4) 15 credits
PHAS0005 Waves, Optics and Acoustics (Level 4) 15 credits
PHAS0006 Thermal Physics and the Properties of Matter (Level 4) 15 credits
PHAS0007 Practical Physics and Computing 1 (Level 4) 15 credits
PHAS0002 Mathematical Methods I (Level 4) 15 credits
PHAS0009 Mathematical Methods II (Level 4) 15 credits
PHAS0010 Classical Mechanics (Level 4) 15 credits
PHAS0017 Developing Effective Communications 1 (non-credit, but will appear in student’s transcript)
All first-year modules are compulsory.
PHAS0021 Electricity and Magnetism (Level 5) 15 credits
PHAS0018 Astrophysical Processes: Nebulae to Stars (Level 5) 15 credits
PHAS0019 Planetary Science (Level 5) 15 credits
PHAS0020 Practical Astrophysics and Computing (Level 5) 15 credits
PHAS0022 Quantum Physics (Level 5) 15 credits
PHAS0024 Statistical Physics of Matter (Level 5) 15 credits
PHAS0025 Mathematical Methods III (Level 5) 15 credits
PHAS0035 Developing Effective Communications 2 (non-credit, but will appear in student’s transcript)
You will select 15 credits in total from options that may include the following (choices must be approved by your Programme Tutor):
XBKB0023 Astrobiology (Level 5) 15 credits
MATH0043 Mathematics for Physics and Astronomy (Level 5) 15 credits
PHAS0027 Environmental Physics (Level 5) 15 credits
PHAS0036 The Physics of Stars (Level 6) 15 credits
PHAS0037 Physical Cosmology (Level 6) 15 credits
PHAS0043 Practical Astronomy 1 – Techniques (Level 6) 15 credits
PHAS0046 Interstellar Physics (Level 6) 15 credits
PHAS0047 Astronomical Spectroscopy (Level 6) 15 credits
You will select one of the following:
PHAS0052 Physics Group Project (Level 6) 15 credits
PHAS0113 Astrophysics Group Project (Level 6) 15 credits
You will select 30 credits in total from options that may include the following (choices must be approved by your Programme Tutor):
GEOL0022 Physics of Oceans, Ice Sheets and Climate (Level 6) 15 credits
PHAS0038 Electromagnetic Theory (Level 6) 15 credits
PHAS0040 Nuclear and Particle Physics (Level 6) 15 credits
PHAS0041 Quantum Mechanics (Level 6) 15 credits
PHAS0050 Energy and Climate (Level 6) 15 credits
PHAS0049 Theory of Dynamical Systems (Level 6) 15 credits
PHAS0056 Scientific Computing Using Object Oriented Languages (Level 6) 15 credits
PHAS0057 Physics of the Earth (Level 6) 15 credits
MATH0025 Mathematics for General Relativity (Level 6) 15 credits
Teaching is delivered through lectures, laboratory (and as appropriate, observatory) practical sessions, and supervised problem-solving tutorials. These tutorials are designed to deal with lecture-based questions, enlarge on topics addressed in lectures, and allow clarification and in-depth discussion of new concepts.
Assessment will normally involve end-of-year examinations, and an element of assessed coursework. For practical work you will be continuously assessed.
Detailed module descriptions are available on the department website: Astrophysics BSc.
Your scientific training will equip you with an understanding of mathematics, and of physical principles and techniques, as well as transferable skills in analysis, rational argument and innovative problem solving. Surveys by the IOP indicate that physicists' versatility is welcomed by a vast range of professions.
Around half our graduates choose to pursue further study for an MSc or PhD. A PhD opens up the possibility of an academic or research career in a university or research institute. Alternatively, like many of our graduates, you may consider employment in research, design, development, computing, finance, marketing and teaching, among others.
UCL is committed to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers and UCL Innovation and Enterprise can help you find employment or learn about entrepreneurship.
Fees and funding
The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2021/22 academic year. The UK fees shown are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. Fees for future years may be subject to an inflationary increase. The Overseas fees shown are the fees that will be charged to 2021/22 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.
- UK students
- £9,250 (2021/22)
- Overseas students
- £31,200 (2021/22)
Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website.
You will require the approved model of calculator for use in exams. Currently this is either the Casio FX-85GT X or Casio FX-83GT X, which can be purchased for around £11 - £15. For details please see the UCL examinations guide.
A guide including rough estimates for these and other living expenses is included on the UCL Fees and funding pages. If you are concerned by potential additional costs for books, equipment, etc., please get in touch with the relevant departmental contact (details given on this page).
Various funding options are available, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students whose household income falls below a certain level may also be eligible for a non-repayable bursary or for certain scholarships. Please see the Fees and funding pages for more details.
Funding opportunities relevant to the department may appear in this section when they are available. Please check carefully or confirm with the programme contact to ensure they apply to this degree programme.
The Scholarships and Funding website lists scholarships and funding schemes available to UCL students. These may be open to all students, or restricted to specific nationalities, regions or academic department.
UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.
Page last modified on 15 April 2021