Research course

Astronomy Instrumentation

Cardiff University · Cardiff School of Physics and Astronomy

Entry requirements

For entry requirements, please see our website.

Months of entry

January, October, July, April

Course content

The Astronomy Instrumentation Group (AIG) has a reputation for not only developing world-leading enabling technology but in translating these developments into state-of-the-art instrument design to fulfil current scientific needs. This is evidenced by our considerable involvement in virtually all FIR space instruments, including the Herschel (Cardiff is PI institute for the SPIRE instrument) and Planck space telescopes. The AIG comprises 7 academic staff, 9 post-doctoral research associates and 6 PhD students, supported by highly skilled cleanroom, cryogenic and electronic technicians and computer engineers.

The AIG was a major contributor to both the Herschel and Planck space satellites and the Cardiff Astrophysics group continues to work on the exciting data that these two instruments are generating. Professor Matt Griffin is the Principle Investigator for the SPIRE Instrument on Herschel and all three Herschel instruments rely on unique Cardiff AIG optical technology for their operation. Cardiff also plays a major role in the Planck-HFI instrument, by way of Co-Investigator Professor Peter Ade.

The group is headed by Professor Walter Gear, who is also a Co-Investigator on the Herschel project and was Principle investigator on the QUaD CMB polarization experiment and the SCUBA camera on the JCMT in Hawaii.

Distinctive features

The AIG has well supported laboratories, engineering workshop and cleanroom facilities as well as excellent computing facilities for all related research.

Qualification and course duration


full time
12-24 months
part time
24-36 months


part time
60-84 months
full time
36-48 months

Course contact details

Postgraduate Enquiries