Taught course

Gravitational Wave Physics

Cardiff University · Cardiff School of Physics and Astronomy

Entry requirements

  • BSc Physics (2:1 minimum); or
  • BSc Maths (2:1 minimum); or
  • BEng Engineering (2:1 minimum)

If you have a 2:2 bachelor’s degree in the above subjects, a related physical science, mathematics, engineering or relevant industrial experience, your application will be given individual consideration. In such circumstances you may be required to attend a formal interview with the admissions tutor before an offer can be made.

Months of entry


Course content

The field of gravitational physics has grown rapidly in the last few years following the first direct detection of gravitational waves in 2015, one hundred years since they were first predicted by Einstein’s general theory of relativity. The landmark first detection, from two black holes colliding, was followed in 2017 by the first joint gravitational-wave and electromagnetic observation of a neutron-stars merger and subsequent gamma-ray burst, and by the award of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics. Gravitational-wave observations are now transforming our understanding of the universe, and the field will continue to grow in the next decades with successive improvements in the sensitivity of current detectors, the design and commissioning of the next generation of ground-based detectors, and the space-based LISA detector.

The Gravitational Wave Physics MSc provides broad and comprehensive training in both theory and experiment in gravitational wave (GW) physics and astronomy: techniques in laser interferometry for GW detection, general relativity, astrophysics, modelling of GW sources, and data analysis for GW detection and source interpretation. The programme offers three streams, which allow specialisation in GW observation, data analysis and source modelling, or a broad experience across these topics. Cardiff University staff are at the forefront of world-leading research in all of these areas, which span the core topics at the heart of the field, and which make this a unique degree programme.

As part of the programme you will complete a three-month summer project on one of these research areas. As part of your research you will have the opportunity to join the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC) and to contribute to flagship projects related to gravitational-wave experiment, source modelling, signal searches, and astrophysical interpretation.

On completion of the programme you will have the knowledge, skills and experience necessary to begin a research career in gravitational-wave physics, and be a competitive candidate for jobs in industry.

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months

Course contact details

Postgraduate Admissions Team
+44 (0)29 2087 6457