Research course


Open University · Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

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Entry requirements

The normal minimum entrance requirement is an upper second class honours degree or master's degree.

Months of entry


Course content

We have international programmes of observational, theoretical, laboratory-based and mission-based astronomy research, focusing on all four of the key science questions of European astronomy and aligned with the Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC) science challenges:

  • Do we understand the extremes of the Universe?
  • How do galaxies form and evolve?
  • What is the origin and evolution of stars and planets?
  • How do we fit in?

Each year we advertise typically 10 defined research projects and expect to recruit full-time postgraduate students to typically 3-5 of those projects, on fully funded studentships (providing fees and stipend). Part-time, self-funded postgraduate students on self-defined projects are only appointed in exceptional circumstances, where the projects closely match the interests and activities of staff members.

Astronomy is one of five research disciplines within the School of Physical Sciences, and has close links with Planetary and Space Sciences and with The Centre for Electronic Imaging.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    part time
    96 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    48 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Graduate School