Research course

Exoplanets and Planetary Physics

Open University · School of Physical Sciences

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 degree in physics or a related subject (or equivalent).

Months of entry

October, February

Course content

The study of exoplanets is a rapidly moving field at the forefront of astrophysics. The Astronomy Discipline is involved in finding important new exoplanets, including Proxima b which was widely hailed as one of the most important science discoveries of 2016. We also perform multiwavelength follow-up studies of established planets, consider habitability in novel contexts, and model of exoplanetary atmospheres and interiors.

We are members of the SuperWASP, PLATO, CHEOPS and PaleRedDot consortia, and lead the Dispersed Matter Planet Project (DMPP) which has identified a key population of rocky exoplanets orbiting bright nearby stars. Our exoplanets researchers frequently use the Hubble Space Telescope, precision spectrographs HARPS and UVES, other competitively awarded telescopes, and we also use our own PIRATE and COAST telescopes on the island of Tenerife.

The group closely collaborates with the department's planetary science and space instrumentation groups, especially in the areas of exoplanet compositions, planetary atmospheres, habitability and dust from catastrophically disintegrating planets like Kepler 1502b.

Qualification and course duration


full time
15 months
part time
24 months


part time
72 months
full time
36 months

Course contact details

Administrative Support
+44 (0)1908 858253