Research course

Planetary Formation and Evolution

Open University · School of Physical Sciences

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Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent) in geoscience or relevant natural sciences disciplines

Months of entry

February, October

Course content

We have a thriving community of about 20 members including academics, researchers and post graduate research students working in the field of planetary formation and evolution based in the School of Physical Sciences. We use a variety of cutting-edge laboratory instrumentation to investigate mineralogical, geochemical and isotopic signatures of planetary materials to understand the origin and evolution of their parent bodies.

We are among the leading experts in the world in making high-precision light stable isotope measurements using in-situ techniques, and our Cameca NanoSIMS 50L is currently the only dedicated ion probe facility in the UK for planetary science research. The planetary samples for our research are allocated through national and international curation facilities as well as through NASA’s Apollo sample collection.

Most of our research is carried out in collaboration with planetary scientists, each of whom have an international reputation in their field of expertise. Results from our projects contribute towards development of future planetary exploration strategy of the European Space Agency such as planning of future sample return missions from the Moon, Mars and other bodies in the Solar System.

Fees and funding

Please see The Open University website

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    full time
    48 months
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    72 months
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification
  • MPhil
    part time
    24 months
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    15 months
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Administrative support
+44 (0)1908 858253