Research course

Astrophysics

Institution
Queen's University Belfast · Astrophysics Research Centre - ARC
Qualifications
PhDMPhil

Entry requirements

A research degree offers you the opportunity to develop your research skills and prove yourself as a researcher. Queen's is committed to the enhancement of research training and teaching and offers postgraduate research opportunities across all fields of study. The following postgraduate research study routes for this subject area are: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS

The minimum academic requirement for admission to a research degree programme is normally an Upper Second Class Honours degree from a UK or ROI HE provider, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. Further information can be obtained by contacting the School.

Mode of study/Duration

Registration is on a full-time or part-time basis, under the direction of a supervisory team appointed by the University. You will be expected to submit your thesis at the end of three years of full-time registration for PhD, or two years for MPhil/MD (or part-time equivalent).

English Language Requirements

International students (where English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes. Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.0, with not less than 5.5 in any component (*taken within the last 2 years) is required. For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: go.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs

Months of entry

September

Course content

The major research themes in the Astrophysics Research Centre (ARC) at Queen's focus on the dynamic universe. Time domain studies illustrate the universe is an evolving and exciting laboratory in which to study physics on large scales. We search for distant supernovae and their progenitor stars to understand what drives these explosions. We study the asteroid and comet population in the solar system and have built instruments to take high-frequency observations of the solar surface.

The discovery of planets orbiting other stars in our galaxy (exoplanets) is one of the most active new areas in astronomy. ARC's research teams lead exoplanet discovery and characterisation projects aimed at finding new worlds like our own. All these projects are focused on exploiting or building new observational facilities and are underpinned by the development of theoretical models such as astrochemistry models of star-forming discs and exoplanets, supernova physics, energy transport in the sun, stellar atmospheres, and atomic physics.

We lead major European consortia within, for example, the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and these programmes are supported by external grant funding of over £10m (in the last four years), including major UK STFC, Royal Society, and EU grants.

RESEARCH STRENGTHS

Recent observational research highlights include finding dozens of extra-solar planets, discovering giant twisting waves in the sun, and studying an asteroid before it entered the Earth's atmosphere. We have also identified progenitor stars of supernovae before they exploded, and discovered some of the most luminous explosions in the universe.

All of these results have been highlighted in recent papers in Science and Nature, illustrating the leading and novel nature of our research. We train and encourage students and Postdoctoral researchers to lead these research projects. Students have the opportunity to spend extensive periods at world-leading research centres such as the ESO and the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

Information for international students

Full details can be found on the Queen's University website at http://www.qub.ac.uk/home/StudyatQueens/CourseFinder/

Fees and funding

Click here for more information.

Qualification and course duration

PhD

full time
36 months
part time
72 months

MPhil

part time
48 months
full time
24 months

Course contact details

Name
Professor SJ Smartt
Email
s.smartt@qub.ac.uk
Phone
+44 (0)28 9097 1245
Fax
+44 (0)28 9097 3110