Research course

Astronomy and Astrophysics

The University of Manchester · School of Physics and Astronomy
PhDMSc by research

Entry requirements

For PhD: An Upper-Second Honours degree or better, or the overseas equivalent, in a relevant science discipline. For MSc by Research: A Lower-Second Honours degree or better, or the overseas equivalent, in a relevant science discipline.

Months of entry

January, April, July, September

Course content

The School of Physics and Astronomy at Manchester is one of the largest and most active schools of physics in the UK. We have a long tradition of excellence in both teaching and research, and have interests in most areas of contemporary research.

The School has a strong presence in a number of Manchester-based centres for multidisciplinary research: the Photon Science Institute; the Manchester Centre for Non-Linear Dynamics; the Dalton Nuclear Institute; and the Mesoscience and Nanotechnology Centre. In addition, the Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire is a part of the School.

Strong research activity exists in a broad range of physics topics funded by the Research Councils including EPSRC, STFC, the EU and industry. All the research groups offer well-equipped laboratories and computing facilities and are involved in a wide range of collaborative projects with industry and other academic departments in the UK and overseas.

The postgraduate research environment is well-funded and world-class. In the most recent research assessment exercise (RAE 2008), 85% of the School's research was rated as of international quality, with 20% world-leading. The volume of world-leading and internationally excellent research places the School 5th in the UK. Supervision is provided by academic staff, who are leaders in their fields, with independent pastoral back-up. Transferable skills training is available and there are some school teaching opportunities.

Department specialisms

Observational and Theoretical Astrophysics; Optical Infrared; Millimetre/ submillimetre; Radio Astrophysics; Plasma Astrophysics; Pulsars; Star Formation; Evolved Stars; Osmic Microwave Background; Cosmology; Gravitational Lenses; Active Galaxies; Masers; Astronomical Instrumentation.

Information for international students

Overseas applicants need to provide satisfactory proof of English language. For example, TOEFL individual written test score of 5.0, and overall total 570 (paper based); 230 (computer based); 90 (internet based) or IELTS 6.5.

Fees and funding

There are a number of funding opportunities for PhD students, including scholarships, industrial sponsorships, and Research Council studentships. Please contact the School for further details.

Qualification and course duration


full time
36-48 months
part time
72-96 months

MSc by research

full time
12 months
part time
24 months

Course contact details

Recruitment and Admissions Officer
+44 (0) 161 306 3673