Research course

Physics and Astronomy

UCL - University College London · Physics and Astronomy

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class UK integrated Master’s (MSci or MPhys) degree in a relevant discipline, or an undergraduate degree followed by an MSc in a relevant discipline, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. An upper second- or first-class UK Bachelor’s or equivalent may be considered in special circumstances.

Months of entry


Course content

Physics research at UCL is Investigating fundamental questions about the physical universe. We investigate the properties of the Higgs boson and masses of neutrinos, massive stars, cosmology, galaxy formation and evolution, and extra-solar planets. We also explore the physics of molecules and quantum systems, ultracold atoms and molecules, positronium interactions, quantum information processing and superconductivity.

UCL's Department of Physics and Astronomy is one of the top departments in the UK for graduate study (RAE 2008) and has opportunities in an extremely wide range of fields of research . Our international collaborations provide opportunities to work with an international team, including recently the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, the EISCAT radar instruments in Scandinavia and at the Institut Laue-Langevin in Grenoble. In some cases, there are opportunities for students to broaden their experience by spending part of their time overseas.

Department specialisms

Our research extends over all the mainstream branches of physics and astronomy, and is organised into five major groups: Astrophysics and atmospheric physics (Astro) Atomic, molecular, optical and positron physics (AMMOPP) Biological Physics (BioP) Condensed matter and materials physics (CMMP) High energy particle physics (HEP). Many members of the Condensed Matter and Materials Physics group are also members of the interdisciplinary London Centre for Nanotechnology, housed next to the department. Members of the Biological Physics group are also generally part of the AMMOPP or CMMP groups. In addition, some researchers participate in UCL-wide groupings such as the Thomas Young Centre, the Centre for Materials Research, the Centre for Cosmic Chemistry and Physics, the UCL Institute of Origins and the UCL-Birkbeck Centre for Planetary Science. These networks provide a breadth of opportunity for students to engage in specialised research.

Information for international students


Fees and funding

UK students
£4,635 (FT) £2,315 (PT)
International students
£21,530 (FT) £10,765 (PT)

The department offers dedicated project studentships for particular research fields, as well as studentships from the UK research councils. There are also some trust funds dedicated to support research in particular areas and a limited number of departmental studentships.

Funding opportunities available for students taking research programmes are available at:

Qualification and course duration


part time
60 months
full time
36 months


full time
36 months
part time
60 months

Course contact details

Professor Robert Thorne
+44 (0)20 7679 7030
020 7679 3001