Research course

Space and Climate Physics

UCL - University College London · Space and Climate Physics

Entry requirements

An upper second-class Bachelor’s degree, or a second-class Bachelor’s degree together with an MSc from a UK university in a relevant subject, or an overseas equivalent qualification.

Months of entry


Course content

MSSL is at the forefront of space science research and space instrumentation development. We work closely with international collaborators in academic institutions, major space agencies and industry partners such as NASA, ESA, JAXA and Astrium. Through interaction with colleagues in academia and industry, students build networks nationally and internationally and acquire valuable transferable skills. Former students have pursued successful careers in academia, industry, government-funded research, public policy and engagement, teaching, finance and IT.

Research areas

  • Astrophysics: cosmology; galaxy formation and evolution; active galactic nuclei; gamma-ray; neutron stars and magnetars; exoplanet
  • Theory: theoretical and computational astrophysics of systems from planets, the sun, stars and galaxies to the universe and their associated radiative and dynamical processes
  • Imaging: automated 3D vision and applications; spectro-fluorescence and isotopologue imaging for life detection; data mining for planetary surface change detection; climate change from ECVs
  • Planetary science: plasma interaction processes; giant planet magnetospheres; plasma at Mars, Venus, Titans, moons and comets; dust-plasma interactions; ionospheres; surfaces and atmospheres from rovers
  • Solar physics: solar activity and its consequences within the solar system; emergence and evolution of solar magnetic fields; solar eruptions; solar wind formation
  • Space plasma physics: local space environment, including physics of the heliosphere and terrestrial magnetosphere; magnetic reconnection, radiation belt and auroral particle acceleration; space weather
  • Photon and particle detector development: particle detectors; charge-coupled devices; sub Kelvin cryo-coolers for space and ground based applications
  • Weather and climate extremes: drivers, modelling and predictions for tropical and extra-topical storms; precipitation and temperature extremes worldwide; solar activity and cold winters
  • System engineering: system modelling and optimisation, risk modelling and management, technology planning, project management, defining system engineering.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MPhil/PhD
    part time
    60 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    36 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Research degrees may start at any time of the year, but typically start in September.

Course contact details