Research course


University of Cambridge · Institute of Astronomy

Visit the institution website for COVID‑19 updates

Entry requirements

Applicants for this course should have achieved a UK Masters (Pass).

The Faculty of Physics and Chemistry's minimum academic requirement for admission as a PhD student is the equivalent of a UK 2:1 four-year integrated master's degree (five-year from Scottish universities).

Competition for PhD places at the Institute is, however, such that offers of admission are almost always made to students who hold, or are expected to achieve, a strong first-class performance, or equivalent (e.g. a distinction in a master's degree), in a relevant subject.

Months of entry


Course content

The Institute of Astronomy offers the opportunity to study for the PhD degree, for which the normal duration of study is three years. The format is almost entirely research-based and while projects may be exclusively theoretical or observational, many combine aspects of both.

It is normal for students to attend at least one relevant international conference during their three years of study, often presenting their own research work. Many students working on observational research projects undertake observing trip(s) to major international observatories.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    full time
    36-48 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details