Taught course

Planetary Science and Life in the Universe

University of Cambridge · Institute of Astronomy

Entry requirements

Applicants for this course should have achieved a UK Good II.i Honours Degree.

Applicants must be a recent science graduate, passionate to understand more about the search for life’s origins and presence in the universe.

Months of entry


Course content

The MPhil in Planetary Sciences and Life in the Universe (PSLU) is a 10-month cross-departmental programme designed to deliver outstanding postgraduate level training in the search for life’s origins on Earth and its discovery on planets beyond Earth.
We trace the requirements for life’s origins from its astrophysical beginnings to the emergence of biospheres, providing the essential knowledge for you to be research-active in planetary science and life in the Universe.
The course structure has been designed by leading scientists to provide you with the theoretical knowledge, practical experience, and transferable skills required to undertake world-leading research in Planetary Sciences and Life in the Universe. You will graduate equipped with the discipline-specific specialisations and skills of a masters course, whilst gaining understanding in how the core areas that bridge PSLU fields form the cross-disciplinary foundation of this exciting new frontier.
You will follow one of four pathways (astrophysics, biology, chemistry, or Earth sciences) according to the focus of your first degree. All students follow the core course providing the essential multidisciplinary foundation for planetary science and Life in the Universe, and you will take optional modules deepening your expertise in subjects from your particular pathway. Three group projects will give you research, communication and collaboration experience.

Fees and funding

Check funding availability at: https://www.student-funding.cam.ac.uk/start

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA/MSc
    full time
    10 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

International Admission Office