Research course


University of Edinburgh · School of Physics and Astronomy

Entry requirements

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in astronomy, physics, or astrophysics.

Months of entry

December, November, October, September, August, July, June, May, April, March, February

Course content

Based at the historic Royal Observatory Edinburgh, the Institute for Astronomy (IfA) is one of the world’s leading centres in astronomical research.

We share our picturesque base on Blackford Hill with the UK Astronomy Technology Centre (ATC) – the UK’s leading astronomical instrument maker – so as a postgraduate student you will be joining a vibrant community of specialists.

The scope of our research is as wide as the cosmos we explore. Thanks to our affiliation with the UK ATC and our strong links with related research centres in the School of Physics & Astronomy, we are in a rare position to accommodate a diversity of research specialisms.

Our current areas of research include:

  • cosmology (large-scale structure in the universe, galaxy formation, dark matter and dark energy)
  • active galactic nuclei and related objects
  • nearby galaxies (large-scale star formation, structure, content and evolution of galaxies)
  • stellar astronomy (parallax and proper motion studies, the stellar luminosity function, symbiotic stars)
  • star formation (observation and theoretical studies, star formation in external galaxies)
  • planet formation (disc and planet formation in protostars, discs around pre-main-sequence stars)
  • computational astrophysics (through the Edinburgh Centre for Computational Astrophysics).

Qualification and course duration


full time
36 months

Course contact details

Graduate School Administrator
+44 (0)131 651 7837