Taught course


University of St Andrews · School of Physics and Astronomy

Entry requirements

Candidates should hold a good honours degree (2.1 or better), or its equivalent, from a British or overseas university, but lesser qualifications linked to appropriate experience may be acceptable.

Months of entry


Course content

The MSc in Astrophysics allows students to gain experience in the core areas of astrophysics to to develop the necessary research skills to carry out astrophysical research.

Course highlights

  • Students are able and encouraged to use the University Observatory and the James Gregory Telescope, the largest working optical telescope in the UK.
  • The programme prepares students for to undertake astrophysical research at PhD level.
  • Modules provide transferable skills which enhance employability in and out of academia.

Teaching format

The MSc in Astrophysics is a one-year taught programme run by the School of Physics and Astronomy. The programme is intended to provide an entry route to astrophysics research and potentially PhD programmes for students who have taken an undergraduate BSc degree in Physics, Mathematics or an equivalent cognate discipline.

The MSc consists of two semesters of taught courses including a 3.5-month significant research project and dissertation (15,000 words). Teaching methods include lectures and tutorials, covering areas of both theoretical and observational astrophysics, and modules are assessed through examination, research projects and continuous coursework.

Throughout the programme students will not only gain a full working knowledge of the fundamental aspects of astrophysics but will also develop their transferable skills such as programming, data analysis, problem solving, scientific writing, presentation and science outreach skills, enhancing employability in and out of academia.

Access to the University Observatory and James Gregory Telescope allows students receive a hands-on experience to develop their observational expertise, which can then be followed into their research projects with the option to use either facilities at St Andrews or remote observing facilities around the world.

Information for international students

International students are required to achieve IELTS overall grade 6.5 (or equivalent) with a minimum of 6.0 in each component.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students


Qualification and course duration


part time
24 months
full time
12 months

Course contact details

Postgraduate Secretary
+44 (0)1334 46 3103