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Postgraduate Admissions

The assessment for the Astronomy MPhil degree is exclusively by research and a project and supervisor must have been identified prior to a formal application being made by the student. There is no taught element. The degree is not suitable for physicists and mathematicians wishing to prepare for a research PhD in Astrophysics and the number of students admitted is small.

Historically, most MPhil students have secured funding for their MPhil studies through applications to scholarship programmes such as Churchill, Gates and Marshall.

The aims of the programme are:

  • to give students with relevant experience at first-degree level the opportunity to carry out focussed research in the discipline under close supervision; and
  • to give students the opportunity to acquire or develop skills and expertise relevant to their research interests.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the programme, students will have:

  • a comprehensive understanding of techniques, and a thorough knowledge of the literature, applicable to their own research;
  • demonstrated originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in their field;
  • shown abilities in the critical evaluation of current research and research techniques and methodologies;
  • demonstrated some self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and acted autonomously in the planning and implementation of research.

Open Days

The Postgraduate Virtual Open Day usually takes place at the beginning of November. It’s a great opportunity to ask questions to admissions staff and academics, explore the Colleges virtually, and to find out more about courses, the application process and funding opportunities. Visit the Postgraduate Open Day page for more details.

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Key Information


12 months full-time

2 years part-time

Master of Philosophy

Institute of Astronomy

Course - related enquiries

Application - related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Michaelmas 2022

Applications open
Sept. 1, 2021
Application deadline
Jan. 6, 2022
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2022

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Graduate Funding Competition
Jan. 6, 2022
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 13, 2021

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2022, Lent 2023 and Easter 2023.


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