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Postgraduate Study

Course closed:

Astronomy is no longer accepting new applications.


This MPhil course is entirely research-based with no taught elements. A principal supervisor is appointed for each student individually and the topic of research is approved by the Degree Committee.

One to one supervision

The pattern of individual supervision and additional training as needed are agreed between the supervisor and student. It is not unusual for students to meet with their supervisor weekly and the minimum frequency of meetings should be no less than twice a month.

The University of Cambridge publishes an annual Code of Practice which sets out the University’s expectations regarding supervision.

Journal clubs

MPhil students are encouraged to attend weekly Journal Club sessions during term with our first year PhD cohort.

Posters and Presentations

MPhil students are encouraged to attend weekly presentation practice sessions during term time with our first year PhD cohort.


Students can expect to receive feedback from their supervisors on an ongoing basis. Formal reports, available to students online, are provided each term.


Thesis / Dissertation

The examination requirement for the Astronomy MPhil is a thesis of not more than 15,000 words in length, exclusive of tables, footnotes, bibliography, and appendices, on a subject approved by the Degree Committee for the Faculty of Physics and Chemistry.

The examination shall include a viva (oral examination) with two examiners on the thesis and on the general field of knowledge within which it falls. The thesis shall provide evidence to satisfy the examiners that the candidate can design and carry out investigations, assess and interpret the results obtained, and place the work in the wider perspective of the subject.

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:

Applications open
Sept. 4, 2023
Application deadline
Dec. 5, 2023
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2024

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

Course Funding Deadline
Dec. 5, 2023
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 11, 2023

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2024, Lent 2025 and Easter 2025.

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