Institute of Astronomy

Master of Advanced Study in Astrophysics

Applications for Postgraduate Study October 2023


The applicant portal is now open for applications to the PhD, MPhil and MASt. As part of the application process for admission to the PhD in 2023 applicants will be required to submit a research-essay or paper-review with their application. Details can be found here.

The closing date for all applications is 1 December 2022 - please note this is earlier than in previous years.  The deadline for applicants wishing to apply for the Gates USA Scholarship is 13th October 2022.



The IoA offers an exciting opportunity for suitably qualified students who have completed a Bachelors degree (or equivalent) in astronomy/physics/mathematics to study for a one year Masters level qualification in astro-physics.  This course consists of an extended project (either observational or theoretical, worth about a third of the total credit) and a choice of a range of high level specialist courses, most of which are examined in June. Owing to the demanding level of the course and the competition for a limited number of places, applicants should have achieved (or expect to achieve) a very good performance in their undergraduate degree. Although some bursary funding may be available, applicants should expect to arrange their own funding.

About two thirds of the assessment for this degree is based on rigorous  written examinations.  Most of the examinable courses are taken from Part III of the Cambridge Mathematical Tripos and so require a high level of mathematical ability.  The level is such that, for example, internally within Cambridge Mathematics, only those students who have a first class result in Part II of the Tripos, or can demonstrate that they had first class potential, are permitted to proceed to Part III.  All students who are accepted for entry into the MASt Astrophysics course should be aware that the Institute of Astronomy strongly recommends the satisfactory completion of one of the Part II CATAM computer projects organised by the Mathematics Faculty, before starting the course in October. The pass mark for this project is 10/20 and the submission deadline is 5 pm Wednesday 22 September 2021.

For full details of the course, follow the link to Part III Astrophysics (whose course content and arrangements are identical to the MASt course but is taken by students already enrolled at the University of Cambridge); note that the courses on offer vary somewhat from year to year so that those available next year may differ slightly from those listed on the Part III Astro-physics pages for the current academic year.

Funding/Completing the Application Form

Details of the costs are available and application is via the Postgraduate Admissions Office's Application Form (Applicant Portal). Applicants wishing to be considered for University Funding should, when completing the University Application Form, tick the 'Apply for funding' box and, if appropriate, the 'Cambridge Trust' and 'Gates Cambridge Scholarship' funding boxes. Note, that to apply for Gates funding applicants must also complete the 'Gates Cambridge Personal Statement' which will need to include significant content relating to the 'leadership' and 'helping others' criteria of the Gates Cambridge Scholarship. Research council funding is not available for this course. If you require funding, you are strongly encouraged to tick the 'Cambridge Trust' or 'Gates' funding box accordingly.

There may also be other funding opportunities available, please use the Postgraduate Funding Search to explore other options.

Please note that the application deadline for admission to this course in October 2023 is Thursday 1 December 2022.

If you have additional queries after reading the online material, email the Admissions Coordinator,  (

Additional Funding opportuninites:

The Hawkes Henderson Studentship in Astrophysics and Cosmology

The Hawkes Henderson Studentship in Astrophysics and Cosmology is intended to provide full funding for a postgraduate from outside Cambridge to read for the one-year Master of Advanced Study (M.A.St.) degree in either Astrophysics or Mathematics (with a significant component of astrophysics or cosmology) at Clare College, Cambridge. The Hawkes Henderson scholarship is normally available every 4 years. We anticipate the next award being available in 2023 but please check back for application details.

Page last updated: 8 August 2022 at 15:19