Institute of Astronomy

M.Phil. in Astronomy

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 assessment for the Astronomy M.Phil. degree is exclusively by research and a project and supervisor will normally 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 Ph.D. in Astrophysics and the number of students admitted is small. Many, but not all, of our previous students had completed an undergraduate degree in North America and returned there to undertake a Ph.D. after completing the M.Phil. in Cambridge.

Historically, most M.Phil. students have secured funding for their M.Phil. 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.

At least four weeks before making a formal application, prospective applicants should forward the following to

Following receipt of this information, we will determine whether an appropriate project and supervisor is available. For applicants completing an undergraduate degree with a USA-based GPA score, a GPA score of at least 3.8 (on system with a maximum of 4.0) is desirable and you should also have undertaken at least one research internship or research-project in the field of astrophysics. Most applicants offered admission will possess a GPA of 3.9 or higher.

Please note that the application deadline for admission to this course in October 2023 is Thursday 1st December 2022 (noon, 12pm UK tme).

Page last updated: 3 August 2022 at 07:50