Institute of Astronomy


Undergraduate Study

Undergraduate Teaching

The Institute of Astronomy offers two exciting undergraduate courses: Part II Astrophysics (the University's only dedicated astronomy course at Part II level) and a Part III course that combines a wide choice of high level courses with a substantial research project. (See the FAQ for other options for studying some astrophysics in other Triposes). The courses teach the fundamental physics governing the Universe and explore a range of fascinating issues in contemporary astronomy. The Part II course is taken both by those intending to proceed to Part III Astrophysics (who may go on to postgraduate research) as well as those graduating after three years who go on to to a variety of destinations.

The Institute is one of the foremost research institutions in the world and, with its setting of lawns and woodland, provides a delightful environment for undergraduate study. The Institute of Astronomy prides itself on its friendly atmosphere and students are encouraged to participate in the life of the Institute (e.g. through attending weekly bread and cheese lunches and research seminars). The free coffee and biscuits for students is particularly appreciated! Many students find that studying astrophysics at the Institute re-kindles their interest in science and mathematics.

See the undergraduate admissions section for more details on the courses offered by the Institute, or the current undergraduates section for materials and information for current students.

Postgraduate Study

Postgraduate Study

As one of the world's foremost research institutions in astronomy, the Institute offers exciting opportunities for postgraduate research and study. The Institute offers the opportunity to study for the Ph.D degree, for which the minimum period of study is three years and most students take three and a half years. The format is almost exclusively research based, although students attend a number of researcher-development sessions during their first two years. The session topics include presentation skills and scientific communication via discussion and assessment of recent journal papers in astrophysics.

Churchill or Marshall-funded students seeking a one-year research M.Phil should follow the guidance which can be found here

In addition, there are several taught masters options including the MASt astrophysics masters course.

Page last updated: 3 August 2023 at 11:08