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Course Overview

The IoA offers an exciting opportunity for suitably qualified students who have completed a Bachelors degree (or equivalent) in Astronomy, Physics or Mathematics to study for a one year Masters level qualification in Astrophysics. 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.

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 Astrophysics pages for the current academic year. If you have any questions about the course and it's content please email

How to Apply

Formal application for the MASt at the Institute of Astronomy must be made via the University Postgraduate Admissions Office’s Applicant Portal.

To track your application and for details of the costs involved, please visit the Application Portal. Applicants wishing to be considered for University Funding should tick the 'Apply for funding' box when completing the University Application Form. Research council funding is not available for this course.

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

If, after reading the online material, you have additional queries about the admissions process please email our admissions team (