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Based at the historic Royal Observatory Edinburgh, the Institute for Astronomy (IfA) is one of the world’s leading centres in astronomical research.
We share our picturesque base on Blackford Hill with the UK Astronomy Technology Centre (ATC) – the UK’s leading astronomical instrument maker – so as a postgraduate student you will be joining a vibrant community of specialists.
The minimum entry requirement is a UK 2:1 degree, or its international equivalent in Astronomy, Physics, and Astrophysics.
Please see the section below for international equivalencies.
All applicants must meet our general entry and language requirements.
If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your spoken and written English.
Detailed advice for international students is available here:
If you are not an EU, EEA or Swiss national, you may need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme clearance certificate in order to study this programme.
The scope of our research is as wide as the cosmos we explore. Thanks to our affiliation with the UK ATC and our strong links with related research centres in the School of Physics, we are in a rare position to accommodate a diversity of research specialisms.
Current areas of research include:
We have 35 staff members and 26 students.
Our students undertake thesis-related research from the outset, but in parallel with structured education in relevant background knowledge.
In the first year there is a reading group that covers the basics of astrophysics in a series of tutorials, together with optional advanced undergraduate courses. As a major centre for undergraduate education in astronomy, we offer advanced-level courses in specific topics as well as computing courses.
Not only will you be surrounded by a wealth of expertise at the Royal Observatory, but our historic setting also provides a constant reminder of the importance of astronomical advances throughout the centuries.
Observational PhDs have access to large telescopes in Australia, Hawaii, Chile and the Canary Islands, plus the Hubble Space Telescope.
Please see Scholarships and Student Funding Services for information about funding opportunities:
Graduates from the Institute for Astronomy are among the most highly sought-after candidates for academic and commercial positions. Your degree will see you well placed to take up a rewarding role that applies your knowledge to the advancement of astrophysics.
This article was published on Aug 21, 2013