Cosmology and Astrophysics
Cosmology is the study of the Universe as a whole: its origin and evolution. Our work is driven by curiosity to understand the cosmos we see around us today. We want to understand the fundamental physical laws at work, including gravity and the nature of spacetime, and how these laws of nature play out in the formation and evolution of stars and galaxies.
Modern cosmology and astrophysics are also driven by technological advances which enable us to see ever further out into the Universe and with greater detail and precision. By looking deeper into the Universe we can test the laws of physics in regimes not accessible in experiments on Earth. Astrophysicists have found evidence for black holes, dark matter and dark energy in the Universe that will shape future scientific advances. By probing the origin of structure in the very early universe, we're testing ideas about quantum gravity.
We build physical and analytical models of astrophysical systems, carry out detailed numerical simulations and apply data analysis to make quantitative statistical inferences. We're also innovating by developing advanced techniques in data science, analysis and inference, for astrophysical, medical and societal applications. Much of our work takes place within the University's Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation.
Our programme of outreach and public engagement seeks to inspire the next generation of scientists through working with local schools, events and citizen science projects.
Cosmology graduates have gone on to apply the problem-solving skills they develop in cosmology and astrophysics in careers including data science, finance, defence systems and biological modelling.
Our Cosmology and Astrophysics areas of expertise
We're researching the evolution of galaxies, from the most local to the most distant, and using their light to model stellar radiation and probe the formation and development of the Universe.
We're detecting cosmic gravitational waves and developing gravitational-wave observations as an astronomical tool.
We're studying supernovae and the appearance of distance between Earth and galaxies, and measuring the positions of large-scale structures in the Universe.
Interested in a PhD in Cosmology & Astrophysics?
Browse our postgraduate research degrees – including PhDs and MPhils – at our Cosmology & Astrophysics postgraduate research degrees page.