Cosmology and Astrophysics postgraduate research degrees
If you're ready to take your knowledge and interest in Cosmology and Astrophysics into a postgraduate research degree, there's no better place than Portsmouth.
Our research carried out at the University's Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation (ICG) – one of the leading cosmology and astrophysics centres in the UK – is driven by a curiosity to understand the cosmos and the fundamental laws of physics, 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 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.
As a postgraduate researcher here, you could join projects to build physical and analytical models of astrophysical systems, carry out detailed numerical simulations and apply data analysis to make quantitative statistical inferences. You could also innovate by developing advanced techniques in data science, analysis and inference, for astrophysical, medical and societal applications.
Find out about our PhD, MPhil, and PhD by Publication opportunities in Cosmology and Astrophysics below, including how to apply, entry requirements and funding your degree. For more detailed information about the application process, visit our How to Apply pages.
Cosmology & Astrophysics PhDs and MPhils
Explore our pre-approved funded and self-funded PhD projects in Cosmology and Astrophysics, or submit your own research idea.
PhD and MPhil projects
There are currently no funded PhD projects available in this area – for more information on funding your own research project, visit our pages on funding your research degree.
PhD by Publication
A PhD by publication is a postgraduate research degree that's based on research you've already undertaken and had published (excluding self-publishing) before registering with us.
Peer-reviewed academic papers, complete books or chapters in anthologies, and any other materials accepted for publication, exhibited or performed are all eligible. You'll have to submit these materials for examination between 6-12 months after registering with us.
For more information, please visit our PhD by Publication page.
Duration, fees and funding
How long will my research degree take?
- MPhil: 2 years full-time, 4 years part-time
- PhD: 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time
- PhD by Publication: 1 year part-time
How much will my research degree cost?
PhD and MPhil
- Home/EU/CI full-time students: £4,327 p/a*
- Home/EU/CI part-time students: £2,164 p/a*
- International full-time students: £16,400 p/a*
- International part-time students: £8,200 p/a*
PhD by Publication
- External candidates: £4,327 p/a
- Members of University of Portsmouth staff: £1,550 p/a
*All fees are subject to annual increase
MPhil full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the Government Postgraduate Loan.
PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the Government Doctoral Loan.
For information on other sources of funding, visit our funding your postgraduate research degree page.
The entry requirements for a PhD or MPhil include a good honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject, or a master’s degree in an appropriate subject. Equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications may be considered. All applicants are subject to interview.
If English is not your first language, you'll need English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.
If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
Support and facilities
As a postgraduate student, you can work with the SouthEast Physics Network (SEPNet), a consortium of nine universities in the southeast of England. SEPNet channels research expertise into one central, combined resource, and gives you postgraduate training opportunities, including student-led workshops and conferences.
When you join us, you'll be supported by our Graduate School, alongside your assigned supervisory team, who'll help you get the most from our facilities. The Graduate School will help you become part of our thriving, collaborative research community, and help grow your skills as a researcher through the Graduate School Development Programme, which offers training, workshops and events.
You'll also have access to the exceptional facilities within our Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation (ICG) – including our SCIAMA supercomputer.
What can a postgraduate research degree do for my career?
Once your postgraduate research degree is complete, you'll be a highly-skilled researcher with the knowledge and skills to make an impact in many different industries.
Your postgraduate research qualification tells potential employers that you're an intelligent, capable and motivated person, with provable abilities and experience in critical thinking, problem-solving, project management, communication, leadership and creativity.
Explore the work we're doing across our 4 areas of research expertise in Cosmology and Astrophysics.
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 studying supernovae and the appearance of distance between Earth and galaxies, and measuring the positions of large-scale structures in the Universe.