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We have 146 Astrophysics PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships for Self-funded Students






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Astrophysics PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships for Self-funded Students

We have 146 Astrophysics PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships for Self-funded Students

A PhD in Astrophysics will give you the chance to lead your own research project that will further our current understanding of our cosmos. Whether you are interested in dark matter and dark energy, evolution of galaxies or how stars are formed, you will be aiming to improve our knowledge of the great space beyond our planet.

What's it like to study a PhD in Astrophysics?

Doing a PhD in Astrophysics, you will become proficient in the skills necessary to contribute to a research portfolio which spans observational, theoretical and experimental projects. You will work with your supervisor, university and experts in the field to answer some of the biggest research questions pulsar astronomy, solar physics, galactic astrophysics and instrument development.

Some typical research topics in Astrophysics include: 

  • cosmology
  • active galactic nuclei and related objects
  • nearby galaxies
  • stellar astronomy
  • star formation
  • planet formation

Typical Astrophysics PhD research projects take between three and four years to complete. As well as undertaking research training within your department, you will also attend external meetings and conferences and may be submitting research posters as your research develops.

To be awarded your PhD, you must submit a thesis of about 60,000 words and defend it during your viva exam. 

PhD in Astrophysics entry requirements  

The entry requirements for a typical PhD in Astrophysics usually involves 2:1 Masters degree or a first degree Bachelors and Masters degree in a related subject such as Astronomy, Physics, or Astrophysics. Research experience will also be taken into consideration if you don’t quite meet the Masters degree requirement. You will also need to submit a compelling research proposal detailing your study plans.

PhD in Astrophysics funding options

In the UK, PhDs in Astrophysics are funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) who provide a tuition fee waiver and a living cost stipend. Depending on the programme, you may submit your own research proposal before being considered for funding or apply for a project that already has funding attached.


It is also possible to apply for a PhD loan to help with the costs of a doctorate in Astrophysics (although this cannot be combined with Research Council funding). Other options for financial support include university scholarships, graduate teaching assistantships and charities.  

PhD in Astrophysics careers

You may choose to continue your research in your chosen area at a university, or work with the commercial sector, sharing your knowledge and expertise.

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Internet of Things in Space Using Flexible Electronics and Complex Weaving Processes (Ref: RDF24/EE/MPEE/DODD)

Satellites experience extreme conditions, in transport to space and when in orbit. Monitoring satellites and critical systems is vital, requiring robust, accurate sensor information and high-quality data transmission. Read more

X-Shooter spectroscopy of Massive Young Stellar Objects

  Research Group: School of Physics and Astronomy
The formation of massive stars, stars much more massive than the Sun and which explode as a Supernova at the end of their lives, is still shrouded in mystery. Read more

Bayesian Deep Learning for cosmology with Euclid

This project will focus on the combination of cutting-edge Deep Learning and statistical methods to enable cosmological inference from next-generation facilities such as the European Space Agency’s Euclid mission. Read more

Autonomous multi robot system for fast and long traversal PhD

This is an exciting opportunity for a fully funded PhD studentship in the Centre for Autonomous and Cyber-Physical Systems at Cranfield University, to develop an autonomous multi-robot system for fast and long traversal in extreme planetary environments. Read more

Theoretical Astroparticle Physics

The Theoretical Particle Physics group at Royal Holloway University of London is offering a funded PhD studentship in the field of astroparticle theory with a focus on utilising Quantum Sensors in the search for dark matter. Read more

Machine learning for studying supernovae

Supernovae are the explosive deaths of certain types of star at the ends of their lives. They play an important role in the Universe, being the key distributors of heavy elements. Read more

Probing the star-forming ISM with fine structure lines

Supersonic turbulent motions are thought to play a major role in the star formation process in galaxies.  Theories have suggested that turbulence is responsible for shaping the interstellar medium (ISM), regulating star formation, and even setting the masses of stars as they form in young clusters. Read more

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