Postgraduate Study

Astronomy University UK

Universities / June 28, 2020

Astronomy is the study of the physical universe, from the Earth and the solar system to galaxies at the edge of the cosmos.

Astronomy lectures are complemented by our observatory, planetarium and telescope facilities. We have close links with the Glasgow Science Centre, home to one of the UK’s best planetariums.

Year 1

You will survey the observable universe on all scales: from planets through stars and galaxies to cosmology; and gain a basic understanding of the core theoretical and observational principles of modern astronomy. Typical topics include: dynamical and positional astronomy, observational astronomy, the solar system, the stars, compact objects, and galaxies and cosmology.

Year 2

You will study key aspects of astronomy and astrophysics in greater depth and undergo further training in the use of optical and radio telescopes. Typical topics include: theoretical astrophysics, observational astrophysics, stars and their spectra, and relativity and cosmology.

You will also study other subjects in years 1 and 2: see Flexibe degrees.

Years 3, 4 and 5

If you progress to Honours (years 3 and 4) Astronomy can only be taken as a Joint Honours degree with either Physics or Mathematics. In Honours your studies will include modern observational methods and you will undertake project work using advanced astronomical instrumentation and data analysis techniques. Your core courses will be supplemented by options enabling you to follow your particular areas of interest. All courses include training in transferable skills such as teamwork, presentation and technical writing.

There is an opportunity to take an MSci degree, which explores astronomy topics in greater depth and includes an individually supervised project working at the cutting edge of international research.

Our international links

Our staff have strong international links across a wide range of research fields. Many of our staff play leading roles in major international research projects, such as the Large Hadron Collider at CERN and the worldwide collaboration searching for gravitational waves. You will have the opportunity to undertake part of your degree abroad.


  • Standard academic entry requirements: AAB.
  • Minimum academic entry requirements: BBB.
  • Other mandatory requirements: Applicants require Mathematics and Physics at Grades B or above.


  • Standard academic entry requirements: S5 entry requirement = AAAA or AAABB.
  • Minimum academic entry requirements: S5 minimum requirement = ABBB. S5 & S6 cumulative requirement = AAAAAB
  • Other mandatory requirements: Applicants require Mathematics and Physics at grade B or above.

We adjust these entry requirements for eligible applicants, from AABB at S5/S6, based upon completion of a pre-entry programme. For pre-entry programme eligibility and adjusted grade requirements, see Access Glasgow.