The MSc in Astrophysics allows students to gain experience in the core areas of astrophysics to to develop the necessary research skills to carry out astrophysical research.
Postgraduate; leading to a Master of Science (MSc)
One year full time
A good 2.1 undergraduate Honours degree in Physics, Mathematics or a related topic.
If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.
English language proficiency. See English language tests and qualifications.
The qualifications listed are indicative minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.
UK and EU: £7,500
Applications are accepted until shortly before teaching starts in September. Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships and for international visa purposes.
For more guidance, see supporting documents and references for postgraduate taught programmes.Apply for this course
The MSc in Astrophysics is a one-year taught programme run by the School of Physics and Astronomy. The programme is intended to provide an entry route to astrophysics research and potentially PhD programmes for students who have taken an undergraduate BSc degree in Physics, Mathematics or an equivalent cognate discipline.
The MSc consists of two semesters of taught courses including a 3.5-month significant research project and dissertation (15,000 words). Teaching methods include lectures and tutorials, covering areas of both theoretical and observational astrophysics, and modules are assessed through examination, research projects and continuous coursework.
Throughout the programme students will not only gain a full working knowledge of the fundamental aspects of astrophysics but will also develop their transferable skills such as programming, data analysis, problem solving, scientific writing, presentation and science outreach skills, enhancing employability in and out of academia.
Access to the University Observatory and James Gregory Telescope allows students receive a hands-on experience to develop their observational expertise, which can then be followed into their research projects with the option to use either facilities at St Andrews or remote observing facilities around the world.
The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2016–2017 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2017 entry.
Students choose six optional modules from the following:
The modules listed ran in the academic year 2016–2017 and are indicative of this course. There is no guarantee that these modules will run for 2017 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.
During the final 3.5 months of the course, students undertake a research project culminating in a 15,000-word dissertation. Students select a project from a list of those available and are supervised by a member of the academic staff.
The project aims to develop students' skills in searching the appropriate literature, astrophysical theory or experimental and observational design, the evaluation and interpretation of data, and the presentation of a report.
If students choose not to complete the dissertation requirement for the MSc, there is an exit award available that allows suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma. By choosing an exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the second semester of study and receive a PGDip instead of an MSc.
If you are interested in studying at St Andrews, join us at an open day to explore the town, find out about our courses and meet current students.
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The group also host a number of teaching and outreach projects, including:
Many of our graduates continue their education by enrolling in PhD programmes at St Andrews or elsewhere. Fully-funded scholarships are available for PhD study in all research areas in the School.
Science and Technology Facilities Council
The STFC provides annual Quota awards in February of each year to the University of St Andrews School of Physics and Astronomy.
This degree course is intended to provide an entry route to astrophysics research, and potentially PhD programmes, at St Andrews or another university in the UK and abroad.
The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students on a taught postgraduate course and offers a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.
Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our Admissions policy.
As a research intensive institution, the University ensures that its teaching references the research interests of its staff, which may change from time to time. As a result, programmes are regularly reviewed with the aim of enhancing students' learning experience. Our approach to course revision is described online. (PDF, 72 KB).
The University will clarify compulsory fees and charges it requires any student to pay at the time of offer. The offer will also clarify conditions for any variation of fees. The University’s approach to fee setting is described online. (PDF, 84 KB).