Research degrees and studentships

There are a number of routes open to suitably motivated and qualified individuals who wish to undertake postgraduate research in astrophysics leading to either the PhD or MSc degree. We also offer, if resources allow, part-time PhDs.

PhD and MSc projects are offered in the following research areas. STFC-funded PhD places are 3.5 years full time and MSc projects 1 year full time. Click each link to view a short abstract of the projects offered for start in October 2018 within that area.

STFC Research Studentships

The School of Physics, Astronomy and Mathematics receives an annual allocation of postgraduate studentships funded by the Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC) for PhD research in Astrophysics, as well as University funded studentships. We expect to offer 3 full-time STFC studentships to start in October 2018. These full-time studentships are normally awarded for 3.5 years. The student receives an annual stipend (£14,777 in 2018/19, tax-exempt). Priority will be given to applications received by 1 Feb 2018.

Applicants must hold, or expect to have been awarded by the starting date, at least an upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant discipline (e.g., physics, astrophysics, mathematics). In practice in CAR we would normally expect applicants to hold an undergraduate Masters degree (MPhys/MSci) or a masters-level postgraduate qualification, or to be able to demonstrate significant relevant professional experience gained outside academia. Applicants must also meet the eligibility requirements for STFC studentships, which are only open to UK residents.

UH Research Studentships

These studentships are open to EU students not currently resident within the UK, and to overseas (non-EU) students. A few of these studentships are available every year. Applicants must meet the same criteria as STFC students. The University also expects applicants to have an IELTS (English proficiency) score of normally 6.5 or above. The closing date for applications is the same as for STFC studentships.

Self-funded and Part-time PhD

Suitably qualified candidates may also register as self-funded full-time or part-time PhD students, contingent on sufficient resources being available and research staff commitments. Applications are considered on an individual basis and may be made at any time. Potential applicants should contact Dr Sugata Kaviraj, postgraduate admissions tutor, for advice on qualifications, fees, possible research projects and working arrangements.

MSc by Research

We also offer an MSc by Research degree which can be taken either full-time (1 year) or part-time (2 years). Students who enrol in this programme will gain a training in research methods and have the opportunity to work on a substantial research project under the supervision of a member of the research staff. Students are responsible for the payment of fees and living expenses, although a Brian May Scholarship in Astrophysics, worth £ 2000, is awarded each year. The minimum entry requirement is a lower second class honours degree in Physics, Astrophysics, Mathematics or Computer Sciences. However, except in unusual circumstances, we would normally expect applicants for the MSc in CAR either to hold an undergraduate Masters degree (MPhys/MSci) or to have relevant professional experience gained outside of academia in addition to a BSc. Applications are welcome up until June 2018 for entry in October 2018. Potential applicants should contact us for advice on qualifications, fees and further information.

How to apply:

To apply, a completed application form, along with two letters of reference, should be returned (by post or email) to Lorraine Nicholls or Emma Thorogood at the address below, by the closing date. You should arrange for your referees to write separately using the form provided.

The application form can be downloaded on this link or can be requested from Lorraine Nicholls or Emma Thorogood.

Prospective candidates should contact Dr Sugata Kaviraj for advice on making their application or for further information and are encouraged to contact potential supervisors directly for more details about specific projects.

Address for applications and information:
Applications Enquiries

Lorraine Nicholls or Emma Thorogood

Research Student Admissions
Science and Technology Research Institute
University of Hertfordshire
College Lane
Herts AL10 9AB

Tel: 01707 286083

Fax: 01707 284185

Dr Sugata Kaviraj

Postgraduate Tutor
School of Physics, Astronomy & Mathematics
University of Hertfordshire
College Lane
Herts AL10 9AB

Tel: 01707 284223

Fax: 01707 284185