Astrophysics, PhD

  • N/A
    Application Deadline
  • 36 months
    Duration
  • Tuition
    14260
    Tuition (Year)
    4844
    Tuition (Year)
  • English (take IELTS)
    Language
Queen's University Belfast ,
A research degree offers you the opportunity to develop your research skills and prove yourself as a researcher. Queen's is committed to the enhancement of research training and teaching and offers postgraduate research opportunities across all fields of study.
  • Overview
  • Programme outline
  • Key facts
  • Admission requirements
  • Fees and funding

About

A research degree offers you the opportunity to develop your research skills and prove yourself as a researcher. Queen's is committed to the enhancement of research training and teaching and offers postgraduate research opportunities across all fields of study.

Research Strategies

The major research themes in the Astrophysics Research Centre focus on the dynamic Universe.

Time domain studies illustrate the Universe is an evolving and exciting laboratory to study physics on large scales. We search for distant supernovae and their progenitor stars to understand what drives these explosions. We study the asteroid and comet population in the solar system and have built instruments to take high frequency observations of the solar surface.

The discovery of planets orbiting other stars in our Galaxy (exoplanets) is one of the most active new areas in astronomy. The Centre's research teams lead exoplanet discovery and characterisation projects aimed at finding new worlds like our own.

All these projects are focused on exploiting or building new observational facilities, and they are underpinned by the development of theoretical models such as astrochemistry models of star-forming discs and exoplanets, energy transport in the Sun, stellar atmospheres, and atomic physics.

We lead major European consortia eg within the European Southern Observatory and European Space Agency, and these programmes are supported by external grant funding of over £5m (in the last five years), including major UK STFC, Royal Society, and EU grants.

Research Strengths

Recent observational research highlights include finding dozens of extra-solar planets, discovering giant twisting waves in the sun, and studying an asteroid before it entered the Earth's atmosphere.

We have also identified progenitor stars of supernovae before they exploded, and discovered some of the most luminous explosions in the Universe. All of these results have been highlighted in recent papers in Science and Nature, illustrating the leading and novel nature of our research.

We train and encourage students and Postdoctoral researchers to lead these research projects. Students have the opportunity to spend extensive periods at world-leading research centres such as the European Southern Observatory and the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

Special Features

  • The Centre is a leading partner in the whole-sky SuperWASP facility to discover extra-solar planets and in the Pan-STARRS programme to identify moving and explosive phenomena. It has recently commissioned a state-of-the-art, high-speed solar imager, called ROSA, that will ultimately be installed at the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope in Hawaii.
  • The Centre's aim is to be involved in the development of world-class astronomical facilities and exploit the UK's access to ESO and ESA facilities, and we will continue to develop private competitive observational programmes, such as the Next Generation WASP facility, upgrades to ROSA and continuation in the Pan-STARRS-1 science consortium.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Full-time duration 36 months
  • Study intensity Part-time, Full-time
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus
  • Project Type Open
  • Educational Form Academic

Programme Structure

You may study for the degree of PhD on a full-time or part-time basis, under the direction of a supervisor appointed by the University. You will be expected to submit your thesis at the end of three years of full-time registration and you will not normally be allowed more than four years in which to submit your thesis. If you are a part-time student you must satisfy the University that you will be able to meet your supervisor regularly, typically at least once a semester. You will be expected to submit your thesis at the end of six years of part-time registration and you will not normally be allowed more than eight years in which to submit your thesis.

For both full-time and part-time students, time spent in the achievement of a Masters degree will not be counted as part of the specified period of enrolment as a PhD student.

Academic Requirements

Admission to a research degree (PhD/MPhil) normally requires at least a good second class Honours degree or an equivalent qualification. If you are not a graduate, you may still be admitted provided you hold a diploma or other qualification which the University deems to be the equivalent of a degree. After your initial registration, you will proceed to PhD study, pending successful completion of your School's differentiation process.

English Language requirements

The UK Border Agency (UKBA) requires universities to verify that non-EEA applicants have achieved a specified minimum level in English before we are permitted to issue the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) which you need to apply for a Tier 4 visa. As part of this process, the University must see evidence (normally the result of a UKBA-approved Secure English Language Test) of an applicant's English Language competence in the four components of language learning ie listening, reading, speaking and writing. Alternative qualifications may be acceptable to meet the UKBA's English language requirements, for example a degree or equivalent qualification from an institution in a country which is deemed by the UKBA to be majority English-speaking.

EEA nationals, and non-EEA applicants who are nationals of a country deemed by the UKBA to be majority English-speaking, will not be required to submit further evidence of English Language for visa purposes, but may be asked for evidence of English competency to satisfy University course entry requirements.

Tuition Fee Per Year

  • EUR 14260 International
  • EUR 4844 EU/EEA

Home/EU £3828; Overseas £11266

Funding

Applicants from the UK and other EU countries

Please note: Where it states 'UK residents' qualifying residency and citizenship/nationality criteria apply.

  • Department of Employment and Learning (DEL) Postgraduate Research Studentships

Funded by the Department of Employment and Learning, these are offered in most subject areas.

UK residents: fees plus maintenance
Other EU residents: fees only

  • DEL (CAST) Co-operative Awards in Science and Technology

These awards are for specific research projects in collaboration with an industrial sponsor in the following Schools/areas: Biomedical Sciences in School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences; School of Biological Sciences; School of Pharmacy; School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering; School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering; School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and the School of Mathematics and Physics.

UK residents: fees plus maintenance
Other EU residents: fees only

A CAST studentship may also include a contribution from the industrial collaborating body.

Visit the School websites listed above for details concerning potential DEL CAST

Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)

Awards are available for both Masters and Doctoral degrees in humanities subject areas.

Applicants should apply via Queen's for funding and should not apply directly to AHRC.

UK residents: fees plus maintenance
Other EU residents: fees only

Queen's School Funding Opportunities

Some Schools have funding available for postgraduate PhD or taught Masters courses.

North-South Postgraduate Scholarships

Scholarships are available for students undertaking a recognised Masters or the first year of a PhD programme (taught or research) in the other Irish jurisdiction.

Applicants from outside the EU

If you are applying to Queen's from outside the EU, you are advised to explore fully the funding opportunities for studying in the UK available from sources in your own country. Some closing dates are as early as a year before commencing studies, so please make sure to apply in good time.

Some of the main awards are listed:

Department for International Development (DFID) Shared Scholarship Scheme

This award is for specific one-year taught postgraduate courses. The award cover tuition fees, a maintenance grant and travel costs. Only students from developing Commonwealth countries are eligible to apply.

British Chevening Awards

  • The Foreign and Commonwealth Office funds a number of British Chevening scholaships for postgraduate study, mainly for one-year taught Masters degrees.
  • Candidates must apply directly to the University for admission before applying for a Chevening Scholarship. Contact the British Embassy, British High Commission or British Council Office in your own country.

Applicants from USA

If you are a US citizen, you are eligible to apply for the following awards tenable at Queen's

George J Mitchell Scholarships

Fulbright Scholarships

Mary McNeill Scholarship (for US and Canadian citizens undertaking MA Irish Studies

StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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