Admission to our PhD programme (starting September 2018)

Interested in a PhD in Astrophysics? Our group has opportunities for PhD students, in several areas of our research programme, starting next year:

blue Extragalactic Astrophysics and Cosmology
rouge Gravitational Wave Astrophysics and Instrumentation
orange Stars and Planets
jaune Fundamental Physics Experiments

The range of the research undertaken by our PhD students can be seen from the following links:

We do not offer any research-based Masters' (MPhil) degrees.

How to Apply

The online application form is accessed from The University's Course finder. On this page, click on "Postgraduate courses", and choose "Doctoral Research" from the left panel. Then, under "Browse by Subject area", click on the link for the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, which should take you to a set of options, from which you should choose "Physics and Astronomy". Of the various options available, choose "Physics and Astronomy PhD/MSc by research (Astrophysics and Space Research specialism)". Or you could directly jump to this link.

Under "How to apply", click on "Apply now". You will have to enter an email address as your username. Please pick an address to which you will have access at least up to June next year.

(An even more direct link is available, but may not always work.)

Studentships and Financial Aid

We admit two to three students (shared with the Solar and Stellar Physics group) from the UK per year, who are awarded fully-funded 3.5-year studentships funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC). In addition, a few fully-funded studentships are made available from time to time by the School of Physics and Astronomy for students from the UK and EU: applications are considered for these along with the STFC studentships.

We are now considering applications for September 2018. Candidates who complete their applications by 31 December, 2017, and ensure that reference letters are also uploaded by this date, will receive full consideration. We will continue to accept applications until all positions are filled.

We welcome applications from students of any nationality. The only financial aid we have currently available for non-EU students are:

For studentships in these categories, the candidate needs to obtain an offer of admission before being considered for the studentship, so you are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Overseas students are also encouraged to apply for suitable external funding, e.g., the Commonwealth scholarships. Other general advice for overseas students is available for external sites: e.g. FindaPhD .

Midlands Physics Alliance Graduate School (MPAGS)

During the first year at the University of Birmingham, PhD students are required to undertake a training programme which includes taught courses given as part of the Midlands Physics Alliance, involving lecturers and students from the Universities of Birmingham, Warwick and Nottingham. In addition to taught courses, this training programme involves assessed reading assigments under the guidance of experts at all three Universities, as well as courses on essential skills such as presentation skills, proposal writing skills, and an introduction to peer review.

The gravitational-wave group also runs the Birmingham Gravitational Waves summer school (BiG Waves), which is open to all interested graduate students.

Required Qualifications

The normal minimum requirement for financial support for non-UK students is a first class MSc degree.

For UK students, to obtain an STFC studentship, an upper second class (II:i) M.Sci. (four-year) degree or its equivalent is required.

Further Enquiries:

You are advised to browse through the research pages of the Astrophysics and Space Research group and the School of Physics and Astronomy  to ensure that you are interested in our research activities.

For further queries please contact the Graduate Admissions Tutor, Prof. Ilya Mandel, or the School's PhD Co-ordinator, via E-mail at physics-dr [at] or via phone at 0121 414 4566.