Astronomy and cosmology (2016 entry)

Subject overview

  • Physics and astronomy at Sussex is ranked 18th in the UK in The Guardian University Guide 2017 and 14th in the UK in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2014-15.
  • The Department is a founder member of SEPnet, the South East Physics Network of physics departments, which in 2008 received a joint award of £12.5 million to enhance collaboration in graduate teaching and research. In 2013 – after successfully exploiting the growing national interest in physics – we benefited from another joint award of £13.1 million to support vital research, teaching and development of physics in the South East.
  • The Astronomy Centre carries out worldleading research in many branches of theoretical and observational astrophysics. Our particular focus is on the early universe, large-scale structure, the high-redshift universe, and galaxy formation and evolution.

South East Physics Network logo

Specialist facilities
Theoretical astronomers have access to massively parallel supercomputers in the UK (Durham and Cambridge) and overseas. We also have our own network of high-performance Unix workstations and servers, and a University computer cluster.

The Astronomy Centre has an excellent record for obtaining observing time on STFC and other overseas telescopes, such as the Anglo-Australian Telescope and the telescopes on La Palma and on Hawaii. We have extensive involvement in satellite projects, especially in infrared and x-ray. The Centre is also involved with the 4m Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA) in Chile. Members of the Astronomy Centre play lead
roles in the Dark Energy Survey, Hershel Legacy Project, The Low Frequency Array (LOFAR) and the future Square Kilometre Array (SKA) and Euclid satellite mission.
Academic activities
Both MSc and PhD students are expected to contribute to the weekly informal seminars, and are encouraged to attend research seminars.

PhD students have an opportunity to attend an international conference and give a paper on their specialist subject. Observational students normally make at least one observing trip each year to an overseas telescope.

Programmes

  • PhD in Astronomy
  • MPhil in Astronomy

Coursework

You are expected to study a selection of MSc modules to ensure that you receive a broad education in modern astronomy, as well as training in research skills.

Observational projects for PhD students are likely to involve the use of overseas telescopes, and theoretical projects may involve the use of supercomputers.

Entry requirements

MPhil in Astronomy

UK entrance requirements

A first- or an upper second-class honours degree in a relevant subject: physics, astronomy or mathematics.

Overseas entrance requirements

If your country is not listed below, please contact the University at E pg.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk

If you have any questions about your qualifications after consulting our overseas qualifications, contact the University at E pg.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk

English language requirements

IELTS 6.0, with not less than 6.0 in each section.

For more information, refer to What qualifications do I need?

Additional entry information

If you are a non-EEA or Swiss national you must obtain clearance by the UK Government Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) for this degree. Please ensure you allow sufficient time for your University application to be processed in time for you to apply for ATAS clearance (and a Tier 4 Student Visa if appropriate). Find out more about ATAS.

PhD in Astronomy

UK entrance requirements

A first- or an upper second-class honours degree in a relevant subject: physics, astronomy or mathematics.

Overseas entrance requirements

If your country is not listed below, please contact the University at E pg.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk

If you have any questions about your qualifications after consulting our overseas qualifications, contact the University at E pg.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk

English language requirements

IELTS 6.0, with not less than 6.0 in each section.

For more information, refer to What qualifications do I need?

Additional entry information

If you are a non-EEA or Swiss national you must obtain clearance by the UK Government Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) for this degree. Please ensure you allow sufficient time for your University application to be processed in time for you to apply for ATAS clearance (and a Tier 4 Student Visa if appropriate). Find out more about ATAS.

Visas and immigration

Find out more about Visas and immigration.

For more information about the admissions process at Sussex

For pre-application enquiries:

Student Recruitment Services
T +44 (0)1273 876787
E pg.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk

For post-application enquiries:

Postgraduate Admissions,
University of Sussex,
Sussex House, Falmer,
Brighton BN1 9RH, UK
T +44 (0)1273 877773
F +44 (0)1273 678545
E pg.applicants@sussex.ac.uk 

Fees and funding

Fees

MPhil in Astronomy fees

Home UK/EU students: £4,1211
Channel Island and Isle of Man students: £4,1212
Overseas students: £18,3003

1 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.
2 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.
3 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.

PhD in Astronomy fees

Home UK/EU students: £4,1211
Channel Island and Isle of Man students: £4,1212
Overseas students: £18,3003

1 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.
2 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.
3 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.

Find out more about fees

Visit Living costs

Scholarships

The sources of financial support listed below are for the subject area you are viewing and may not apply to all degrees listed within it. Please check the description of the individual source of financial support to make sure it is relevant to your chosen degree.

Visit Postgraduate research scholarships 2016

Visit Career development and part-time work

We are in the process of updating funding sources for postgraduate study in the academic year 2016/17. For general information, visit Postgraduate research scholarships 2016.

For more information on scholarships go to the Scholarships web pages.

Faculty interests

Our research focuses on extragalactic astrophysics and cosmology. 

Visit Department of Physics and Astronomy

Dr Christian Byrnes
Senior Research Fellow
C.Byrnes@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Black Holes, Cosmology, Extra-Galactic Astronomy & Cosmology, Particle astrophysics

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Dr Ilian Iliev
Reader In Astronomy
I.T.Iliev@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Cosmology, First Stars, reionization, Simulations

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Dr Antony Lewis
Professor of Cosmology
Antony.Lewis@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Astrophysics, Cosmology, Data analysis, Sampling

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Dr Jonathan Loveday
Reader In Astronomy
J.Loveday@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Astronomy - observation, Extra-Galactic Astronomy & Cosmology

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Prof Seb Oliver
Professor of Astrophysics
S.Oliver@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Astronomy, Astronomy & Space Science Technologies, Astronomy - observation, Cosmology, Data analysis, Data Mining, Medical Imaging, Medical Informatics

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Prof Kathy Romer
Professor of Astrophysics
Romer@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Astronomy, Astronomy & Space Science Technologies, Astronomy - observation, Cosmology, Data Mining

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Dr Mark Sargent
Senior Lecturer In Astronomy
Mark.Sargent@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Astronomy - observation, Astrophysics, Data Mining, Extra-Galactic Astronomy & Cosmology, Physics

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Dr David Seery
Reader In Mathematics & Physics
D.Seery@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Cosmology, Quantum Field Theory, Theoretical Physics

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Dr Robert Smith
Emeritus Reader
R.C.Smith@sussex.ac.uk

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Prof Peter Thomas
Professor of Astronomy
P.A.Thomas@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Direct Numerical Simulation, Extra-Galactic Astronomy & Cosmology, Hydrodynamics

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Dr Stephen Wilkins
Senior Lecturer In Astronomy
S.Wilkins@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Astronomy

View profile

Careers and perspectives

Our students acquire considerable skills in computing and data analysis, which are an asset in obtaining employment after graduation. Many graduates go on to postdoctoral study and subsequent permanent academic positions. Recent graduates have obtained jobs in finance, information technology and the NHS.

To find out more, visit Careers and alumni

Research training

The University’s Doctoral School runs a wide range of training courses covering the needs of students throughout all phases of their studies.

Visit the Doctoral School website

Visit Stages of doctoral study

School and contacts

Contact us

Physics and Astronomy, 
Postgraduate Admissions,
University of Sussex, Falmer, 
Brighton BN1 9QH, UK 
+44 (0)1273 873254 
E msc@physics.sussex.ac.uk 
E phd@physics.sussex.ac.uk 

Visit the Department of Physics and Astronomy

Discover Postgraduate Study information sessions

Our monthly information sessions help you discover more about postgraduate study and what Sussex has to offer.

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Around the UK

In addition to on-campus events, come and meet our postgraduate specialists at events across the UK.

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Other ways to visit Sussex

We run weekly guided campus tours year round.

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You are also welcome to visit the University independently without any pre-arrangement.

Our online campus tour can also give you an excellent introduction to the University.

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Overseas visits

Meet with Sussex staff in your country at exhibitions, visits to schools and universities, and at a wide range of other events. Forthcoming visits are planned all over the world:

Bahrain • Brazil • Brunei • Canada • China • Colombia • France • Germany • Ghana • Greece • Hong Kong • India • Indonesia • Iraq • Italy • Japan • Kenya • Kuwait • Malaysia • Mexico • Nigeria • Norway • Pakistan • Qatar • Saudi Arabia • Singapore • South Korea • Spain • Sri Lanka • Taiwan • Thailand • Turkey • UAE • USA • Vietnam.

In-country representatives

In the International Office, we manage a network of overseas representatives who have been trained to support international students with their application to study at the University. Services representatives provide can include pre-departure information, support in submitting your housing application and advice regarding applying for a UK Student Visa.

Find out more about our overseas visits and in-country representatives

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