Key Programme Information
Mathematics and Physics
The major research themes in the Astrophysics Research Centre (ARC) at Queen's focus on the dynamic universe. Time domain studies illustrate the universe is an evolving and exciting laboratory in which 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. ARC'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 are underpinned by the development of theoretical models such as astrochemistry models of star-forming discs and exoplanets, supernova physics, energy transport in the sun, stellar atmospheres, and atomic physics.
We lead major European consortia within, for example, the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and these programmes are supported by external grant funding of over £10m (in the last four years), including major UK STFC, Royal Society, and EU grants.
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 ESO and the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
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. The following postgraduate research study routes for this subject area are: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Master of Philosophy (MPhil)
The minimum academic requirement for admission to a research degree programme is normally an Upper Second Class Honours degree from a UK or ROI HE provider, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. Further information can be obtained by contacting the School.
Mode of study/Duration
Registration is on a full-time or part-time basis, under the direction of a supervisory team appointed by the University. You will be expected to submit your thesis at the end of three years of full-time registration for PhD, or two years for MPhil/MD (or part-time equivalent).
English Language Requirements
International students (where English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes. Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.0, with not less than 5.5 in any component (*taken within the last 2 years) is required. For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: go.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this programme, our partner INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability to entry to this programme.
Please click the links below for more information:
English for University Study - an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level.
Pre-sessional English - a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.
FEES AND FUNDING
For fees, funding and further information see: go.qub.ac.uk/pgstudy
How To Apply
Applicants for Postgraduate programmes are strongly advised to carefully read the important information and follow the steps set out here before submitting their application via the Postgraduate Direct Applications Portal.
If you have queries on course content please contact the school representative below.
Professor SJ Smartt
Astrophysics Research Centre School of Mathematics and Physics
Tel: 9097 1245
Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes alongside sterling integration with business experts helps our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.
- ARC is a leading partner in facilities to discovery exoplanets (SuperWASP, HARPS-N and the Next Generation Transit Survey) and in the Pan-STARRS programme to identify moving and explosive phenomena.
- ARC built and runs a state-of-the-art, high-speed solar imager, called ROSA. We lead the development of a first light camera for the world's largest solar telescope under construction in Hawaii (the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope).
- ARC is involved in the development of world-class astronomical facilities and exploits the UK's access to ESO and ESA facilities. We are leading members of the UK consortium joining the future Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, the Pan-STARRS survey, and are members of the EUCLID and European Extremely Large Telescope science and project teams.
Last updated 03.11.15
Fees & Funding
There is a range of funding and scholarship options available to those considering study at Queen's.
For tuition fee information see //www.qub.ac.uk/Study/PostgraduateStudy/TuitionFees/
PhD Funded Studentships
We offer fully funded studentships to outstanding postgraduate researchers across our three faculties and five Doctoral Training Centres. Find PhD funding opportunities.