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School of Physics and Astronomy

PG Certificate in Astronomy and Astrophysics


The Postgraduate Certificate in Astronomy and Astrophysics programme at Queen Mary, University of London, provide a unique opportunity for graduates to pursue the subject in depth for 9 months, either for personal interest or as a first step towards a professional career in astronomy. The programme has been running since 1985 and around 80 certificates degrees have been awarded. Some students have gone on to complete the MSc, and even to do PhDs..

The programme at Queen Mary is unique in the UK in the scope of material covered. It gives students a detailed overview of the fundamentals of the subject as well as an up-to-date account of recent developments in research. The wide range of topics covered by the course reflects the breadth of research interests pursued by the members of staff in our large and friendly research group. Lectures cover such diverse topics as the origin of the universe, dark matter, dark energy, galaxies, radiation mechanisms in astrophysics, the life and death of stars, black holes, extrasolar planets, the solar system, space and solar plasma physics and research methods. 

Students who do sufficiently well in the examinations may be allowed to change their registration to Part-time MSc Astrophysics and proceed to its 2nd year.

Further detailed information is available in the QMUL taught programmes course finder, as well as the summary below.

Certificate Programme Structure

The Certificate programme, which starts in late September, is offered part-time over one year. 

Lectures & tutorials are given in two 11 week semesters on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons (lectures 14.00-16.00, tutorial 16.00-17.00) and evening (tutorial 18.00-18.30, lecture 18.30-19.25, lecture 19.35-20.30, tutorial 20.30-21.00). 

Certificate students are required to take four taught modules (one module typically comprises 22 hours of lectures and 11 hours of tutorial time) i.e. 2 of the 4 modules available each semester.

Certificate students may attend on any schedule - for example

  • all teaching on Tuesday and Thursday evenings    (suitable those in full-time employment)
  • all teaching on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons (suitable those in unavailable on evenings)
  • all teaching on Tuesdays (afternoon and evening) (suitable those who want to minimise travel)
  • all teaching on Thursdays (afternoon and evening) (suitable those who want to minimise travel)

Modules are chosen in consultation with the MSc Astrophysics Programme Director.

Entry requirements

Students wishing to take the Postgraduate Certificate in Astronomy and Astrophysics should normally have a degree in a subject with a substantial Mathematics and/or Physics content.

Fees &‚Äč funding

The course fees for the next session (the programme is classed as a 'lab-based course') are available at:

Certificate students pay the same fees as those on the 1st year of the Part-time M.Sc Astrophysics i.e 1/2 the fees for the full-time MSc

Students who are deemed to be taking an UK-based 'Equivalent or Lower Qualification' (ELQ - roughly a second taught degree of equal or lower level to the 1st - e.g who have already taken another MSc) may be liable to Higher fees.

Application procedure

Apply online via Taught Postgraduate Programmes - (which contains information about the supporting documentation required) 


School of Physics and Astronomy Postgraduate Certificate Admissions Tutor:

School of Physics and Astronomy Recruitment Officer: