Research degrees
Research areas
Extragalactic astronomy

Extragalactic astronomy

Qualifications Duration Start dates Application period
(MPhil also available)
Full time: 3–4 years
Part time: 6–8 years
February and October January to April
PhD (MPhil also available)
Full time: 3–4 years
Part time: 6–8 years
Start dates
February and October
Application period
January to April

Cosmology and extragalactic astronomy at the OU focuses on star-forming galaxies, active galaxies and strong gravitational lensing, addressing fundamental questions about the evolution of galaxies and their dark matter haloes and AGN jets. We have a strong record of promoting the visibility of our research students in major international consortia. We have leading roles in several ongoing and next-generation surveys and missions, including Euclid, SPICA, LOFAR and the Athena X-ray Observatory.

We also have leadership roles in many major international legacy surveys on ground-based and space-based observatories, including Herschel, LOFAR, JCMT, eMerlin, AKARI and other telescopes, as well as being members of the UK Large Synoptic Survey Telescope consortium, user-shareholders in the 11-metre Southern African Large Telescope, and co-Is on Planck.. We are involved in planning for next-generation instruments and observatories. The research group is part of the Astronomy Discipline at the OU; Astronomy is one of four discipline areas in the department, supported by the Faculty laboratory and computing infrastructure.

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 undergraduate degree (or equivalent). If you are not a UK citizen, you may need to prove your knowledge of English.

Potential research projects

  • Properties of extragalactic jets and their interactions with host galaxies
  • Strong gravitational lensing and galaxy evolution
  • Star formation and feedback in nearby galaxies 

Please also see further opportunities.

Potential supervisors

Fees and funding

UK fee International fee
Full time: £4,786 per year Full time: £15,698 per year
Part time: £2,393 per year Part time: £7,849 per year

Some of our research students are funded via the UKRI Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Doctoral Training Partnership; others are self-funded.

For detailed information about fees and funding, visit Fees and studentships.

To see current funded studentship vacancies across all research areas, see Current studentships.


Southern African Large Telescope

How to apply

Get in touch

If you have an enquiry specific to this research topic, please contact:

Administrative support

Phone: +44 (0)1908 653796

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If you’re interested in applying for this research topic, please take a look at the application process.