Undergraduate 

Astronomy BSc/MSci

Space telescope

Astronomy is the study of the physical universe, from the Earth and the solar system to galaxies at the edge of the cosmos. Studying with us offers you a fundamental understanding of the way the universe works, brings you to the forefront of technology, and provides the opportunity to work with world-leading research groups. 

  • September start: session dates
  • This programme can only be taken as joint honours

Why study Astronomy?

  • Physics & Astronomy at Glasgow is ranked 2nd in Scotland and 12th in the UK (Complete University Guide 2020)
  • This degree programme is accredited by the Institute of Physics
  • Lectures are complemented by our observatory, planetarium and telescope facilities at our Garscube Campus
  • The school has two active societies - PhySoc and AstroSoc - run by students, for students 

Programme structure

Year 1

Core courses:

You will survey the observable universe on all scales: from planets through stars and galaxies to cosmology; and gain a basic understanding of the core theoretical and observational principles of modern astronomy. Typical topics include: dynamical and positional astronomy, observational astronomy, the solar system, the stars, compact objects, and galaxies and cosmology.

Year 2

Core courses:

You will study key aspects of astronomy and astrophysics in greater depth and undergo further training in the use of astronomical instrumentation and software. Typical topics include: theoretical astrophysics, observational astrophysics, stars and their spectra, and relativity and cosmology.

You will also study other subjects in years 1 and 2: see Flexible degrees.

Year 3

Core courses:

Year 4 

Core courses:

If you progress to Honours (years 3 and 4) Astronomy can only be taken as a Joint Honours degree with either Physics or Mathematics. In Honours your studies will include modern observational methods and you will undertake project work using advanced astronomical instrumentation and data analysis techniques. Your core courses will be supplemented by options enabling you to follow your particular areas of interest. All courses include training in transferable skills such as teamwork, presentation and technical writing.

There is an opportunity to take an MSci degree, which explores astronomy topics in greater depth and includes an individually supervised project working at the cutting edge of international research.

Programme alteration or discontinuation
The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Student contract.

Our international links

Our staff have strong international links across a wide range of research fields. Many of our staff play leading roles in major international research projects, such as NASA's Solar Orbiter mission and the worldwide collaboration searching for gravitational waves. You will have the opportunity to undertake part of your degree abroad.

Entry requirements

for entry in 2020

BSc/MSci

A-levels

  • Standard entry requirements: AAB guaranteed offer if additional requirements met.
  • Minimum entry requirements: BBB considered for offer if additional requirements met.
  • Additional requirements: Mathematics AND Physics A-levels at Grades A or B. Further Mathematics is also recommended to aid university preparation but will not affect an offer. We accept Mathematics and Further Mathematics as two different subjects. Applicants to joint degrees must meet the entry requirements of both subjects.

 

About A-level entry requirements

The Standard Academic Entry Requirements represent the grades at which any possible offer would be made. Students must also meet mandatory subject requirements and any non-academic entry requirements (interviews, auditions, aptitude tests).

The Minimum Academic Entry Requirements represent the minimum grades that the University will accept for entry to the degree programme. Students must also meet mandatory subject requirements and any non-academic entry requirements (interviews, auditions, aptitude tests).


Accepted Science subjects

Accepted Science subjects:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computing Science
  • Engineering Science
  • Environmental Science
  • Geography
  • Human Biology
  • Lifeskills Mathematics
  • Mathematics
  • Mathematics of Mechanics
  • Physics
  • Statistics

A-Level qualifications must be achieved at the first attempt.


Highers

  • S5 standard entry requirements: AAAA/AAABB guaranteed offer if additional requirements met.
  • S5 minimum entry requirements: ABBB to be considered for S6 offer.
  • S6 standard entry requirements: AAAAAB cumulative grade requirement for S6 offer holders.
  • Additional requirements: Entry from S5 requires Higher Mathematics AND Physics at Grades AB or BA. Entry from S6 requires a minimum of Grade B in both Mathematics AND Physics by the end of S5 PLUS Advanced Higher in EITHER Physics or Mathematics at Grade B. Applicants to joint degrees must meet the entry requirements of both subjects.

We adjust these entry requirements for eligible applicants who complete one of our widening participation pre-entry programmes: see Access Glasgow

  • Adjusted S5 standard entry requirements: AABB/ABBBB guaranteed offer if additional requirements met.
  • Adjusted S5 minimum entry requirements: No minimum at S5.
  • Adjusted S6 standard entry requirements: AABB/ABBBB cumulative grade requirement for S6 offer holders. Considered for offer at BBBB.
  • Adjusted additional requirements: Higher Mathematics AND Physics: both at Grade B. Applicants to joint degrees must meet the entry requirements of both subjects.
     
    Successful completion and grades in either the Top-Up Programme or Summer School.

About Higher entry requirements

SQA Highers

The S5 Standard Academic Entry Requirements represent the grades which, if attained in addition to successfully meeting mandatory subject requirements and any non-academic entry requirements (interviews, auditions, aptitude tests), will normally result in an offer being made. Students must achieve the standard entry requirements by the end of S5 (cumulative S4 and S5).

The S5 Minimum Academic Entry Requirements represent the minimum grades which an applicant must have obtained by the end of S5 (cumulative S4 and S5) in order for them to be considered for a conditional offer based on S6 results. Not all applicants who achieve the Minimum Academic Entry Requirements will be made an offer. This will depend on the number of applications we have received for a degree programme and the number of applicants who have met the Standard Academic Entry Requirements.

Where an applicant is made a conditional offer based on S6 results, the S6 Standard Academic Entry Requirements represent the cumulative grades that must be attained by the end of S6, in addition to meeting any mandatory subject and non-academic requirements. All degree programmes allow applicants to “double count” Highers and Advanced Highers in the same subject when calculating cumulative grades. A Grade B in an Advanced Higher will be regarded as another Grade A at Higher Level and a Grade C at Advanced Higher will be regarded as another Grade B at Higher Level. All degree programmes require grades in a minimum of four different subjects.

Advanced Highers

Advanced Highers are a qualification of increased importance to the University, which recognises that applicants with these qualifications find the transition to university easier and perform better in their university exams. Many of our degrees specify Advanced Highers as part of the S6 Entry Requirements.

If a school is unable to offer specific Advanced Higher subjects applicants will be made bespoke offers which will normally require the applicant to attain additional relevant Highers in S6.

Adjusted Entry Requirements

We adjust the Standard Academic Entry Requirements for eligible applicants who complete one of our widening participation pre-entry programmes. Criteria for eligibility include attending a Scottish target secondary school, living in a priority Scottish postcode area, current or previous experience of living in care or estrangement from family support.

For more information about your eligibility and our pre-entry programmes see: Access Glasgow.


Accepted Science subjects

Accepted Science subjects:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computing Science
  • Engineering Science
  • Environmental Science
  • Geography
  • Human Biology
  • Lifeskills Mathematics
  • Mathematics
  • Mathematics of Mechanics
  • Physics
  • Statistics

International

International Baccalaureate

  • Standard academic entry requirements: 36 points including three HL subjects at 6,6,5 guaranteed offer if additional requirements met.
  • Minimum academic entry requirements: 32 points including three HL subjects at 6,5,5 considered for offer if additional requirements met.
  • Additional requirements: Mathematics AND Physics: one at HL6 and the other HL6 or SL6. Applicants to joint degrees must meet the entry requirements of both subjects.

About International Baccalaureate entry requirements

The Standard Academic Entry Requirements represent the grades at which any possible offer would be made. Students must also meet mandatory subject requirements and any non-academic entry requirements (interviews, auditions, aptitude tests).

The Minimum Academic Entry Requirements represent the minimum grades that the University will accept for entry to the degree programme. Students must also meet mandatory subject requirements and any non-academic entry requirements (interviews, auditions, aptitude tests).


International Baccalureate qualifications must be achieved at the first attempt.

European qualifications

Accepted Science subjects

Accepted Science subjects:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computing Science
  • Engineering Science
  • Environmental Science
  • Geography
  • Human Biology
  • Lifeskills Mathematics
  • Mathematics
  • Mathematics of Mechanics
  • Physics
  • Statistics

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

English language requirements

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training):

  • overall score 6.5
  • no sub-test less than 6.0
  • or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification (see below)

Common equivalent English language qualifications:

  • ibTOEFL*: 90; no sub-test less than: Reading: 20; Listening: 19; Speaking: 19; Writing: 23
  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall: no sub-test less than 169
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 176 overall: no sub-test less than 169
  • PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59
  • IGCSE: English as a First Language (0500/0522): C in Reading and Writing, plus 1 in Listening, 2 in Speaking, where applicable. All four components (listening, writing, speaking, reading) must be examined and detailed on results slip
  • IGCSE: English as a Second Language (0510/0511): A in Reading and Writing, plus A in Listening, 2/B in Speaking, where applicable. All four components (listening, writing, speaking, reading) must be examined and detailed on results slip
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII at Distinction with Distinction in all sub-tests

* Please note that TOEFL is still acceptable for admission to this programme for both home/EU and international students.

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use TOEFL to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level courses. We therefore still accept TOEFL tests taken in the last two years for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses
The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:

FAQs

What do I do if...

my language qualifications are below the requirements?

The University's School of Modern Languages and Cultures offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.

my language qualifications are not listed here?

Please contact the Recruitment and International Office: kelly.fox@glasgow.ac.uk

If you require a Tier 4 student visa, your qualification must be one of the secure English language tests accepted by UK Border Agency:


Visa requirements and proof of English language level

It is a visa requirement to provide information on your level of English based on an internationally recognised and secure English language test. All test reports must be no more than 2 years old. A list of these can be found on the UK Border Agency website. If you have never taken one of these tests before, you can get an initial idea of your level by using the Common European Framework self-assessment grid which gives you a level for each skill (e.g. listening B1/writing B2 etc.) However, please note that this is not a secure English language test and it is not sufficient evidence of your level of English for visa requirements.

For further information about English language, please see School of Modern Languages and Cultures: English for Academic Study.


Career prospects

The scientific knowledge and mathematical and analytical skills you acquire will equip you to work across a wide range of industries. Many of our graduates choose to continue their studies for a higher degree such as an MSc or a PhD in a specialised area of astronomy, or a related subject, before entering the job market.

Accreditation

This degree programme is accredited by the Institute of Physics.

Degrees and UCAS codes

Astronomy can only be taken as a Joint Honours degree.

When applying you will need to know the UCAS code for the subject or subject-combination that you wish to apply to:

BSc (Hons)

  • Astronomy/Mathematics: FGM1
  • Astronomy/Physics: FF53

MSci

  • Astronomy/Mathematics: FG5D
  • Astronomy/Physics: FF5H

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

How and when you pay tuition fees depends on where you’re from: see Tuition fees for details.

Scholarships

The University is committed to supporting students and rewarding academic excellence. That's why we've invested more than £1m in additional scholarship funding in recent years.

College of Science and Engineering Deans' Award

The College of Science and Engineering is offering ten scholarships worth £10,000 each towards tuition fees for academically excellent students wishing to study an Undergraduate or Postgraduate Taught programme within the College’s programme portfolio.

More Information

Undergraduate Excellence Scholarship

The University of Glasgow has a total of 100 Undergraduate Excellence Scholarships available to new international students for 2020 entry. The scholarship is awarded as a tuition fee discount of £5,000 per year of study and is subject to satisfactory progress for consecutive years of study.  

More Information

RUK Access Bursary 2019 Entry

The bursary supports talented students who might not be able to take a place at University for reasons of financial hardship and  available to new entrant full-time undergraduate students of the University of Glasgow who are fully registered for Session 2019-20 as being domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and paying annual tuition fees of £9,250 per annum.

More Information

RUK Excellence Scholarship 2019

The RUK Excellence Scholarship of £1,000 for each year of study will be awarded to first degree entrants who have attained AAA or better in one sitting at A Level (or equivalent). 

More Information

James McCune Smith Scholarship

The University of Glasgow has 30 undergraduate scholarships available for students of African/African-Caribbean backgrounds. The scholarship supports students who could face financial difficulties taking up their place to study at the University. The value of the scholarship is £2,000, paid in instalments for one year of undergraduate study.

More Information

The Martin Niemöller Scholarship (College of Science and Engineering)

The German Speaking Congregation in Glasgow are pleased to offer one scholarship award of £500 for students originating from German speaking countries. The scholarship will support those students in need of financial support at any stage of their degree programme.

All students awarded a Martin Niemöller Scholarship will be asked to submit a short letter of thanks to the Development and Alumni Office for onward transmissions to the donors of the award.

More Information

Beaconhouse Schools

The University of Glasgow offer a 15% discount on the first year of tuition fee to students from Beaconhouse Schools and who enrol on an undergraduate programme at the University of Glasgow. The discount does not apply to Veterinary Medicine, Medicine and Dentistry programmes.

More Information

The scholarships above are specific to this programme. For more funding opportunities search the scholarships database

How to apply

Full-time students must apply through the Universities & Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). 

International students can also apply using The Common Application: however, if applying to more than one UK university, we recommend using UCAS.

Application deadlines

  • 15 October: if including Dentistry, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine or also applying to Oxford or Cambridge
  • 15 January: all other UK/EU applicants (unless otherwise stated on the UCAS website)
  • 30 June: international (non-EU) students

We do not usually accept any applications after these deadlines.

It's your responsibility to ensure the accuracy of your application before submission. Requests to correct application content, change degree programme or change college of entry, will not be accepted after these deadlines. This policy is in place to ensure fairness and consistency to all applicants, and no exceptions will be made.

ATAS: Academic Technology Approval Scheme

Please note that this programmes in this subject at Masters level require ATAS. If you require a visa to study in the UK then you will need to apply for an ATAS certificate before applying for your visa or extension of stay, allowing at least four weeks (20 working days) in order to obtain it.

The Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) was introduced on 1 November 2007. It is used to help stop the spread of knowledge and skills that could be used in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their means of delivery. This is in common with other governments around the world.

The ATAS is designed to ensure that people who are applying to study certain sensitive subjects in the UK do not have links to WMD programmes.


Apply via UCAS

90%

Astronomy/Physics students satisfied overall

Data published by Unistats, March 2019
accreditation star

PROFESSIONALLY ACCREDITED

study abroad plane

STUDY ABROAD