Astronomy is the study of the physical universe, from the Earth and the solar system to galaxies at the edge of the cosmos.
Astronomy lectures are complemented by our observatory, planetarium and telescope facilities. We have close links with the Glasgow Science Centre, home to one of the UK’s best planetariums.
- September start
- This programme can only be taken as joint honours
- Glasgow: main campus
- Joint degree options
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.
You will study key aspects of astronomy and astrophysics in greater depth and undergo further training in the use of optical and radio telescopes. 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.
Years 3, 4 and 5
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 the Large Hadron Collider at CERN and the worldwide collaboration searching for gravitational waves. You will have the opportunity to undertake part of your degree abroad.
for entry in 2019
About entry requirements
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 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.
A-levels and International Baccalaureate
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).
BSc (Hons), MSci
- Standard academic entry requirements: AAB.
- Minimum academic entry requirements: BBB.
- Other mandatory requirements: Mathematics and Physics A-levels at Grades A or B.
- Standard S5 academic entry requirements: AAAA/AAABB.
- Minimum S5 academic entry requirements: ABBB.
- Standard S6 academic entry requirements: AAAAAB.
- Other mandatory requirements: Highers in two Science subjects. 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.
We adjust these entry requirements for eligible applicants who complete one of our widening participation pre-entry programmes: see Access Glasgow.
- Adjusted S5 academic entry requirements: AABB/ABBBB.
- Adjusted S6 academic entry requirements: AABB-BBBBB.
- Adjusted mandatory requirements: Highers in two Science subjects. Higher Mathematics and Physics: both at Grade B.
- Standard academic entry requirements: 36 points including three HL subjects at 6,6,5
- Minimum academic entry requirements: 32 points including three HL subjects at 6,5,5
- Other mandatory requirements: Minimum of two relevant Science subjects at HL: SL6 will be considered for one. Mathematics and Physics: one at HL6 and the other HL6 or SL6.
Typical entry requirements for European qualifications: European requirements: Arts, Science, Engineering, Accountancy, Social Sciences [pdf]
Accepted Science subjects
Accepted Science subjects:
- Computing Science
- Engineering Science
- Environmental Science
- Human Biology
- Lifeskills Mathematics
- Mathematics of Mechanics
Please note: all A-Level, International Baccalaureate, and other EU entry requirements must be achieved in first sitting.
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.
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:
- School of Modern Languages and Cultures: English for Academic Study
- BALEAP guide to accredited courses
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: Elaine.Shortt@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:
- UK Border Agency Tier 4 English Language requirements
- UKBA list of approved English language tests [pdf]
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.
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.
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:
Fees and funding
How and when you pay tuition fees depends on where you’re from: see 2019/20 Tuition fees for details.
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
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
African Excellence Scholarship (IE Abroad)
The University of Glasgow is offering 1 exclusive scholarship to students from either South Africa or Zimbabwe who have been supported in their application by our representative in these countries – IE Abroad. The scholarship is available to students entering any of the University’s Colleges to undertake an undergraduate programme excluding Medicine or Dentistry.More Information
Undergraduate Excellence Scholarship
The University of Glasgow has a total of 100 Undergraduate Excellence Scholarships available to new international students for 2019 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
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
If you’re seeking full-time study you must apply through the Universities & Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).
The deadlines for applications to Medicine, Vet Medicine and Dentistry is 15 October each year. The deadline for applications to all other degree programmes is 15 January each year.
The University of Glasgow does not usually accept any applications after these UCAS deadlines. It is the applicants' responsibility to ensure the accuracy of their application prior to submission, and requests from applicants to correct erroneous application content, change degree programme or change college of entry, will not be accepted after these UCAS deadlines. This policy is in place to ensure fairness and consistency to all applicants, and no exceptions will be made.
- 15 October: if including Dentistry, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine or 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.
Apply at www.ucas.com or through your school or college.
Contact UCAS on 0871 468 0468.
UCAS tariff points
The University does not frame its offers in terms of UCAS tariff points.
How soon will I receive a decision?
We will usually respond before the end of March.
If your qualifications meet our requirements and we believe you could benefit from study at Glasgow, you will receive an unconditional offer.
If you haven’t yet gained the necessary passes for entry to your chosen subject(s), we may look at the qualifications you are taking when you apply and make you a conditional offer.
Will I be interviewed?
An interview will be part of the selection process for: Community Development, Dentistry, History of Art & Art-world Practice, Medicine, Music, Nursing, Teaching, and Veterinary Medicine & Surgery. You may also be interviewed if you’re applying for entry into Year 2 in any subject.
Is deferred entry available?
For Dentistry, Nursing and Veterinary Medicine programmes we are unable to consider applications for deferred entry. In other cases deferring may be possible but it’s not granted automatically.
Transfers from another University to the University of Glasgow will only be considered under the following circumstances:
- The applicant has a genuine personal circumstance (illness, bereavement or other family situation) which requires the student to move back to their home town to be closer to family; AND
- The applicant would have met the University of Glasgow entrance requirements at the time he/she went to the other institution. In exceptional circumstances, a student may be admitted if he/she was marginally below the University of Glasgow entrance requirements, and they have performed above average at the other institution.
We want to help talented applicants from all backgrounds to study at Glasgow. See our range of widening access pre-entry programmes at Widening Participation.
Apply at www.ucas.com or through your school or college.
Contact UCAS on 0871 468 0468.
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.
- more information about the scheme and ATAS certificate (Foreign & Commonwealth Office website).
Physics and Astronomy students thought the course was intellectually stimulating