The exploration of space has always captivated the human imagination, pushing the boundaries of our knowledge and technological capabilities.
The UK has renowned universities and institutions that are at the forefront of space research and education. From astrophysics to satellite engineering, these top space programmes equip students with the knowledge and skills to pursue exciting careers in the field. For aspiring scientists and engineers who dream of unravelling the mysteries of the cosmos, the United Kingdom offers a wealth of exceptional educational opportunities.
Learn below more about studying space courses in the UK or book a free consultation with SI-UK India today to begin your application.
Popular UK Universities for Studying Space Courses in the UK
Let's take a closer look at the programmes offered by some of the top institutions in the field of space science.
UCL is a world-renowned institution situated in the heart of London. The Department of Space and Climate Physics, also known as the Mullard Space Science Laboratory, boasts a rich history of groundbreaking space research and technological advancements. It provides a vibrant environment for students to delve into space science and engineering. Since the late 1950s, the department's staff have been actively involved in designing, building, and operating space instruments for a diverse array of major missions, thereby making significant contributions to the field of space science.
The department maintains strong connections with space agencies like ESA and NASA, as well as industrial research teams. This fosters the development of transferable skills that enhance job prospects in academia and other sectors.
- Faculty: University College London (UCL) - Department of Space and Climate Physics
- Suggested course: MSc in Space Science and Engineering
- Duration: 1 year (full-time)
- International fees: £38,300
Set in the historic city of Edinburgh, the university is renowned for its academic reputation and picturesque surroundings. The School of Physics and Astronomy is at the forefront of space research, offering programmes that cover a wide range of astrophysics and cosmology topics, attracting students from all over the world.
The School of Physics and Astronomy maintains strong connections with the prestigious Royal Observatory, Edinburgh, which serves as a prominent hub for astronomical research in the UK.
- Faculty: University of Edinburgh, School of Physics and Astronomy
- Suggested course: MPhys Astrophysics
- Duration: 5 years (full-time)
- International fees: £32,200 per year
The University of Southampton holds a prominent position as one of the leading institutions for physics and astronomy. Ranked 7th in the UK for physics and astronomy, the university has established a strong reputation in these fields. With state-of-the-art facilities, key industry partnerships, and a vibrant research community, it offers an exceptional environment for students and researchers alike.
The university's focus on astronomy, quantum physics, light and matter, and theoretical particle physics has earned it widespread recognition. Through significant investments in research groups and cutting-edge equipment, Southampton maintains its status as a global leader in the fields of physics and astronomy. Students benefit from the expertise of dedicated faculty members who are actively engaged in impactful research and industry collaborations. This ensures that students receive the most up-to-date knowledge and practical skills required to excel in their chosen fields.
- Faculty: University of Southampton, School of Physics and Astronomy
- Suggested course: MPhys in Physics with Space Science
- Duration: 4 years (full-time)
- International fees: £25,000 per year
Located in the historic city of Oxford, the university is one of the oldest and most prestigious institutions in the world.
It is home to a vibrant community of researchers, including world-renowned scientists, engineers, and academics. With its rich history and pioneering research, the department has been at the forefront of groundbreaking discoveries and technological advancements in various fields of physics, including astrophysics, quantum physics, and particle physics.
The department's state-of-the-art facilities and collaborative research environment provide students with unparalleled opportunities to engage in cutting-edge research projects and gain practical experience in the field. The department collaborates with organisations like the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Southern Observatory (ESO).
- Faculty: University of Oxford, Department of Physics
- Suggested course: MPhys in Physics with Astrophysics
- Duration: 4 years (full-time)
- International fees: £44,240 per year
Situated in the picturesque city of Cambridge, the university is synonymous with academic excellence and groundbreaking discoveries. The Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP) offers various programmes in astrophysics, theoretical physics, and cosmology and is a leading hub for research in astrophysics and cosmology, attracting brilliant minds from around the globe. The university also hosts the Institute of Astronomy, which conducts cutting-edge research.
The Natural Sciences Tripos, Part II Astrophysics course covers a wide range of topics related to astrophysics, including theoretical physics, cosmology, and astrophysical phenomena. This provides students with a solid foundation in key concepts and theories relevant to the study of space.
For students who wish to pursue postgraduate studies after completing their undergraduate degree, Cambridge University does offer various Master's and research-based programmes in the field of astrophysics, including the MPhil in Astronomy and a PhD in Astrophysics.
- Faculty: University of Cambridge, Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics
- Suggested course: Natural Sciences Tripos, Part II Astrophysics
- Duration: 3-4 years (full-time)
- International fees: £37,293 per year
Established in 1921, the University of Leicester has established itself as one of the most prestigious institutions globally. Set in the East Midlands, Leicester happens to be one of the UK’s fastest-growing universities. Revered for its research, Leicester emerged more prominently on the global scene when its Archaeological department discovered the remains of King Richard III.
Ranking 35th globally (as per the Guardian and Times Higher Education in 2023), the university emphasises equipping students who wish to pursue a specialised knowledge of space sciences and physics with the required skill set. With an excellent faculty and one of the largest campus-based space research centres in Europe, the University of Leicester allows and encourages students to reach their highest potential.
For students interested in space sciences, the University of Leicester provides specialised undergraduate (BPhys) and postgraduate (MPhys) programmes where they will be required to do intensive research in the fields of space science and technology.
- Faculty: University of Leicester- School of Physics and Astronomy
- Suggested course: Physics with Space Science (MPhys)
- Duration: 4 Years
- International fees: £22,600
Ranked 7th in the UK by the Guardian University Guide, the University of Bath has established itself as one of the best universities in the fields of engineering, physical sciences, mathematics and technology. In addition to that, the university has one of the highest rates of employment in the country. Receiving its Royal Charter in 1966 and being one of the top 10 universities in the UK, the University of Bath has built a strong reputation for itself, especially in terms of teaching and research.
The university prepares its students for real-world situations and workplace culture. University of Bath’s space course in Electronic Engineering with Space Science and Technology equips students with the necessary skills and capital required to design and build systems and platforms for the hostile environment of space. The university lays special emphasis on the most recent theories regarding spacecraft engineering, earth observation, space electronics and space environment and weather.
- Faculty: University of Bath- Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering
- Suggested course: Electronic Engineering with Space Science and Technology (MEng Hons)
- Duration: 4 years
- International fees: £26,200
While being a relatively new university in comparison to others on the list, the University of Hertfordshire continues to be one of the top 100 universities in the world under 50 years old. The university has received popularity for its research and is one of the few UK High Education Institutes to receive a ‘European Commission HR Excellence in Research’.
Students wanting to pursue higher education in space sciences from the University of Hertfordshire will have complete access to top-notch facilities and equipment, such as flight simulators, industry-level CAE software packages, and wind tunnels. In addition to that, the university has strong relations with brands such as Rolls Royce, Thales and MBDA, ensuring great exposure.
Experts at the University of Hertfordshire aim to equip their students with theoretical as well as practical knowledge regarding relevant fields, technologies and analytical tools to enable creativity and innovation in the field of spacecraft and aeronautics.
- Faculty: University of Hertfordshire- School of Physics, Engineering and Computer Science
- Suggested course: MSc Aerospace Engineering
- Duration: 1 Year
- International fees: £15,450
The University of Kent has been ranked among the top 50 universities in the UK by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide and is part of the 1% of top global institutions to gain ‘Triple Crown’ accreditation.
Through its award-winning career support programme, the university provides a vast array of employment initiatives, including internships, volunteer opportunities, careers and employability advisory services.
The University of Kent’s research facilities include Beacon Observatory, where the students have access to fully automated systems with optical and radio telescope capability. Ranging from the fundamentals to advanced topics, the faculty at the University of Kent believes in providing a diverse skill set and knowledge to the students.
- Faculty: University of Kent- School of Physical Sciences
- Suggested course: MPhys Astronomy, Space Science and Astrophysics
- Duration: 4 Years
- International fees: £21,200
One of the oldest university-level institutions in the country, King’s College London has stood strong since 1829. It is ranked among the top 10 universities in the world and has 14 Nobel Prize laureates among its alumni and its former and current faculty. King’s College London has played a massive role in various discoveries that have contributed to major breakthroughs, such as the discovery of DNA structure.
King’s College London happens to be the largest centre for the education of doctors, dentists and other healthcare experts in Europe. Due to its strong reputation, studying in this institution can open up a large number of opportunities and provide massive exposure as well as career options.
Pursuing a degree in Physics with Astrophysics and Cosmology from King’s College London can allow access to a huge range of opportunities. The course is heavily research-oriented, which will allow students to understand and explore the fundamentals as well as advanced topics regarding astrophysics and cosmology. Through their rigorous curriculum and world-renowned faculty, King’s College London helps students in gaining insight into the field.
- Faculty: King’s College London- Physics with Astrophysics and Cosmology MSci
- Suggested course: Physics with Astrophysics and Cosmology MSci
- Duration: 4 Years
- International fees: £31,260
Study Space Courses in the UK
Space Course FAQ
Which degree is best for space science?
The best degree for space science is typically a degree in astrophysics or astronomy, which provides a solid foundation in physics and specialised knowledge in areas like planetary science and space exploration. This includes courses like MAst, MSc Space Science, MPhys in Physics with Astrophysics and other such courses.
How do I become a space scientist in the UK?
To become a space scientist in the UK, you should pursue a bachelor's degree in a relevant field, gain research experience, consider a master's degree for specialisation, pursue a PhD for advanced research, network, and gain practical experience through internships or research positions.
Which course is best for space?
The best courses for space science include astrophysics, planetary science, space physics, and remote sensing, which cover topics such as stellar astrophysics, planetary geology, space weather, and data analysis.
Where can I study astronomy in the UK?
Universities in the UK where you can study astronomy include Edinburgh, Southampton, St Andrews, Glasgow, Manchester, Cambridge, Oxford and University College London, among others.
How do I start a career in space?
To start a career in space, you must obtain a relevant degree, gain practical experience through internships or research, and specialise in advanced degrees if needed. Networking within the industry and staying updated on the latest advancements and opportunities in the field is also recommended.