Current students

This page is set up to provide information for current astrophysics graduate students.

The Director of Graduate Studies for astrophysics is Garret Cotter (, and for physics overall is Mandy Cooper-Sarkar. Jocelyn Bell Burnell acts as 'ombudsman' for graduate students who want to discuss matters that they do not wish to raise with their supervisor.

For much of the time, you will be concentrating on a relatively narrowly-focussed research project, but it is very important that you have knowledge of broader issues in astrophysics too. As part of your training as a research students there are a number of activities that you must undertake. These include attendance at the weekly Astrophysics colloquia (generally held on Monday afternoons during term), other seminars or journal clubs as directed by your supervisor and the astrophysics graduate course for 1st year students (more information here). During your course of study, you will be asked to write reports at the end of your 1st and 2nd years describing the work that you have carried out and your plans for the remainder of your course. Two independent staff members will discuss the report with you and report to the astrophysics graduate committee. Progression from a Probationary research student to a D.Phil student is contingent on satisfactory progress. Here are links to more information

Information on requirements for your thesis can also be found on these web pages, for example guidance and submission of theses is available at , and many other forms for requests for extensions of time, changes of titles, supervisors etc. You should ensure that you complete the necessary forms several weeks ahead of your anticipated viva date. ORA (Oxford University Research Archive) have produced a flyer 'The digital copy of your thesis' which provides a brief summary of the main issues surrounding digital theses of which research students should be aware.

Students who have not covered much astrophysics in their undergraduate course may need to attend the 4th year astrophysics courses.

We have limited funds to support travel for observing, conferences and other academic purposes. We have set aside departmental funding to support students for essential observing trips. We also provide funds for attendance at conferences and the UK National Astronomy Meeting. Note that you are strongly encouraged to seek additional funding from other bodies, including your college.

There are also opportunities within the physics department for skills training and for teaching. You should discuss any plans to do these with your supervisor.