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Education in astronomy and astrophysics

The Division of Astrophyics is now a part of the Department of Physics. The astronomy researchers here at the division focus much of their attention on the stars and planets of our Galaxy, but also pursue other interests as described on the Research pages.

Bachelor programme

Once you decide to join us, to study astronomy and hopefully pursue a career as an astronomer, you start by enrolling to the Bachelor programme in astronomy and astrophysics. After three years of studies you will have gained the tools that you need to understand both physics and astronomy, and you will be rewarded with a Bachelor of Science degree.

Master programme

If you have already received (or are about to receive) your Bachelor degree, you can apply for entry into our Master programme in astrophysics. The Master programme takes two years and includes both courses and thesis work. With a Master of Science degree from Lund University you are fully qualified and ready to apply for a PhD position either here or at other institutions.

Simulated image of Earth as seen from space.

Postgraduate studies

The Division of Astrophysics offers a postgraduate programme in Astronomy and Astrophysics, equivalent to four years of full-time studies (240 credits or ECTS). The programme consists of courses (60 credits) and thesis work (equivalent to 180 credits). The thesis work could be in any of the research areas currently represented at the Observatory. After having successfully completed the programme the student receives the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at Lund University.

Postgraduate studies are a vital part of the Department's research activities. The PhD students work in close collaboration with their supervisors and colleagues in small research groups, which very often are parts of much larger international collaborations. Travels to conferences and visits to other institutes or observatories are natural ingredients of the education. Many of our postgraduate students continue their academic careers, after completing their PhDs, as postdocs at astronomical institutes abroad.


Briefly, to be eligible for PhD studies in Astronomy and Astrophysics the student should either have a degree at advanced (MSc) level, or four years (240 credits) of university studies including one year at advanced level, or the corresponding knowledge gained within or outside Sweden. The studies should include physics, mathematics, and/or the corresponding technical subjects as essential ingredients, as well as a degree project of at least 30 credits.


Admission to PhD studies requires that adequate financing exists for the student's salary (or similar) during the whole four-year period. Normally PhD positions are financed directly by the Department or by an external grant to the Department, e.g., from EU's Marie Curie programme or a Swedish funding agency. Once a student has been admitted to PhD studies, he or she receives a monthly scholarship or salary that is usually more than sufficient to cover the living expenses in Lund. PhD positions are only advertised when the relevant funding is available within the Department.

Openings for PhD studies in Astronomy and Astrophysics are advertised in our calendar, on the Faculty of Science page for vacant positions and on the Lund University page for vacancies.  We do not accept emailed applications. Typically about two such positions are advertised each year. There are no fixed dates at which the advertisements are posted, but it will always be at least three weeks before the deadline for applications.

Information about Postgraduate studies

Thomas Bensby
046 - 222 7324
tbensby [at] astro [dot] lu [dot] se

Lund Observatory building. Photo: Florent Renaud
Lund Observatory at dawn. Photo: Florent Renaud.