PhD Studentships and Postgraduate Study

The Jeremiah Horrocks Institute is pleased to announce the availability of a number of new STFC- and University-funded PhD Studentships, as well as opportunities to study for the degree of MSc by research. Applications are now invited for the October 2019 postgraduate intake. This year we have 2 STFC funded PhD studentships for Astronomy and 1 internally funded studentship for Physics, which can be chosen from any of the projects below. All of the projects below are also available for both self-funded PhD  and MSc studentships.

Last year, we introduced the first Moses Holden Studentship, in memory of one of our Founders in 1828, Moses Holden, funded by a donation that has set up the Moses Holden Studentship Fund, from Mr Patrick Holden, his great great great great grandson. Moses was a keen Astronomer, who gave public lectures in Astronomy in Preston and across the North of England and the Midlands throughout the 19th Century.

Projects will be allocated from among the following areas, depending on funding levels available and the preferences of those students ranked highest on the list of applicants. Ranking will be carried out by JHI staff based on application forms, references, and interviews of short-listed candidates.

These projects are suggested opportunities offered up by JHI staff (and they may be appropriate either for a PhD or for an MSc by research. If you would like more details or would like to discuss something else related to their field of study, then please contact them directly for MSc by research or PhD oppertunities.


The following projects are currently available:


The Mathematics group encourage prospective students who are interested in looking for a PhD project here at UClan to contact the following people for more information:


The following projects are currently available:

These projects are suggested opportunities offered by JHI staff. If you would like more details or would like to discuss something else related to their field of study, then please contact us directly.

Partially or fully-self-funded full-time or part-time students will also be considered. We are targeting enthusiastic and self-motivated students interested in joining one of the UK’s most rapidly growing astrophysical research groups. If you are interested in joining the Institute, please contact Professor Derek Ward-Thompson ( or Prof. Cristina C. Popescu (

Application forms and guidance notes

Applications forms are available from the UCLan Graduate Research School office.


  • please indicate in the application whether you are applying for one of our studentships or whether you are partially or fully funded;
  • in the application, you do not need to write a project outline in Sec 8, however if you are interested in a specific project or area of research please state which one.

Important Information for postgraduate studies

The new government postgraduate loan scheme ( can be used to cover the cost of postgraduate research tuition fees at UK/EU rates (£4,195 2017/18 rates) and bench fees (£1,000). If required and successfully secured, this means that the remainder of the full £10,000 loan (£4,805) may be taken and used to support maintenance costs. Applicants not eligible for the government loan may also apply but need to be able to self-fund all the associated project costs and their expenses. For international students this includes tuition fees above the UK/EU rate.

Candidates would be expected to hold a good Physics degree that has included an experimental final year project. Candidates with an appropriate physics-related or relevant Medical Engineering degree will also be considered.


The Jeremiah Horrocks Institute is located on UCLan‘s Preston campus, just five minutes north of the city centre. The Institute plays a leadership role in steering the University’s High-Performance Computational Science Facility, the centrepiece of which is a 512-node Sun HPC cluster. UCLan is a full partner in the UK’s National Cosmology Supercomputer Consortium – COSMOS – and a partner in the Southern African Large Telescope, the largest aperture telescope in the southern hemisphere. We are also involved in current and future space missions such as Herschel, Kepler, GALEX, SPICA and Solar Dynamics Observatory.

In 2010’s Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey, UCLan was rated as having the best student experience of all universities in North West England, and also best of all the UK’s modern universities.

Preston has numerous theatres, cinemas, pubs, clubs, and shops, and was England’s first wireless city. It is also one of the most cost-effective places to live in the country. In a recent survey of graduate satisfaction by the Royal Bank of Scotland, graduates gave Preston a 69% rating – fourth in the country and better than Liverpool, Edinburgh, Manchester or London! Just beyond the city lies the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and to the west are the seaside resorts of Blackpool, Lytham St Annes and Southport. Further afield the Lake District and Peak District National Parks are within an hour’s drive, as are the other regional centres of Liverpool and Manchester.

Preston lies on the West Coast Main Line, and is only two hours from London by train.

Further information

For further information on the Institute see

For Preston information, see

Enquiries to Professor Derek Ward-Thompson, Head of Jeremiah Horrocks Institute (, 01772 893569) or Prof. Cristina C. Popescu, Research Degrees Tutor (, 01772 893551).