Please find below on this page the current list of our key reseach themes and key academic advisors, along with examples of PhD projects.
This PhD project list is illustrative, not exhaustive. All projects can be tailored to the interests of individual students. Self-funded shorter projects suitable for the 1-year MSc by research degree are also available. For further information please contact individual group members.
Applications for self-funded places can be considered at any time in the year. In all cases, a completed application is necessary for us to consider you for interview. The applications are submitted through the on-line forms linked from our Physics postgraduate admissions pages. Be sure to state clearly that you are interested in a place in the Astronomy and Astrophysics research group. This form might not be compatible with mobile-based operating systems or some old MacBooks; in these cases please use a shared PC (e.g. at a university or local library).
Key staff: Gänsicke, Marsh, Steeghs, Tremblay
Our main interest is the study of compact stellar remnants, both single and in interacting binaries. We pursue population studies using large surveys, precision studies with custom high-time resolution instruments as well as detailed theoretical modeling.
3D Model Atmospheres of White Dwarfs (Tremblay)
Observational Population Studies of White Dwarf Binaries (Gänsicke)
Accreting Neutron Stars and Black Holes (Steeghs)
Extra-solar Planetary Systems
Key staff: Armstrong, Bayliss, Brogi, Gänsicke, Pollacco, Tremblay, Veras, West, Wheatley
Our exoplanetary activities include observation, instrumentation and theory. We are actively engaged in detecting and characterising exoplanetary systems across the full spectrum of size (gas giant, ice giant, super-Earth, terrestrial, asteroidal, dust), time (formation & evolution, main-sequence, post-main-sequence) and host-star characteristics (M stars, G stars, white dwarfs, binaries). We study planetary atmospheres, composition, habitability and dynamics.
Discovery and characterisation of Neptunes and super-Earths with the Next Generation Transit Survey (Pollacco, West, Wheatley)
Discovery and characterisation of transiting exoplanets from K2 and TESS (Armstrong, Bayliss)
Exoplanet populations with TESS: searching for markers of planet migration and formation (Armstrong)
Composition and wind dynamics of hot Jupiter atmospheres using transmission spectroscopy (Wheatley, Brogi)
Characterising exoplanet atmospheres at high spectral resolution (Brogi)
X-ray irradiation and evaporation of close-in exoplanets (Wheatley)
Protoplanetary and Debris Disks
Key staff: Kennedy, Meru
Circumstellar disc observations and theory, transiting exocomets (Kennedy)
Hydrodynamical simulations of planets interacting with circumstellar disks (Meru)
Star Formation Across Cosmic Time
Key staff: Levan, Stanway
Understanding where and when galaxies formed the majority of their stars is key to understanding the processes of galaxy assembling, stripping and merging which have shaped them into the complex systems we see today. There are various approaches to this: through direct observation of young distant galaxies, through unravelling the history of today's systems, or through comparison to stellar population synthesis models.
Star formation in the early Universe (Stanway)
Modelling Distant Galaxies (Stanway)
Gamma-Ray Bursts & Transients
Key staff: Levan, Stanway, Steeghs
We have an interest in exotic and energetic transients where we chase the transients themselves as well as the host galaxies they occur in. Of particular interest are short gamma-ray bursts, tidal disruption events and electromagnetic counterparts to gravitational wave sources. For the latter, the group is leading the deployment of the GOTO robotic telescope.
The Nature of Short Duration Gamma-ray Bursts (Levan)
Host Galaxies of Cosmic Explosions (Levan & Stanway)
If you are interested in a PhD or MSc place in Astronomy at Warwick, and would like further information, please get directly in touch with the relevant staff member.
To make an application, please complete the on-line forms linked from our Physics postgraduate admissions pages. Be sure to state clearly that you are interested in a place in the Astronomy and Astrophysics research group. This form might not be compatible with mobile-based operating systems or some old MacBooks; in these cases please use a shared PC (e.g. at a university or local library).