The theme is active in several research areas, specialising in cosmology, the formation of clusters and galaxies, active galaxies, high-energy astrophysical processes and the formation of extrasolar planets. Observational work in the theme uses large ground-based and satellite telescopes from the radio to the X-ray bands, whilst our theoretical work is tied closely to the interpretation of these data.

Composition of exoplanet atmosphere

Simulated collision between planets

Hydrogen-Alpha imaging of nebula

Theme Lead

Dr Zoë Leinhardt

Coldrick Observatory

The most visible sign of the research carried out by the theme is the Coldrick Observatory on the roof of the School of Physics, which includes an impressive six-metre radio telescope. Find out more about this facility here.

Postgraduate opportunities

The theme has a thriving programme for research masters degrees for self-funded students and a wide range of PhD opportunties on offer. Find out more about the postgraduate opportunties we offer as well as information on funding and studentships here.


The theme is heavily involved in the postgraduate and undergraduate teaching of the School. The theme runs a number of undergraduate courses associated with degree programmes in Physics with Astrophysics, and holds a continuing series of research seminars for postgraduate students and staff.

To find out more about the Group and our research, as well as opportunities to join us through postgraduate studentships or research fellowships, please use the links on the left.

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