12 months
21100 GBP/year
9400 GBP/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


The Planetary Sciences programme of the University of Aberdeen has been designed to address the skills and knowledge gap in the field of planetary exploration and research.


At a Glance

Planned and delivered by the ground-breaking planetary sciences team, the Planetary Sciences programme of the University of Aberdeen provides an informed understanding of planetary atmospheres and landforms, space environment, remote sensing, data analysis, astrobiology and space systems engineering and instrumentation, giving students with a springboard for a career in the rapidly expanding space sector.

We live in a time of unprecedented investment and collaboration in space exploration led by the ‘big six’ space agencies – NASA, ESA, Roscosmos, CNSA, ISRO and JAXA – and an ever-growing list of national space agencies and private companies such as SpaceX, Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin, who are keen to compete in the rapidly expanding spaceflight sector.

The ambitious plans for the following decades include sending humans back to the moon, establishing a colony on Marrs, searching for life near Saturn, sending missions to probe the metalcore of a dead planet, and exploring the hidden ocean on Jupiter's moon Europa.

These plans pose significant scientific and technological challenges which can only be overcome through an interdisciplinary approach. This MSc, therefore, draws on the diverse expertise and experience of the planetary sciences team at the University of Aberdeen to provide you with a detailed understanding of the pioneering research and technological developments that will guide the future development of space exploration.

You will begin from the observation and exploration of Earth to other objects of the solar system such as the Moon, Mars and exoplanets, to understand the critical steps of formation of these objects, including the physics of atmospheres, magnetic fields, geomorphology of the surface, isotopic differentiation and the formation of habitable environments before moving on to focus on developing the key technical research skills needed for deep space exploration.

Our aim, therefore, is to educate, to an advanced specialist level, a new generation of geologists, physicists, chemists, biologists and engineers of all disciplines.

The interdisciplinary training included in this programme will provide you with the skills to tackle other problems outside of space exploration, such as instrument design, geology, microbiology and environmental sciences, planetary sciences and data analysis in remote sensing.

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Comparative Planetology and the Atmosphere of Earth
  • Basics of Remote Sensing and Geospatial Analysis
  • Spectroscopy, Radiative Transfer and Retrieval
  • Instrumentation for Planetary Exploration
  • Space Weather and Radiation
  • Earth and Planetary Surface and Internal Processes

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 12 months
  • Part-time
    • 24 months

Start dates & application deadlines


180 alternative credits


On Campus

Academic requirements

GPA admission requirements GPA
Upper Second Class

Other requirements

General requirements

  • 2:1 (upper second class) UK Honours degree, or an Honours degree from a non-UK institution which is judged by the University to be of equivalent worth, in Geosciences, Physical Sciences, Life Sciences or Engineering.
  • Degree Transcript: a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
  • Personal Statement: a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme

Tuition Fee

To alway see correct tuition fees
  • International

    21100 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 21100 GBP per year during 12 months.
  • National

    9400 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 9400 GBP per year during 12 months.

Living costs for Aberdeen

729 - 1069 GBP /month
Living costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

Our partners

Planetary Sciences
University of Aberdeen


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