Astronomy

Further your passion for astronomy and gain a better understanding of our Universe with distance learning courses from some of the world’s leading experts.

We offer an exciting distance-learning programme of University courses and degrees in Astronomy, Cosmology, Astrobiology and a wide range of other fascinating subjects. 

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I enjoyed the opportunity to learn about astronomy at degree level at my own pace from distance, whilst working full-time. The tutors were great, very knowledgeable and approachable.
Person in graduation cap and gown smiling
Slawomir Bucki
BSc (Hons) Astronomy

Why choose us?

  • We are ranked 1st for academic support and 6th for overall positivity in the UK in the National Student Survey 2023 (compared with unis in the Guardian University Guide).
  • We offer the UK’s first and only distance-learning single subject Astronomy degree, all taught by some of the world’s leading experts.
  • Study at your own pace – you can choose how many modules you study each year, and even take an optional weekend course at our Alston Observatory.
Sound interesting?

Get to know us

Get a feel for our campus and meet current students and staff at an Open Day. It's the perfect way to get a taste of university life.

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Alston Observatory
Alston Observatory

Course types 

Astronomy careers

Our courses enable exploration of passions and enhance careers with scientific skills. While many study the subject to indulge a personal interest, it’s also helped enhance professional prospects. For many of our graduates, this course has been a foundation to build upon with further study at postgraduate level. For example, one of our graduates went on to achieve a master’s degree before working on a PhD in Astronomy in South Africa.

Studying Astronomy could lead to a career as a:

  • Astronomer 
  • Astrophysicist
  • Aerospace researcher
  • Aerospace developer
  • Aeronautical engineer
  • Meteorologist
  • Climatologist
  • Physicist

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Explore the facilities

The Alston Observatory is the purpose-built teaching and public outreach facility of the Jeremiah Horrocks Institute including a teaching room with Discovery Dome planetarium system. Our centrepiece is the Moses Holden Telescope, a 70 cm diameter state-of-the-art robotic telescope used for both undergraduate teaching and to encourage public engagement in science. On-campus and distance learning students use its observations for final year projects

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Meet the team

Anne Sansom in a red blouse and glasses smiling
Dr Anne Sansom
Reader in Astrophysics
School of Engineering and Computing

Anne Sansom is a Reader in Astrophysics at the University of Central Lancashire. Since 1992 she has taught at UCLan on astronomy, mathematics and IT courses, both on-campus and distance learning, and is also an active researcher within the Jeremiah Horrocks Institute. Previously,…

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Professor Victor Debattista
Professor of Astrophysics
School of Engineering and Computing

Victor's research covers galaxy dynamics and formation using simulations and observations. He lectures on galaxies (as part of on-campus and distance learning provision). He is part of the MOONS collaboration, the Euclid collaboration, and serves on the UK Board of LSST. Alan sup…

Take the next step

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Study a degree at UCLan

Interested in studying a degree with us? From exploring accommodation to visiting us at an Open Day, find out everything you need to know about life at UCLan.

Common questions about studying Astronomy