South Africa is one of the best places in the world to study astronomy, and there are many postgraduate programmes, bursaries and scholarships available to prospective postgraduate students interested in taking their studies further.

Postgraduate Study

The National Astrophysics & Space Science Programme (NASSP) is a cooperative, combined graduate programme run by the South African astronomical community, funded by the NRF, and hosted at three nodes, the University of Cape Town, North West University and the University of KwaZulu-Natal. It currently offers Honours (1 or 2 years) and Masters Programmes (2 years) in astronomy, astrophysics and space science. Students are supervised by scientists from South African universities and specialist astronomy research institutions including the SAAO and the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO).

More about the NASSP

2025 MSc and PhD Research Opportunities at SAAO

Details of how to apply for bursaries and of projects on offer are described on the projects page.

SALT Scholarships and Visits

The SALT scholarship programme offers research visits and scholarships at SALT’s international partner institutions to students and early-career researchers.

More about the SALT Scholarships and Visits

Introductory Astronomy Course

The University of Central Lancashire, as a SALT partner institution, offers an introductory distance learning course in astronomy aimed at non-specialists and especially educators. The course requires no prior knowledge of astronomy, but some school-level mathematics and physical science would help.

Find out more