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 launched by the South African astronomical community and hosted by the University of Cape Town (UCT). It currently offers Honours (1 year), Extended Honours (1 year), and Masters programmes (2 years) in astronomy, astrophysics and space science. Students are supervised by scientists from South Africa universities and specialist astronomy research institutions such as the SAAO and the Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory (HartRAO).

More about the NASSP

Bursaries & Scholarships

SAAO Prize Scholarship

The annual SAAO Prize Scholarship is a scholarship offered to a top African student to work on a PhD project supervised by researchers at the SAAO. The scholarship is for a 3-year PhD registered at a South African university, and the student will be required to spend a minimum of 60% of their time at the SAAO. The scholarship will cover tuition and a generous stipend for living expenses, as well as additional support for conference travel and equipment,  will be provided.

Next call for applications: TBC 2020

Professional Development Programme Bursaries

A limited number of Professional Development Programme bursaries are available annually to a selection of students to complete PhDs at the SAAO, contingent on the availability of funding.

Professional Development Programme Bursaries

NRF Scholarships

The NRF provides bursaries for Masters and PhD students, including those studying astronomy and astrophysics. Prospective Masters and PhD students are encouraged to contact potential supervisors at the SAAO and then apply for the various types of funding that are available from the NRF.

NRF Bursaries Page

International Students

There are opportunities available for international students, including some NRF bursaries; these are in particular available to those from other African countries. Students should contact prospective supervisors at the SAAO for assistance in identifying funding opportunities.

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.

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Professional Development Programme Bursaries

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