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Course options

  • Qualification

    PhD/DPhil - Doctor of Philosophy

  • Location

    Stag Hill

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date

    JUL-21, OCT-21, JAN-22

  • Duration

    4 years

Course summary

Why choose this course

The Surrey Space Centre (SSC) is the largest UK academic centre for space engineering research. With a host of expert academics and close links with industries, SSC offers the ideal research environment for the next generation of space scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs.

As a PhD candidate within the Centre, you will work alongside academics, postdoctorate researchers and fellow postgraduate researchers, as they push the boundaries of low-cost small satellites and develop new innovative technologies. You will also benefit from the Centre’s strong academic-industrial strategic partnership with both Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) and Airbus DS.

Throughout your research you will have access to our world-class academic research facilities, covering advanced multidisciplinary small satellite and space system engineering techniques for Earth orbit and interplanetary space; innovative communications, remote sensing, robotics and space science payloads for small satellites; and enabling technologies for low-cost space exploitation and planetary exploration.

Following completion of your PhD you will able to apply for membership with the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET), Chartered Engineer status with the Engineering Council UK and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

What you will study

Postgraduate researchers are registered for a maximum four year period of full-time study. After twelve months you write a confirmation report, which is assessed by two independent examiners. You will submit a written PhD thesis after a minimum three years of full-time study. A detailed evaluation of progress and future research plans is made every six months to ensure that progress towards completion of the PhD remains satisfactory.

You will be allocated two Surrey-based academic supervisors, in addition to any external collaborative supervisors. Your principal supervisor will be an expert in your area of research and will be in charge of monitoring your research progress. The supervisors will help you to define the initial objective and scope of your research, and to refine these as the project evolves. They will direct you to resources to help you learn the necessary experimental, theoretical or computing skills and will advise you on the completion of your PhD and the content of your thesis. External collaborative supervisors are appointed in many cases, in order to contribute specific expertise or facilitate access to resources or organisations.

Research themes

Our nine research themes cover a range of topics including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Astrodynamics
  • Autonomy and robotics
  • Environments and instrumentation
  • On-Board data handing
  • Plasma propulsion
  • Remote sensing applications
  • Robotics and control
  • Space environments and protection
  • Space structures, material and mechanisms.

Other activities, such as space debris removal, solar sails, and nanosatellite mission development, are being carried out across multiple research groups.

Application deadline

06 May 2021, 22 July 2021, 22 November 2021

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 22,000per year

Tuition fees shown are for indicative purposes and may vary. Please check with the institution for most up to date details.

University information

University image

University of Surrey

  • University League Table

    34th

  • Campus address

    University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH, England

The University of Surrey has over 140 nationalities in its international community.
35% of the university’s student population is from outside the UK.
Surrey has over 90 university partners across the globe.

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