I am beginning my final semester of my 4-year undergraduate program, studying Informatics (Computer Science) in Greece, and I expect to graduate this September. I would like to pursue a PhD in the field of astronomy & astrophysics (with a focus on radio astronomy instrumentation), or telecommunications/RF engineering. These two fields have a lot of similarities, especially when it comes to certain aspects of instrumentation.

I am not as interested in Master's studies, because I enjoy conducting research a lot more, which generally tends to prevail in a PhD program. Although pursuing postgraduate studies in Europe is usually hassle-free for European citizens(?), it appears that holding a Master's is a strict requirement to every university in the EU.

However, I've noticed that this is not at all the case with universities in the UK (which should be a bit more accessible compared to e.g. US-based universities, in terms of relocating, visa, paperwork, etc.). This has formed the interest of looking into relevant PhD programs in the UK. Despite my young age (21 years old), I have managed to publish 2 journal papers in the field of radio astronomy and RF engineering, and expect to submit/publish 5 more papers soon.

In case authorship order matters, I've been the 1st author (out of 3) on my first publication and 7th/7 on my second. As for the ones I'm currently preparing, I expect to be 8th/8 on my third paper, 1st/1 on my fourth, 1st/2 on my fifth, 2nd/? on my sixth, and 1st/4 on my seventh. I've been actively working with many coauthors from different institutes around the world, and only 1 publication will consist of coauthors from the lab I've worked with (a different department in my university). I assume this helps promote my experience working with different people from a variety of fields.

I've also worked on countless other projects around the field (including but not limited to education), and I've got over 3 years of industry experience in RF engineering (incl. two full-time jobs, a paid internship in my university, and volunteer work).

Have you got any suggestions on what the best move might be for me? I know most students don't publish until their Master's/PhD's, and different opportunities might be available for me given my experience early on. Considering the lack of a Master's requirement compared to the EU, are UK PhDs ever frowned upon, or are they treated equivalently to EU/US PhDs (given the admission process still favours Master's holders)?

On another note, I've heard that PhD by publication is a thing, but I guess this is more for established researchers late in their career, and as applicable to me. Is this correct, or should it be something to have on my radar?

  • See the answer for UK to this canonical question: academia.stackexchange.com/q/176908/75368
    – Buffy
    Commented Feb 20, 2022 at 20:32
  • @AntonMenshov Partially, but I would still appreciate some comments on how helpful my industry experience and publications might be in applying, and how relevant PhD by publication is for young researchers with multiple publications. Commented Feb 20, 2022 at 22:17
  • @CotoTheArcheryou may want to highlight in your question what particular aspect you are looking for compared to the canonical question. Also, notice, that "Strongly depending on Individual factors" can be a closure reason, so try to have your question applicable to the general audience, not just your individual case. Commented Feb 20, 2022 at 22:37
  • UK PhDs are not considered in any way worse than US or EU PhDs (or those from anywhere else, for that matter). While it's not always a requirement to have a Master's before starting, many people do. For example, in the department where I did my PhD (big cosmology institute in the UK), out of about 30 students there were probably 3 who started straight after their BSc and maybe 10 who had come from the EU with a 2 year Master's. The rest of us had 3 year BSc + 1 year MSc, or a 4 year MPhys, for example.... Commented Feb 21, 2022 at 18:14
  • However, with your publication record I don't think you will have a problem being accepted with a BSc alone. To be safe, you could apply for Master's and PhDs at the same time. Commented Feb 21, 2022 at 18:16


Browse other questions tagged .