The Astronomy Department at the University of Cape Town (UCT) is active in a variety of research themes. These encompass extragalactic large-scale structures and evolution of galaxies in the Universe, cosmic flow fields, the extragalactic distance scale, detailed studies of the neutral hydrogen (HI) and dark matter content of nearby galaxies, the study of galactic structure, high-speed stellar photometry and spectroscopy of variable stars, stellar pulsations, as well as the history of astronomy. With the opening of SALT and the construction of MeerKAT, new research areas were initiated in galaxy evolution, the relation between dark and visible matter in nearby galaxies, and the evolution of the HI content of the universe.

The University of Cape Town Cosmology and Gravity Group is now the largest group of its kind in the southern hemisphere and boasts a diverse range of expertise. Strong links have been developed with the department of astronomy at UCT and the SAAO. In addition the number of international collaborations has grown, largely as a result of bilateral agreements signed with other countries. The research themes of the CAGG include among other things: early universe physics, string theory and cosmology, non-linear problems in astrophysics and cosmology, modelling inhomogeneity, gravitational wave physics and observational cosmology.

The joint research areas can be divided into the following themes: