PhD degrees in Physics

Research projects leading to the award of a PhD are available in all areas of research spanned by our research groups. These programmes of study allow you to focus on a specific area of Physics under the supervision of academic staff with international reputations in their discipline, whilst taking lectures and undergoing appropriate skills and research training provided by the department and faculty.

Research with the Department of Physics is organised into four divisions, each with two or three more specialist research groups. The divisions and research groups are:

Each research group is led by permanent academic staff whose research is supported by post-doctoral researchers and technical staff. During your PhD you will become and integral part of these teams and will benefit from the intellectual environment provided by your research group and division. You will also be allocated a supervisory team who will support you through your studies.

Specific funded vacancies may be found in the web pages of each research group, but feel free to enquire at any time.


PhD studentships covering fees and a tax-free stipend are also available through the Department in all areas, funded by EPSRC, STFC, ERC, Wellcome Trust and other bodies. Some of them are restricted to EU nationals.

There are also 40 funded industry-focused PhDs for 2016/17 and 40 industry-focused PhDs for 2017/18 entry with a £15,000 stipend, from the Faculty of Science and Technology.

Our Quantum Nanotechnology group is also part of the PROMIS (Postgraduate Research on on Dilute Metamorphic Nanostructures and Metamaterials in Semiconductor Photonics) training network, funded by EU Horizon 2020's Marie SkÅ‚odowska-Curie Actions, and aims to train the next generation of photonics researchers in the full range of skills required for a multi-disciplinary, industry-focused career in photonics.

Information on other studentships and bursaries can be found on the Departmental Funding and University Postgraduate study pages. All studentships are allocated competitively.

Entry Requirements

The minimum entry requirement for PhD registration is an upper-second honours degree (or equivalent) in physics or other relevant subject.

Applicants whose first language is not English must be able to provide evidence of English language competency. IELTS is the recommended test for this purpose and applicants must achieve a minimum score of 6.5.

International applicants who have taken an approved English language test, but who do not meet the minimum entry requirement for their postgraduate degree, may be offered the option of taking an English language preparation or in sessional training course as an alternative to re-taking their test. Further details can be obtained from the department.

For more information, see the English Language Requirements for postgraduate students.