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PhD in Physics

  Length Start dates (semester dates)

3 years full-time
6 years part-time

Apply for PhD


PhD (Distance Learning)

3 years full-time
6 years part-time

Apply for PhD (Distance Learning)


Our research community nurtures close to 150 research students, covering everything from nuclear physics and astrophysics to the physics of life. Join our rich and thriving academic community and deliver projects on key research areas in physics.

Your research

As a doctoral student, the focus of your work will be an independent research project.

You'll be part of one of our leading research groups, which bring together expertise in fields such as condensed matter and materials physics, nuclear physics, plasma and fusion science and technologies, physics of life, and quantum science and technologies.



We encourage you to find out about our academics and get to know how their work and expertise fit your interests before applying. You will be supervised on a one-to-one basis by a member of academic staff and your progress will be continually guided by a supervisor and a thesis advisory panel.

Our academic staff are happy to answer any questions on their research interests or discuss a project you might have in mind.

Find a supervisor

Training and support

Our research programmes combine training in specialist areas with wider scientific skills. We provide training which will equip you with skills in a wide range of research methods, supporting your growing expertise and enhancing your employability.

Alongside your research, taught modules will help you develop specialist skills and relate your project to developments in the field. You'll choose from a wide range of Masters and undergraduate modules in specialist areas to complement your research.

You'll also take part in a transferable skills programme, covering soft and hard skills.

Course location

This course is run by the School of Physics, Engineering and Technology.

You will be based on Campus West. Most of your training and supervision meetings will take place here, though your research may take you further afield.

Entry requirements

You should have, or expect to obtain, an MPhys degree at 2:1 or above, or an MSc in Physics.

We will also consider applicants with a Masters in a closely related field, applicants who have relevant industry experience, and applicants with a BSc at 2:1 or above where sufficient relevant experience can be demonstrated.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must provide evidence of your ability.

English language requirements

Careers and skills

Your PhD will help to extend your qualifications by training you to complete research in a specific area of experimental, computational or theoretical physics. You will become equipped with transferable skills around creativity and innovation, mathematics and problem solving to become an expert in your field, prepared for the next stage in your career.

Our dedicated careers team offer specific support including a programme of professional researcher development and careers workshops and 1:1 career support sessions. They will help you to build up your employability portfolio and to engage in activities that will build up your skills and experience within and outside of your research work.

Career opportunities

  • Physicist
  • Software developer
  • Principal data scientist
  • Product engineer
  • Academic researcher
  • Lecturer or teacher

Apply for this course

Apply for this course (Distance Learning)

Find your supervisor

Advertised research projects

If you are applying for an advertised research project, please include the project name in your application. You should contact the project leader in advance, who may also ask you to submit a full research proposal.  Advertised research projects may be funded or self-funded, as indicated in the advert.

Find a project

Research proposals

If you are not applying for a particular research project, you should contact the member of the academic staff you wish to work with, who may provide you with a research/project outline.

The research proposal needs to describe the nature of your proposed study and give some indication of how you will conduct your research. The purpose of this exercise is to ensure that you and your potential supervisor(s) have matching research interests. The proposal should be 250 to 350 words in length. It must be in English, and be your own words.

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