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.
As a doctoral student, the focus of your work will be an independent research project.
Join one of our leading research groups, which bring together expertise in fields such as Condensed Matter Physics, Nuclear Physics, Plasma Physics and Fusion, Physics of Life - Biological Physics and Biophysics, and Quantum Communication.
Our academics are working on a wide range of projects suitable for research students to join.
Our physics research is ranked 13th in the UK according to the Times Higher Education’s ranking of the latest REF results (2021).
Committed to equality
We are proud to hold an Athena Swan Silver award in recognition of the work we do to support gender equality in science.
Explore Physics, Engineering and Technology funding for MPhil/PhD researchers and wider postgraduate support.
We encourage you to find out about our academics and get to know how their work and expertise fit with your research interests.
Our academics are working on a wide range of projects suitable for research students to get involved with.
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, such as:
You'll also take part in a transferable skills programme, covering soft and hard skills.
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.
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.
Take a look at the supporting documents you may need for your application.
Find out more about how to apply.
If you are applying for an advertised research project, which gives full details of the project, you do not need to submit a research proposal, but you may wish to contact the supervisor directly to discuss your interest in the project. You should indicate which research project(s) you are interested in on your application form.
We welcome applications at any time from those who are able to fund their own studies. If you are not applying for a particular research project, you should give the name of your preferred supervisor, research area or field of research and write a brief outline of the research you are interested in. We would advise that you contact your potential supervisor in advance to discuss this. Your proposal should be 250 to 350 words in length. It must be in English and be your own words.
On your application form please let us know about your research interests. If you are interested in working with a particular supervisor, please make this clear.
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.
- Software developer
- Principal data scientist
- Product engineer
- Academic researcher
- Lecturer or teacher
We offer a range of campus accommodation to suit you and your budget, from economy to deluxe.
Discover more about our researchers, facilities and why York is the perfect choice for your research degree.
York Graduate Research
Connect with researchers across all disciplines to get the most out of your research project.