Degrees on Offer

PhD

PhD

For this three-year degree programme a student will develop their own research project, working closely with their academic supervisor and with the support of other postgraduate students, postdoctoral researchers and staff in their research group.  At the end of the second year, students are required to prepare a dissertation on their research topic. If this, and the assessment on the graduate courses, are satisfactory, the student's PhD enrolment status is confirmed.

The expectation of the University is that the thesis should be completed and submitted within three years, but students have an additional period of up to twelve months if required (the 'continuation period') to complete and submit their thesis.

Although a PhD in Physics at York is challenging, it is also fulfilling as explained by former PhD student Christian Schuster who describes his doctoral research study. (Christian Schuster is now a PostDoc in the Physics Department at the University of York).

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How to apply: UK/EU | International

Find a supervisor

Most of our academics accept applications for self-funded PhD study all year round.

Find a project

Explore some of the funded PhD projects currently on offer.

MSc by Research

MSc by Research

The MSc by Research is a rather unique one-year programme which leads to a postgraduate degree. Unlike a conventional taught course MSc, students on the MSc degree work full-time on their own research project, backed-up by a small number of taught courses and participation in the S.I.E.S.T.A. graduate seminar programme and the skills development programme.

MSc by Research students have 12 months to work on their research and a further three months, if required (the 'continuation period') to write their thesis.

In many ways the experience is akin to the first year of the PhD programme and indeed students can, subject to funding and available supervision, transfer to a PhD at the end of the MSc programme.  In that case they only need complete a further two years for the PhD degree.

The MSc course may be of interest to you if:

  • You are unsure whether you want to make the three year commitment initially
  • You have not achieved the 1st or 2.1 required to attract a Research Council studentship
  • You are an overseas student requiring an interim qualification after 12 to 15 month's study

Apply now

How to apply: UK/EU | International

Find a supervisor

Most of our academics accept applications for self-funded MSc study all year round.

MSc Fusion Energy

MSc Fusion Energy

Research into fusion, offering effectively limitless clean energy, is entering an exciting new era with several large facilities aiming to achieve the crucial milestone of net energy gain. To cause sustained fusion reactions the fusion fuel must be heated to 100 million degrees and so the fuel is rapidly converted to plasma, which is an extremely challenging state of matter to confine and control. The National Ignition Facility (NIF), located in Livermore, California uses the World’s most energetic laser to compress and heat a pellet of fusion fuel to 1000 times the density of solids, confining the fuel by its own inertia and producing energy gain. The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) is currently under construction in the south of France. ITER (a tokamak) will use superconducting magnets to confine the plasma and is predicted to produce a 10 times net energy gain. Both NIF and ITER are crucial steps on the way to fusion energy but there are still many challenges. The University of York now provides a taught MSc in Fusion Energy, in response to the growing international need to train physicists to address these challenges.

Our 12-month Master's course * provides a firm foundation in fusion physics.  It is an ideal course to prepare students for a PhD in fusion energy or for employment in fusion laboratories.

In addition to the lecture courses, you will be introduced to the skills in computational and experimental plasma physics essential to Fusion research (and highly valued in today’s knowledge-based economy).  The MSc culminates in a major research project where, under the supervision of world leading physicists at the York Plasma Institute, you will conduct cutting edge research in fusion. During your study you will also have the chance to explore the many exciting areas of modern plasma research, for example: cutting-edge medical therapies utilising plasma jets and beams of laser-generated ions; plasmas as compact particle accelerators and next generation plasma space propulsion systems. The Fusion Frontiers and Interfaces workshop, part of the MSc course, provides students an unrivalled opportunity to interact with world-class international fusion scientists, ensuring that the MSc in Fusion Energy is an excellent way to explore your interest in fusion and prepare for a career in this field.

For Funding information and for course information please see the MSc Fusion Energy course web page, or contact the course director Dr Kate Lancaster.

A minimum entry requirement is a lower second class Bachelors degree (or equivalent) in physics or a related discipline (e.g. engineering, maths).  

* The course may also be studied over 24 months on a part-time basis.

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Fusion Centre for Doctoral Training

Fusion Centre for Doctoral Training

Fusion CDT logo added Nov 2015

The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in the Science and Technology of Fusion Energy (Fusion CDT) will train seventy seven PhD students in fusion energy disciplines over five intakes (2014-2018). This programme is a collaboration between top universities, world-class research institutes and industry.  The universities are York, Oxford, Durham, Manchester and Liverpool.  Research institutes include Culham Centre for Fusion EnergyCentral Laser Facility,National Nuclear LaboratoryAWENational Ignition FacilityITER and Fusion for Energy.  Industy partners involved are Frazer-Nash and AMEC.

Benefiting from £3.6M Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) funding the Fusion CDT provides training from world-leading experts in a range of fusion-relevant disciplines: materials science, plasma physics, nuclear physics, technology, laser physics and instrumentation.  Students have access to a range of fusion energy facilities across the UK, including the Central Laser Facility at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, the MAST and JET tokamaks at Culham Oxfordshire, advanced materials research facilities, the Orion laser and high performance computing facilities. International links provide access to many other fusion devices around the world.

The combination of world-leading experts and world-class facilities creates an outstanding training environment for the next generation of fusion scientists - the generation who will exploit ITER, NIF and other international experiments to make fusion energy a reality. The Fusion CDT has evolved from our previous, highly successful PhD training programme in fusion, called the Fusion Doctoral Training Network, or FDTN.

For enquiries or further information, please contact ypi-reception@york.ac.uk

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Reseach opportunities in Photonics

In this short film Professor Thomas Krauss offers insight into the PhD research opportunities in the field of Photonics.

New interdisciplinary research projects

As the Research Champion for Technologies for the future Professor Thomas Krauss helps bring together people who would not otherwise have thought of interacting to create beneficial partnerships.

Read more about an exciting new partnership.