Accessibility statement

PhD Physics

We offer a wide range of PhD projects to students from the UK and overseas. We have funded opportunities, many in collaboration with industry, as well as projects for self-funding students and those with scholarships from their home country. 

We welcome applications at any time from those who are able to fund their own studies.

Please see the link below for a selection of our research projects, or if you have your own research project in mind, please select a PhD supervisor from the list of academic staff. 

Our supervisor list, below, provides details of the research interests of all academic staff. We would encourage you to explore these research areas in detail to identify how their work and expertise fits your own research interests. Our academic staff and the admission team would be happy to answer your questions regarding possible research projects

The Department of Physics holds an Athena SWAN Silver Award and is committed to supporting equality and diversity for all staff and students. 

Explore and apply

PhD projects: application process

Supporting information

We are accepting applications for consideration for PhD projects. You can apply online. You will need to provide:

  • a CV
  • an official academic transcript (or interim document if you have not yet received your award)
  • contact details of two academic referees

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.

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 250-350 words in length. It must be in English and be your own words.

The normal start date for a PhD is 1st October.

Read our Guide to applying (PDF , 42kb)

Explore and apply

Course overview

Develop your own research and make your own contribution to the advancement of physics on a three-year doctoral degree. You will work closely with your academic supervisor, supported by world-class researchers with wide-ranging interests, to create new insights into the physical world.

Our supportive academic community nurtures around 150 research students, all working on individual yet interrelated projects. Join one of our leading research areas, which bring together expertise in areas such as Condensed Matter Physics, Nuclear Physics, Plasma Physics and Fusion, Physics of Life - Biological Physics and Biophysics, and Quantum Physics.

Throughout the course you will benefit from our comprehensive training programme, designed to develop your research techniques alongside transferable skills to enhance your employability.

Find a supervisor

We encourage you to do some research on our academics to really get to know how their work and expertise fits with your research interests.

If you wish to learn more about a particular academic's research, or discuss a project you may already have in mind, they are happy to answer specific questions by email or telephone.

We welcome applications at any time from those who are able to fund their own studies. Please see the link below for a selection of our research projects, or if you have your own research project in mind, please select a PhD supervisor from the list of academic staff.

Find a supervisor

Taught modules

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, including:

  • Plasma Physics for Fusion
  • First Principles of Material Modelling
  • Biophysics
  • Quantum Mechanics
  • Advanced Nuclear Physics

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

  • Equip you with the skills needed to complete your PhD
  • Enable you to develop new transferable skills during your PhD
  • Increase your employability at the end of your PhD


Our specialist facilities give you access to cutting-edge technologies and powerful equipment. On top of this, we provide access to a fully-equipped workshop with support and training, to help you design and build bespoke experimental tools.

Entry requirements

You should have, or be about to complete, an MPhys degree at 2:1 or above, or an MSc.

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

We assess all applications on an individual, case-by-case basis.

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. For more information see our postgraduate English language requirements.

Contact us

Dr Stefanos Paschalis

Graduate Admissions Tutor

Mandie Hudson

Postgraduate Admissions Administrator

Fees and funding

Why York?

Be inspired at our world-class university.