Physics MPhil, PhD

Physics Research
Entry requirements:
2:1 +
3 years (PhD), 2 years (MPhil)
6 years (PhD), 4 years (MPhil)
Start date:
January, April, July, October 2018
UK/EU fees:
International fees:



in the UK for Physics

Guardian University Guide 2018

New for 2017

£17m STEMLab facility


The Department of Physics provides an academically stimulating and supportive environment for postgraduate taught and research students. We are an international community of academic staff and students, active in cutting edge research and industry engagement.

Our research strengths are in the areas of condensed matter and materials, with a good balance between theory and experiment. Our research has a flexible network structure with four main areas, each with a wide range of national and international collaborations. The quality of our researchers is recognised internationally and we publish in highly ranked physics journals.

We publish in highly ranked physics journals and, in 2003, one of our former Visiting Professors, Alexei Abrikosov, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics.

The staff in the department have been recruited from major research centres worldwide. This creates a lively and stimulating community that attracts numerous visitors and collaborators. Our research is internationally renowned, with 62% of research outputs rated internationally leading or better in the REF 2014.

The Department’s research covers a breadth of interests, encompassing:

  • Biophysics
  • Materials and structures
  • Novel materials
  • Polarons, superconductivity and molecular electronics
  • Quantum computing
  • Spintronics
  • Terahertz superconducting and semiconducting electronics

In addition, the University’s new £17 million STEMLab facility includes a brand new, state-of-the-art Physical Sciences laboratory, designed for physics students to explore the fundamentals of mechanics, electricity and magnetism, quantum phenomena, waves, solid state and thermal physics. It also includes a Physics and Optics laboratory, allowing for the practical examination of optics and the behaviour of light, electromagnetism, thermodynamics and mechanics.The departmental observatory has a 16-inch equatorially-mounted Meade telescope and other astronomical equipment.

Entry requirements

A degree 2:1 or above in physics or related discipline.

IELTS: overall 6.5 with minimum 6.0 in each component.

Our facilities

Experimental facilities include pulsed laser deposition, atomic force microscopy, Raman scattering and X-Ray diffraction. The departmental observatory has a 16-inch equatorially-mounted Meade telescope and other astronomical equipment.

We offer outstanding facilities for postgraduates, and have projected an investment of over £4 million to create a series of new laboratories and teaching spaces which will open in 2018.

Research areas

Novel Materials

Research covers novel materials such as high-temperature superconductors, graphene and topological insulators, thin films, the magnetocaloric effect and spintronics.

Quantum and Nano-engineering and Design

The interdisciplinary Quantum Systems Engineering Research Group brings together a unique team from diverse backgrounds including scientists, quantum technologists, engineers and end-users. Research in this area ranges from fundamental ideas in quantum mechanics and quantum behaviour in condensed matter to applications to quantum technology.

High Frequency Solid State Physics and Engineering

Arrays of Josephson junctions have applications as low-noise magnetic sensors. Terahertz radiation sources have many important applications in physics, astronomy, chemistry, biology and medicine.

Physics of Complexity

Research covers areas such as econophysics, biophysics and Brownian motion.

Your personal and professional development

Support from your supervisor

You will be assigned supervisors with expertise in the selected research area, as well as opportunities to consult other departmental academic staff if appropriate.

Skills and experience

A PhD programme will give you the opportunity to develop new and highly sought after skills which can set you up for a range of careers. It’s a chance to make a novel contribution to knowledge, to become a world expert in a particular field, and it can open a range of doors with different employers. You'll also enhance your interpersonal skills, such as networking and relationship building, which will be invaluable in your future career.

In addition to the University’s extensive training provision, we also provide departmental seminars and training courses to support your research, and students can develop their skills further by supporting undergraduate teaching through employment in teaching laboratories, computer classes or drop-in sessions.

Future career prospects

Recent graduate destinations include:

  • BAE Systems, Software Engineer
  • MBDA, Physicist
  • University of Warwick, Research Fellow
  • Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Nigeria, Lecturer.

Fees and funding


Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. University fees and charges can be paid in advance and there are several methods of payment, including online payments and payment by instalment. Special arrangements are made for payments by part-time students.

Who you'll be working with

How to apply

If you can't find a suitable PhD opportunity that fits your interests and experience from our funded (studentships) and unfunded opportunities, you can submit a research proposal to the Department of Physics in the hope of finding a supervisor who will work with you on your dream project.

If you would like to apply for a PhD in the Department of Physics through this method, you should give an indication of your general research field of interest, but you are advised not to provide a detailed research proposal. If you have already made contact with a potential supervisor, you should give details of this in your application.