Qualification(s) available: PhD

Entry requirements
3 years
6 years
Start date
1 January, 1 April, 1 July or 1 October
UK fee
To be confirmed
International fee


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

We are a research intensive Physics department, best known for our leading contribution to diverse fields of condensed matter physics.

Building on our traditional strengths in fundamental physics we address the UK Grand Challenges. Our most significant contributions and innovations are in the areas of 2D and van der Waals materials, novel devices for energy harvesting, spintronics, high-frequency electronics, novel computing approaches and artificial intelligence.

Our research strengths lie particularly within the areas of condensed matter and materials, with a good balance between theory and experiment.

Research School of Materials

The Department of Physics is also part of the research infrastructure of the Research School of Materials, which covers several departments. All of these departments have access to an extensive range of research equipment.

Research specialisation

The department specialises in theoretical and experimental condensed matter physics and nanoscience. Areas of applied physics include cardiovascular dynamics, neural networks, drug delivery physics, population dynamics and psychoacoustics. Work is also ongoing to investigate Terahertz radiation.

The recent growing interest in terahertz science and technology is due to its many important applications in physics, astronomy, chemistry, biology, and medicine, including THz imaging, spectroscopy, tomography, medical diagnosis, health monitoring, environmental control, as well as chemical and biological identification. The department is also conducting ground breaking work in quantum computing and spintronics.

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Why you should choose us

Where you'll study

The department is based on the west side of campus and boasts excellent teaching and research facilities, including recently refurbished laboratories for physics and engineering.

In addition, the University’s £17 million STEMLab facility includes a 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.

We also have a departmental observatory, featuring a 16-inch equatorially-mounted Meade telescope, 8inch GPS mobile optical telescope, Coronado solar telescope, and an Elliot Instruments spectrometer.

Our research

Impactful research is central to the culture of our Physics department with many of our staff actively engaged in both theoretical and applied research, industry projects, and working closely not only with colleagues across the University's science and engineering departments, but with collaborators across the globe.

The Department has internationally leading research groups and infrastructure, supporting the research in all presented areas.

Novel Materials

Research in this area covers novel materials such as superconductors, graphene, and topological insulators, high temperature superconductivity, Weyl metals, magnetic and sprintronic materials and the engineering and design of quantum devices.

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

Research in this area is dedicated to development of devices, such as sources, sensors and amplifiers, based on novel semi- and super-conducting materials for high-frequency (GHz/THz) applications.

Physics of Complexity

Research in this area covers econophysics, biophysics, Brownian motion, sociophysics and social networks, and physical principles of unconventional computing.

Our research groups are flexible and strongly engage in enhanced cross-communication and collaboration between the five Departments of the School, namely, between Physics, Chemistry, Mathematical Sciences, Computer Science and the Mathematics Education Centre. We have several Interdisciplinary Research Centres involving staff and PhD students from all five Science departments encouraging interdisciplinary research:

Centre for Sensing and Imaging Science

Centre for the Science of Materials

Centre for Geometry and Applications

Centre for Analytical Science

Interdisciplinary Centre for Mathematical Modelling

Interdisciplinary Science Centre from Laboratory to Fabrication (Lab2Fab)

Your 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.

At Loughborough University you will become part of our Doctoral College and benefit from an extensive doctoral training programme, alongside our suite of activities designed to support you at every stage of the doctoral process. Links with other specialist support services across the University, such as the Careers Network, will give you access to help and advice and work with colleagues across academic schools to attract external funding to support doctoral study.

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.

Your future career

Graduates of the Department of Physics have gone on to pursue wide-ranging positions. Others have gone on to pursue further research or take up careers in academia.

Recent graduate destinations include:

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

Entry requirements

Our entry requirements are listed using standard UK undergraduate degree classifications i.e. first-class honours, upper second-class honours and lower second-class honours. To learn the equivalent for your country, please choose it from the dropdown below.

Entry requirements for United Kingdom

A 2:1 honours degree (or equivalent international qualification) in physics or a related discipline.

English language requirements

Applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements. Further details are available on the International website.

Fees and funding

UK fee

Full-time degree per annum
To be confirmed

International fee

Full-time degree per annum

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. Fees are reviewed annually and are likely to increase to take into account inflationary pressures.

Find out more about research degree funding

How to apply

Projects which have funding attached are advertised on our online prospectus.

For self-funded projects or those funded by third-party sponsors, you should give an indication of your general field of interest but are not advised to provide a detailed proposal.

If you can't find a suitable PhD project that fits your interests and experience from our advertised opportunities, you can submit a research proposal to the Department of Physics. You are advised to browse our research pages to see the areas of research we are involved with. You can then enquire directly to a particular member of staff and they will be happy to help you develop your research proposal. We also encourage you visit the Department to see our facilities and to meet our academic staff and research students.

Apply now