Research course

Physics Research

King's College London · Department of Physics

Entry requirements

Experimental Biophysics & Nanotechnology: minimum undergraduate degree with 2:1 honours (or international equivalent) in physics or a related subject.

Theory & Simulation of Condensed Matter: minimum undergraduate degree with 2:1 honours (or international equivalent) in physics or a related subject.

Theoretical Particle Physics & Cosmology: Master’s degree with Distinction or high Merit in a relevant subject, and usually a Bachelor of Science with 1st class or higher 2:1 honours (or international equivalents). Alternatively a four year MSci with 1st class honours (or international equivalent) is also acceptable.

Those applying for the joint degree are encouraged to contact an academic at King's to develop research links with the partner institution.

Months of entry


Course content

The Department has a distinguished history, with the study of Physics at King's College dating back to its foundation in 1829. The first Professor was Sir Charles Wheatstone, with other former professors including James Clerk Maxwell, who discovered the unified equations of electromagnetism while at King's, and four Nobel laureates. The seminal x-ray crystallography work by Wilkins and Franklin which led to the discovery of the structure of DNA, was performed in the Physics Department. The department today has a reputation as a friendly and supportive environment, with research in the department encompassing biophysics, materials science, nanotechnology, and theoretical particle physics and cosmology.

The Department has recently appointed international research leaders to head its three research groups: Professor John Ellis FRS, who has joined King's from CERN to lead the Theoretical Particle Physics & Cosmology Group; Professor Mark van Schilfgaarde, an expert in electronic structure theory, who heads the Materials & Molecular Modelling Group; and Professor Anatoly Zayats, a world-leader in the new field of plasmonics, who leads the Experimental Biophysics & Nantotechnology Group.

Activities in biophysics enjoy strong links with the Randall Division for Cell and Molecular Biophysics in the School of Biomedical Sciences, and the molecular and materials modelling group is part of the London-based Thomas Young Centre for Theory and Simulations of Materials. Research in theoretical physics and cosmology has a particular focus on the interdisciplinary area of astro-particle physics and on LHC phenomenology, with strong links to CERN through an ERC Advanced Investigator Grant held by Prof Ellis.

Joint PhD programme

Exciting opportunities are now available to undertake a joint PhD programme with Hong Kong University.

Department specialisms

Research in the department encompasses: Theoretical particle physics and cosmology; ab initio molecular and materials modelling; solid state physics; bio- and nano-photonics and X-ray physics, with activities in biophysics enjoying strong links with the Randall Division for Cell & Molecular Biophysics in the School of Biomedical & Health Sciences. In recent years, areas of research excellence have been strengthened significantly through the introduction of extensive materials modelling, biophysics and cosmology research.

Information for international students

Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.

Fees and funding

Visit the fees and funding webpages to find out more about bursaries, scholarships, grants, tuition fees, living expenses, student loans and other financial help available at King's.

Qualification and course duration


full time
36 months
part time
48-72 months


full time
36 months
part time
48-72 months

Course contact details

Postgraduate Officer
+44 (0)20 7848 1648