Research course


Lancaster University · Physics

Entry requirements

Upper second class BSc or MPhys degree in Physics, or its equivalent, in a relevant subject.

Months of entry

January, October, July, April

Course content

We welcome applications from those seeking to perform research for a PhD in Physics. Research opportunities are available within each of our research areas, which cover both theoretical and experimental aspects, and are grouped into the four broad research divisions of Astrophysics, Accelerator and Particle Physics, Experimental Condensed Matter, and Theory.

There is vigorous cross-divisional activity, which includes studies of new materials such as graphene and molecular nanowires, cosmological experiments in liquid helium, nonlinear dynamics of biological rhythm and IR spectroscopy, and nanoscale probe microscopy of biological objects.

Our degree schemes emphasise the development of transferable skills, such as critical thinking, communication skills, numeracy, literacy, team working, and computing and computational skills, which are in much demand amongst employers. Students will also have the opportunity to attend specialist training courses as well as the Faculty of Science and Technology Research Training Programme.

Department specialisms

Observational Astrophysics Research in the astrophysics group is primarily observational and broadly centred on understanding the formation and evolution of galaxies and the properties of the Universe itself. Theoretical Particle Cosmology Lancaster is at the leading edge of research in theoretical cosmology and astroparticle physics. Our research is concerned with the application of new theories of particle physics and gravitation to understand the evolution of the Universe from the earliest time to the present day. Space and Planetary Physics Research in the space and planetary physics group probes the fundamental physics that underpins the space environment of the Solar System from the Sun, through interplanetary space to the atmospheres of Earth, planets, rings and moons. We also undertake research into space weather. Experimental Particle Physics The particle physics group addresses fundamental questions about the building blocks of matter and the basic forces of nature with a diverse programme of activities at international facilities such as the LHC, SNO and T2K. Work in the group contributed to Nobel Prizes in 2013 and 2015. Accelerator Physics Particle accelerators not only lie at the heart of research into particle physics but also play major roles in fields such as medicine. Current accelerators are limited in the energy and intensity of the particle and light beams they are able to produce. Our research uses our expertise in particle physics and mathematical physics to address these limitations. Low Temperature Physics We have a strong international reputation for performing state-of-the-art experiments at the lowest achievable temperatures with advanced in-house cryogenic engineering and expertise in ultra-sensitive measurement techniques. The group has performed ground-breaking research on a wide range of topics from superfluid analogues of cosmological processes to quantum turbulence. Quantum Nanotechnology Our research ranges from the fundamental physics of nanofabricated structures to practical applications with industrial partners. Potential applications of our work include quantum computing and quantum simulation, quantum encryption, quantum metrology, novel sensors operating beyond the standard quantum limit, new types of lasers, memories, solar cells and batteries. Nonlinear and Biomedical Physics We apply ideas and methods from nonlinear and stochastic dynamics to study the fundamental physical properties of living systems. We investigate oscillatory behaviour on all scales and levels of complexity, from the cell membrane potential to cardiovascular and brain dynamics. Condensed Matter Theory Condensed matter theorists at Lancaster have a worldwide reputation for expertise in employing quantum-mechanical methods to uncover phenomena in low-dimensional systems and devices, and determining the characteristics of novel and artificial materials. Mathematical Physics Our broad research programme reflects our extensive range of interests; for example, it connects the theoretical investigation of matter in extreme conditions, such as ultra-powerful laser fields and strong-field environments of magnetars, with ubiquitous fluid-structure interactions of utmost importance to the oil industry.

Information for international students

IELTS: 6.5 or equivalent (lower grade admissions may be possible via separate pre-sessional English courses).

Fees and funding

Qualification and course duration


full time
24 - 36 months

Course contact details

Postgraduate Coordinator
+44 (0)1524 592067
+44 (0)1524 844037