Research course

Physics

Institution
University of Cambridge · Department of Physics
Qualifications
PhD

Entry requirements

Applicants for this course should have achieved a UK Masters (Pass).

Months of entry

January, April, October

Course content

The PhD in Physics is a full-time period of research which introduces or builds upon, research skills and specialist knowledge. Students are assigned to a research supervisor, a specialist in part or all of the student's chosen research field, and join a research group which might vary in size between a handful to many tens of individuals.

Although the supervisor is responsible for the progress of a student's research programme, the extent to which a postgraduate student is assisted by the supervisor or by other members of the group depends almost entirely on the structure and character of the group concerned. The research field is normally determined at entry, after consideration of the student's interests and facilities available. The student, however, may work within a given field for a period of time before his or her personal topic is determined.

There is no requirement made by the University for graduate students to attend formal courses or lectures for the PhD. Postgraduate work is largely a matter of independent research and successful postgraduates require a high degree of self-motivation. Nevertheless, lectures and classes may be arranged, and students are expected to attend both seminars (delivered regularly by members of the University and by visiting scholars and industrialists) and external conferences. Postgraduate students are also expected to participate in the undergraduate teaching programme at some time whilst they are based at the Cavendish, in order to develop their teaching, demonstrating, outreach, organisational and person-management skills.

It is expected that postgraduate students will also take advantage of the multiple opportunities available for transferable skills training within the University during their period of research.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the research programme, students will have demonstrated:

  • the creation and interpretation of new knowledge, through original research or other advanced scholarship, of a quality to satisfy peer review, extend the forefront of the discipline, and merit publication;
  • a systematic acquisition and understanding of a substantial body of knowledge which is at the forefront of an academic discipline or area of professional practice;
  • the general ability to conceptualise, design and implement a project for the generation of new knowledge, applications or understanding at the forefront of the discipline, and to adjust the project design in the light of unforeseen problems;
  • a detailed understanding of applicable techniques for research and advanced academic enquiry; and
  • the development of a PhD thesis for examination that they can defend in an oral examination and, if successful, graduate with a PhD.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    full time
    36-48 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    60-84 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Name
Enquiries
Email
admissions@phy.cam.ac.uk