Research course


University of Kent · School of Physical Sciences
PhDMPhilMSc by research

Entry requirements

A first or second class honours degree in Physics or Chemistry. We will also consider applicants with degrees in computer science, electronics, biochemistry or other closely related disciplines.

PhD in Physics, PhD in Chemistry (research fields: Functional Materials; Astrophysics and Planetary Science; Applied Optics; Forensic Imaging).

Months of entry


Course content

The School of Physical Sciences offers postgraduate students the opportunity to participate in groundbreaking science in the realms of physics, chemistry, forensics and astronomy.

Research degrees may be undertaken in the three main areas of research interest in the Laboratory. The growing number of academic staff are supported in their research by the technical staff and post-doctoral research fellows.

We make every attempt to allocate you to a supervisor directly in your field of interest, consistent with available funding and staff loading. When you apply, please give specific indications of your research interest – including, where appropriate, the member(s) of staff you wish to work with – and whether you are applying for a studentship or propose to be self-funded.

Our principal research covers a wide variety of topics within physics, astronomy and chemistry, ranging from specifically theoretical work on surfaces and interfaces, through mainstream experimental condensed matter physics, astrobiology, space science and astrophysics, to applied areas such as biomedical imaging, forensic imaging and space vehicle protection. We scored highly in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, with 25% of our research ranked as “world-leading” and our Functional Materials Research Group ranked 2nd nationally in the Metallurgy and Materials discipline.

Department specialisms

Applied Optics Group (AOG): Optical Sensors, Biomedical Imaging/Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT). Forensic Imaging Group (FIG). Functional Materials Group (FMG): Amorphous and nanostructioned Solids, Soft Functional Material, Theory and Modelling of Materials. Centre for Astrophysics and Planetary Science (CAPS).

Information for international students

Please see for English Language requirements..

Fees and funding

Please refer to the University's Postgraduate Scholarships and Loans web pages at:

Qualification and course duration


full time
36-48 months
part time
60-72 months


full time
24 months
part time
36 months

MSc by research

full time
12 months
part time
24 months

Course contact details

Recruitment and Admissions Office
+44 (0)1227 827272
+44 (0)1227 827077