Research course

Physics and Astronomy

University of St Andrews · School of Physics and Astronomy

Entry requirements

Normally a 1st Class Honours or good 2:1 undergraduate UK degree (or a relevant MSc) with strong project. Equivalent overseas qualifications are also accepted. Applicants with a UK 2.2 degree or equivalent will be considered.

Months of entry

January, November, October, September, August, June, May, April, March, February

Course content

The School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of St Andrews has an internationally recognised set of research programmes in astrophysics, condensed-matter physics, and photonics. There is also significant work in Physics Education Research.

Around 30 academic staff work with approximately 50 research fellows and contract research staff, and about 55 PhD students. Our work is carried out in modern laboratories in St Andrews, as well as at major international research facilities in the UK and abroad.

We are very active in interdisciplinary activities, building bridges between the traditionally distinct disciplines of physics, chemistry, biology and medical sciences. Additionally we have a range of advanced materials and nano-sciences research, linking our school with the School of Chemistry at St Andrews.

We play an active role in the Scottish Universities' Physics Alliance (SUPA). SUPA aims to place Scotland at the forefront of international research in Physics through an agreed national strategy, a pan-Scottish Graduate School offering over 600 lecture hours of graduate courses, an inter-institutional management structure, and co-ordinated promotion and pursuit of excellence in research.

Building on that SUPA infrastructure, we were successful in winning the new Scottish Doctoral Training Centre in Condensed Matter Physics and a share in the Engineering Doctorate Center in Photonics.

Department specialisms

Astrophysics; Solid State Lasers; Optical Parametric Oscillators; Ultrashort Pulse Lasers; Photonic Microstructures; Semiconductors; Magnetism; Superconductivity; Atom Trapping; Polymers; Theoretical Quantum Optics

Research Excellence Framework (REF) score

Top in Scotland, UK ranking: 3rd

Information for international students

Evidence of English Language ability will be required, usually IELTS 7.0 or equivalent. For details please visit:

Fees and funding

UK students
Fees confirmed early 2017
International students

Qualification and course duration


full time
42-48 months

Course contact details

Postgraduate Secretary
+44 (0) 1334 463111