Entry requirements

Applicants are expected to hold a first or upper-second class degree in a relevant discipline (or equivalent overseas qualification), or a lower second plus a good Masters degree (distinction normally required).

Months of entry

January, October, July, April

Course content

The Department of Physics is home to PhD students from around the world, supported by 34 full-time, research-active academic staff. Our PhD research programmes provide opportunities for experimental, theoretical and computational research in both fundamental and applied physics, in subjects such as nuclear and radiation physics, astrophysics, photonics, soft matter, quantum technologies and medical physics. We’re a friendly and engaging academic community, and can offer a wide variety of support, training and social activities.

You’ll have the opportunity to collaborate with scientists around the world, and take advantage of our strategic partnerships with organisations such as the National Physical Laboratory and the Royal Surrey County Hospital. We’re part of the South-East Physics network of nine leading university physics departments (SEPnet), and you’ll become part of its graduate network (GRADnet), the largest postgraduate research school in England.

We have an excellent graduate employability record, and the collaborative, interdisciplinary and industry-relevant nature of our research means you’ll make contacts, gain skills and get practical experience that will give you an edge with employers.

Our research ranges from fundamental nuclear theory to applied research in semiconductor devices. Our nuclear physics group is the largest combined experimental and theoretical group in its field in the UK. Our research in astrophysics is dynamic and rapidly growing, and our latest research in quantum technology has resulted in publications in top international journals. Our research often has strong practical applications, such as the strained layer laser that is today ubiquitous in information technology.

The most recent (2014) Research Excellence Framework (REF) rated 84 per cent of our research output as world-leading or internationally excellent, and our undergraduate programmes were ranked 8th nationally by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2016, and 10th by the Complete University Guide 2017.

Qualification and course duration


full time
48 months
part time
96 months

Course contact details

+44 (0)1483 682 222