Research course

Advanced Technology Institute

University of Surrey · Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences

Visit the institution website for COVID‑19 updates

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).

IELTS Academic: 6.5 or above (or equivalent) with 6.0 in each individual category.

Months of entry

January, April, July, October

Course content

Your research will sit in one of the ATI’s four research groups: Nanoelectronics, Photonics, Ion Beams, and Theory and Computation. These are united by cross-cutting themes, such as science and technology on the nanoscale, technological applications of quantum science and engineering, and conversion of energy.

Your proposal for a new PhD topic will be examined with a holistic view on the field and its technical content, the excellence in the proposed research, its potential to provide new and fundamental insight to technical problems, and the ability of the Institute to be able to provide the best environment to facilitate the research.

You’ll be registered for a maximum four-year period of full-time study. After 12 months, you’ll write a Confirmation Report, which will be assessed by independent examiners. A detailed evaluation of progress and future research plans will be made every six months to ensure that progress towards completion of the PhD remains satisfactory.

A PhD normally lasts for three and a half years. During this time, you’ll be supported by two academics, who you’ll meet with on a regular basis. Postdoctoral researchers in the group also help with project steering, especially when the PhD work is part of a multinational or industry-focused programme.

The location of your research will depend on the needs of your project. You’ll be allocated office space in the ATI building, typically alongside researchers with related research interests. Depending on the specifics of your project, your time will be spent differently around the facility. Modelling projects are predominantly computer-based, while experimental ones involve work in the Clean Room and an assortment of labs. Like many PhD projects, yours may be collaborative and require travel for meetings with associates and to access specialised facilities.

You’ll submit a written PhD thesis after a minimum three years of full-time study, which will be examined in a viva by a combination of external and internal examiners, selected for their knowledge of the research field. The criteria for award of a PhD are the description of research whose content, rigour, originality and relevance are sufficient for publication in peer-reviewed journals.

Research themes:

  • Photonics
  • Quantum science and technology
  • Nanomaterials
  • Nanoscience and nanotechnology
  • Advanced energy materials
  • Flexible and printed electronics
  • Sensors and smart environments
  • Ion beams
  • RF and microwave devices
  • Micro and nanofabrication
  • Microscopy and surface science
  • Modelling and simulation
  • Semiconductor devices
  • Renewable energy systems

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    part time
    96 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    48 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details