PhD Physics

Year of entry: 2021

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Overview

Degree awarded
PhD
Duration
3 to 4 years-some funding schemes are for 3.5 yrs
Entry requirements

A minimum of a 2i class UK Masters honours degree or international equivalent is required or a first degree with an additional Masters degree or international equivalent.

Full entry requirements

How to apply
Apply online  

You should include details of your previous study, your research project title and the name of the academic member of staff you would like to supervise your research.

We strongly recommend that you make contact with your proposed supervisor before submitting an application.

Programme options

Full-time Part-time Full-time distance learning Part-time distance learning
PhD Y Y N N

Programme description

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at Manchester is one of the largest and most active departments of physics in the UK.  We have a long tradition of excellence in both teaching and research, and have interests in most areas of contemporary research.

The Department has a strong presence in a number of Manchester-based centres for multidisciplinary research: The National Graphene Institute, the Photon Science Institute; the Manchester Centre for Non-Linear Dynamics; the Dalton Nuclear Institute; and the Mesoscience and Nanotechnology Centre.  In addition, the Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire is a part of the department.

Strong research activity exists in a broad range of physics topics funded by the Research Councils including EPSRC, STFC, BBSRC, the EU and industry.  All the research groups offer well-equipped laboratories and computing facilities and are involved in a wide range of collaborative projects with industry and other academic departments in the UK and overseas. 

For more information about our postgraduate research programmes, please visit:   https://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/postgraduate-research/programmes/research-areas/?code=PA

You can also download our  Postgraduate Project Booklet 2019/20  (PDF document, 2.5Mb) which contains details of research projects available within the department.

The postgraduate research environment is well funded and world-class as demonstrated by our ranking in REF2014.  Supervision is provided by academic staff, who are leaders in their fields, with independent pastoral back-up.  Transferable skills training is available and there are some school teaching opportunities.

Open days

For details of the next University Postgraduate open day, visit open days and visits

Fees

To be announced.

Please note for the majority of projects where experimentation requires further resources higher fee bands (where quoted) will be charged rather than the base rate for supervision, administration and computational costs. The fees quoted above will be fully inclusive and, therefore, you will not be required to pay any additional bench fees or administration costs.

All fees for entry will be subject to yearly review and incremental rises per annum are also likely over the duration of the course for UK/EU students (fees are typically fixed for International students, for the course duration at the year of entry). For general fees information please visit: postgraduate fees . Always contact the department if you are unsure which fee applies to your project.

Scholarships/sponsorships

The Faculty of Science and Engineering is offering a number of scholarships to both UK and oversees students. For more information about these scholarships please visit our Manchester Alumni Scholarship Schemes page or the Fees and Funding page on the Department website for more information on other scholarships and awards available.

Contact details

Department
Department of Physics & Astronomy
Contact name
Postgraduate Admissions Team
Telephone
+ 44 (0) 161 306 3673
Email
Website
https://www.manchester.ac.uk/physics
School/Faculty

Our internationally-renowned expertise across the School of Natural Sciences informs research led teaching with strong collaboration across disciplines, unlocking new and exciting fields and translating science into reality.  Our multidisciplinary learning and research activities advance the boundaries of science for the wider benefit of society, inspiring students to promote positive change through educating future leaders in the true fundamentals of science. Find out more about Science and Engineering at Manchester .

Programmes in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of programmes in related subject areas.

Entry requirements

Academic entry qualification overview

A minimum of a 2i class UK Masters honours degree or international equivalent is required or a first degree with an additional Masters degree or international equivalent.

English language

All applicants will need to demonstrate competency in English language. Applicants who do not already possess an acceptable English Language qualification will need to take a recognised test and attain the required English Language score:

IELTS:  At least 6.5 overall with no subtest below 5.5.

TOEFL iBT:  At least 90 overall with no subtest below 20. We do not accept 'MyBestScore'.

Pearson Test of English (PTE): At least 58 overall with no subtest below 42.

Further information on language requirements can be found on our website

Pre-sessional English: We also accept successful completion of a pre-sessional English course run by the University Language Centre to meet our English language requirements.

English language test validity

Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Other international entry requirements

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries. For these and general requirements including English language see entry requirements for your country .

Application and selection

How to apply

Apply online  

You should include details of your previous study, your research project title and the name of the academic member of staff you would like to supervise your research.

We strongly recommend that you make contact with your proposed supervisor before submitting an application.

Advice to applicants

Before you start your application, make sure you have all the information and documents you will need:

  • Potential supervisor: we advise that you contact a potential supervisor before submitting your application. You can find a list of our Academic and Research staff  here
  • Transcript and degree certificates: you will need to provide transcripts even if you haven't graduated by the time you apply
  • Two academic references: these can be scanned and uploaded when you apply or emailed to  pg.physics@manchester.ac.uk . We do not request references on an applicant's behalf and it is your responsibility to ensure your referees know how to provide your reference to us.
  • Personal statement:  your personal statement shouldn't be longer than a page. For more information on how to write a personal statement see  here   
  • Research proposal: typical proposals range between 1,000 and 1,500 words. This should clearly outline a supervisor and project title. 
  • CV

All documents must be provided in English. We prefer them to be submitted in PDF format.

If English is not your first language, we also require proof of your English language ability. If you have already taken an English language qualification, please include your certificate with your application. We may be willing to consider your application without this document, but if we choose to make you an offer, the conditions will include IELTS (or equivalent qualification).

How your application is considered

We consider your full academic history including which course units you have taken and the marks obtained. Even if you have met our minimum entry requirements, we will take into account your marks in relevant undergraduate and postgraduate taught course units in our final decision making.

If you graduated more than three years ago, we will also consider the information contained on your CV and any relevant work experience you have to assess if you are still able to fulfil the entry criteria.

Interview requirements

An interview is required for entry to this programme of study. Shortlisted applicants will be contacted by the admissions team.

Overseas (non-UK) applicants

CAS Information

Please upload a copy of your current valid passport with your application showing the photograph page with your application. For CAS purposes, this must show your full name, date of birth, nationality, passport number and the date the passport is valid until, which must be later than the date of your planned arrival in the UK, and the start date of your course.

If you have previously studied in the UK on a Tier 4 visa as an undergraduate or postgraduate student, please send a copy of your previous CAS statement to us as it will assist with the issue of your new CAS statement. This includes study in the UK on study abroad programmes and any study that you did not complete.

You cannot use your CAS to apply for a visa more than three months before the start date of your course. The Admissions Team will contact you at the appropriate time.

Your CAS number is only valid for one Tier 4 application.

Deferrals

Admissions staff will decide whether to offer places to applicants for deferred entry on their courses and you should not assume that they will grant all such requests. If you request deferral for more than one year, you would normally be required to re-apply, as your chosen course, and your suitability for it, would change over time. English Language test results can only be considered to be current for two years from the test date.

Re-applications

If you applied in the previous year and your application was not successful you may apply again. Your application will be considered against the standard course entry criteria for that year of entry. In your new application you should demonstrate how your application has improved. We may draw upon all information from your previous applications or any previous registrations at the University as a student when assessing your suitability for your chosen course.

Programme details

Programme description

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at Manchester is one of the largest and most active departments of physics in the UK.  We have a long tradition of excellence in both teaching and research, and have interests in most areas of contemporary research.

The Department has a strong presence in a number of Manchester-based centres for multidisciplinary research: The National Graphene Institute, the Photon Science Institute; the Manchester Centre for Non-Linear Dynamics; the Dalton Nuclear Institute; and the Mesoscience and Nanotechnology Centre.  In addition, the Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire is a part of the department.

Strong research activity exists in a broad range of physics topics funded by the Research Councils including EPSRC, STFC, BBSRC, the EU and industry.  All the research groups offer well-equipped laboratories and computing facilities and are involved in a wide range of collaborative projects with industry and other academic departments in the UK and overseas. 

For more information about our postgraduate research programmes, please visit:   https://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/postgraduate-research/programmes/research-areas/?code=PA

You can also download our  Postgraduate Project Booklet 2019/20  (PDF document, 2.5Mb) which contains details of research projects available within the department.

The postgraduate research environment is well funded and world-class as demonstrated by our ranking in REF2014.  Supervision is provided by academic staff, who are leaders in their fields, with independent pastoral back-up.  Transferable skills training is available and there are some school teaching opportunities.

Research in the Department is conducted through the following research groupings:

Astronomy and Astrophysics.

Biological Physics.

Condensed Matter Physics.

Nonlinear and Liquid Crystals.

Nuclear Physics.

Particle Physics.

Photon Physics. 

Soft Matter Physics. 

Theoretical Physics.

For more information on the above research groupings please visit www.physics.manchester.ac.uk

Scholarships and bursaries

The Faculty of Science and Engineering is offering a number of scholarships to both UK and overseas students. For more information about these scholarships please visit our Subject-specific scholarships page or the Fees and Funding page on the Department website for more information on other scholarships and awards available.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk