PhD Photon Physics / Programme details

Year of entry: 2021

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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.

The Photon Physics group studies the interactions between light and matter and uses light to investigate a range of novel and important systems. The scope of the work ranges from improving our theoretical understanding of the quantum nature of these interactions to developing new spectroscopic and microscopic techniques for material science, medicine and biology. Our experimental work utilises light in its broadest sense, exploiting the electromagnetic spectrum from x-rays to THz frequencies and we employ the cutting-edge facilities available in the  Photon Science Institute   as well as developing new light sources ourselves. This work often studies the physical processes that underpin applications with important real-world impact, such as the development of efficient new solar cells and LEDs for low-energy lighting.

You can also download our  Postgraduate Project Booklet  (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 department teaching opportunities.

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

Biological Physics.

Condensed Matter Physics.

Soft Matter Physics.

Theoretical Physics.

For more information on the above research groupings please visit

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: