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Research degree

Physics and Astronomy MPhil/PhD

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at UCL has one of the broadest bases for research in Physics of any UK university. A UCL Physics PhD provides evidence of the type of problem solving skills which are an ideal qualification for a further career in research or the wider job market.

Key Information

Modes and duration

  • Full-time: 3 years
  • Part-time: 5 years

Tuition Fees (2015/16)

UK/EU:
£4,635 (FT) £2,315 (PT)
Overseas:
£21,530 (FT) £10,765 (PT)

Application deadlines

Research degrees may start at any time of the year, but typically start in September. Deadlines and start dates are usually dictated by funding arrangements so check with the department or academic unit (contact listed in Next steps, right) to see if you need to consider these in your application preparation. In most cases you should identify and contact potential supervisors before making your application. For more information see our How to apply page.

Entry Requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class UK integrated Master’s (MSci or MPhys) degree in a relevant discipline, or an undergraduate degree followed by an MSc in a relevant discipline, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. An upper second- or first-class UK Bachelor’s or equivalent may be considered in special circumstances.

English language requirement: Standard

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

International equivalencies

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

Funding

The department offers dedicated project studentships for particular research fields, as well as studentships from the UK research councils. There are also some trust funds dedicated to support research in particular areas and a limited number of departmental studentships.

Brown Family Bursary

Value:
£15,000
Duration:
1 year
Eligibility:
Prospective full-time Master's students within the Faculties of the Built Environment, Engineering Science and Mathematical & Physical Sciences.

Brown Family Bursary

Value:
£15,000
Duration:
1 year
Eligibility:
Prospective full-time Master's students within the Faculties of the Built Environment, Engineering Science and Mathematical & Physical Sciences.

Summer Scholarship in Condensed Matter Physics

Value:
Variable
Duration:
1 year
Eligibility:
Current undergraduate students in the Department of Physics and Astronomy who are going into their final year of study.

Summer Scholarship in Condensed Matter Physics

Value:
Variable
Duration:
1 year
Eligibility:
Current undergraduate students in the Department of Physics and Astronomy who are going into their final year of study.

More scholarships are listed on the scholarships website

Careers

Top career destinations for this degree

  • Harvard University, Post Doctoral Fellow, 2011,
  • University of Vienna, Post Doctoral Researcher, 2011,
  • Smitsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Post Doctoral Research Fellow, 2011,
  • BAE Systems Detica, Cunsultant, 2011,
  • USB Investment Bank, Intern, 2009,

Employability

A PhD in Physics provides a wide variety of high-quality training in areas which are in great demand by future employers. A high degree of mathematical ability is always required and students learn how to apply this in innovative ways, modelling realistic physical systems. An advanced level of computer literacy, including programming in common languages, is frequently developed. Many doctorates also involve a significant degree of "hands-on" work, such as building, repairing and maintaining equipment. This variety of disparate skills leads to Physics PhD students being in particular demand and finding employment in many different areas of work within and outside the academic world.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL's Department of Physics and Astronomy is one of the top departments in the UK for graduate study (RAE 2008) and has opportunities in an extremely wide range of fields of research . Our international collaborations provide opportunities to work with an international team, including recently the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, the EISCAT radar instruments in Scandinavia and at the Institut Laue-Langevin in Grenoble. In some cases, there are opportunities for students to broaden their experience by spending part of their time overseas.

Student / staff ratios › 87 staff › 20 taught students › 191 research students

Department: Physics and Astronomy

Degree reviews

Alumni review

"I chose to study at UCL as it is among the best universities in the field of high energy physics. The contacts I made while studying at UCL have allowed me to participate on the board of a research council and other interesting activities."

Phil Kaziewicz

Subject: High Energy Physics PhD
Student review

"My primary reason for applying to UCL was the strength of the High Energy Physics group's research and its reputation. The group is involved in a wide range of interesting experiments around the world from the tunnels of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN to the Polar ice sheet at the South Pole where the Askaryan Radio Array is being built. There are also strong contributions in theoretical and accelerator physics. This breadth of research means that there are lots of interesting topics of research to choose between, as well as a wealth of expertise, which was great since I had not made my mind up completely when applying. "

Jonathan Davies

Subject: High Energy Physics PhD

Application and next steps

Applications

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Who can apply?

Application deadlines

Research degrees may start at any time of the year, but typically start in September. Deadlines and start dates are usually dictated by funding arrangements so check with the department or academic unit (contact listed in Next steps, right) to see if you need to consider these in your application preparation. In most cases you should identify and contact potential supervisors before making your application. For more information see our How to apply page.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

Contact Information

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IRIS

Visit the IRIS research portal to learn more about researchers' activities, research groups, research centres and interdisciplinary networks across the whole of UCL.

IRIS department: Physics and Astronomy

Faculty of the Mathematical and Physical Sciences

IRIS Portal

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