Physics postgraduate research degrees
If you're interested in taking your existing expertise and qualifications in Physics into a postgraduate research degree, Portsmouth is the perfect place to realise your ambitions.
Physicists observe natural phenomena – the way matter and energy interact – and create laws to explain them. They explore physical matter on every scale, from stars to sub-atomic particles, and energy in all its forms, such as light, motion and gravity.
When you join us to study for a postgraduate research degree, you'll have the opportunity to make your own contribution to the pioneering work we're doing – and play a part in transforming our research into impact.
Our physicists are working to advance knowledge and unlock advanced technology – and from researching new information processing and quantum computing to exploring new materials, we're using our expertise in Physics to power the future, improve industry, security, defence and the environment.
In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF2014), 96% of our research outputs have been judged world-leading or internationally excellent, making Portsmouth the top-ranked new university in Physics.
Find out about our PhD, MPhil and PhD by Publication opportunities in Physics below, including how to apply, entry requirements and funding your degree. For more detailed information about the application process, visit our How to Apply pages.
Physics PhDs and MPhils
Explore our pre-approved funded and self-funded PhD projects in Physics, or submit your own research idea.
PhD and MPhil projects
- Renormalization in dynamical systems
- Resilient pharmaceutical supply chain design – case studies in drug discovery
- Mathematical Foundations of Topological Data Analysis; Theory & Applications
- Complex differential equations with algebraic singularities
- Gaining insight into the dynamics of drug-cancer cell interactions with the aid of continuous and hybrid multiscale models
- Data-driven spatial models of human societies
PhD by Publication
A PhD by publication is a postgraduate research degree based on research you've already undertaken and had published (excluding self-publishing) before registering with us.
Eligible research outputs include peer-reviewed academic papers, complete books or chapters in anthologies, and other materials accepted for publication, exhibited or performed. You'll have to submit these materials for examination between 6-12 months after registering with us.
For more information, please visit our PhD by Publication page.
Duration, fees and funding
How long will my research degree take?
- MPhil: 2 years full-time, 4 years part-time
- PhD: 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time
- PhD by Publication: 1 year part-time
How much will my research degree cost?
PhD and MPhil
- Home/EU/CI full-time students: £4,327 p/a*
- Home/EU/CI part-time students: £2,164 p/a*
- International full-time students: £16,400 p/a*
- International part-time students: £8,200 p/a*
PhD by Publication
- External candidates: £4,327 p/a
- Members of University of Portsmouth staff: £1,550 p/a
*All fees are subject to annual increase
MPhil full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the Government Postgraduate Loan.
PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the Government Doctoral Loan.
For information on other sources of funding, visit our funding your postgraduate research degree page.
The entry requirements for a PhD or MPhil include a good honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject, or a master’s degree in an appropriate subject. Equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications may be considered. All applicants are subject to interview.
If English is not your first language, you'll need English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.
If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
Support and facilities
When you join us, you'll be supported by our Graduate School, alongside your assigned supervisory team, who'll help you get the most from our facilities. The Graduate School will help you become part of our thriving, collaborative research community, and help grow your skills as a researcher through the Graduate School Development Programme, which offers training, workshops and events.
Along with a supercomputer facility in the ICG, our facilities include a quantum optics lab including lasers, nonlinear crystals, optics and photon detectors, and a time-resolved photoluminescence system. Our LabLine plasma sputtering tool is the only one in Europe, and we are the company’s demo site. We also have fully-equipped laboratories to test microstructure, magnetic properties, thermal properties, conduction properties, dielectric properties and microscopy.
What can a postgraduate research degree do for my career?
Once you complete your postgraduate research degree, you'll be a highly-skilled researcher with the knowledge and skills to make an impact in many different industries.
Your postgraduate research qualification demonstrates to potential employers that you're an intelligent, capable and motivated person, with provable abilities and experience in critical thinking, problem-solving, project management, communication, leadership and creativity.
Explore the work we're doing across our areas of research expertise in Physics.
Our research is helping to solve issues related to energy harvesting, efficiency and storage, and medical technologies, security and the environment.
We're conducting research into new quantum technologies, including applications for high-precision measurements, computing, and secure communication.