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Research degrees (Master & PhD)

Embark on a journey into the exciting world of advanced physics research and academic discovery.

We offer an engaging and innovative environment for our research degree programs. Our department is renowned for its world-class research, and we provide opportunities for both Masters and PhD candidates to delve into cutting-edge physics research. Whether you are passionate about particle physics, driven by discoveries in quantum technology, or fascinated by theoretical physics, our programs are designed to cultivate your scientific curiosity and propel your academic career.

Research degrees

MSc Physics by Research 

  • One year MSc Available in any research area
  • 100% extended research project

Many students take this degree in order to get a taste of research without an initial commitment to a three-year PhD. However approximately 50 per cent follow on with a PhD. The MSc in Physics Research may also be taken by those qualified to BSc level who desire to progress to doctoral studies.

Although MSc by Research is available in any research area we are also offering a one year

MSc Physics by Research: Physics and the Climate

  • Use Met Office datasets with Machine Learning (ML) algorithms (python)
    • Compare different datasets
    • Look for evidence of climate change: compare ML methods with more conventional statistical methods
    • Use ML to make predictions about climate data
    • Use ML to learn more about UK climate and how it is evolving
  • Requirements:
    • PH3040 (for Royal Holloway students)
    • an interest in climate and atmospheric science
    • an interest in computing

Please find more information on these courses and how to apply here.

September 2024 entry

The Centre for Particle Physics and Astronomy and the Quantum Materials and Technologies group held an on-line Open Event on Wednesday 29 November 2023.  You can view the introduction and Centre for Particle Physics and Astronomy recording here.

  • Applications for PhD degrees are via our Applicant Portal
  • For Particle Physics and Astronomy positions, funding is currently available only for UK-settled students
  • We accept applications until all available vacancies are filled
  • For Quantum Materials and Technology applicants, when submitting your application through our Applicant Portal, please also email the supervisor named on your application. They will then contact you re availability of studentship and interviews etc
  • Prospective applicants who would like to visit in person please email


Typically, we accept 10 students annually onto PhD programmes in our research groups. Studentships are funded by UK Research Councils, the European Commission, the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), CERN, Diamond Light Source and Royal Holloway. We also have joint PhD studentships with our other research collaborations. We may also accept students who are self-funded or supported from other sources. 


We use FindAPhD to advertise specific research projects that require PhD students and the current list is below. We welcome students with an interest to pursue a PhD in our research areas (condensed matter, particle physics, particle astrophysics, theoretical physics, astronomy, nanotechnology and quantum devices and accelerator physics). In this case please contact the relevant group contact on the research group pages.  

Applying to us

Applications for PhD degrees are via our Applicant Portal. Physics PhD candidates do not require a detailed research proposal. A short statement explaining your reasons for choosing the research area and relevant experience, a CV and relevant transcripts should be uploaded instead.

Studentship opportunities

Many of our PhD offers are directly funded or competition funded. There are also other studentship opportunities listed here.


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