PhD Research in Physics and Astronomy

Fully-funded PhD places

Specific projects

Specific fully-funded PhD projects can become available throughout the year, although studentships in Astrophysics generally have an annual deadline.  We always welcome applications to the Centre of Doctoral Training in Metamaterials (XM2). Current positions will be listed on our Funding for postgraduates page.

Flexible projects

There are also a number of PhD places directly funded by the Research Councils, the University and other bodies, with considerable flexibility concerning the precise area of research.

These are our most flexible awards as the student and academic concerned can decide together the exact area of research. They are suitable for applicants who satisfy the Research Council funding eligibility requirements or have secured their own funding.

Note that only a few of these flexible projects will be funded in a given year, so it is a good idea to list several projects in order of preference when applying for these projects.

Project research areas

Why choose Exeter for your postgraduate Physics research?

  • 8th in the UK for world leading and internationally excellent research
  • 9th in the UK for Physics & Astronomy in The Complete University Guide 2016
  • Multimillion pound investment in ultra fast lasers, nano-fabrication, bio-imaging, clean-rooms and computing facilities
  • Excellent research facilities include an astronomical observatory, a £1 million supercomputer and a helium liquefier
  • Over 90 per cent submit their theses within the EPSRC deadline period, with most publishing several scientific papers during their period of study
  • Collaborative biomedical research opportunities with Sport and Health Sciences and University of Exeter Medical School

1 Research Assessment Exercise 2008 based on percentage of research categorised as 4* and 3*

Claire Woollacott

I did my undergraduate degree here at the University of Exeter, studying physics, and then my masters as well, so although I looked at other places to do my postgraduate degree I always thought that staying here was the best option for me. I really love it here at Exeter, it’s so friendly and everyone is willing to help each other. There is so much support, and we are a really close group. There are post graduate seminars that are useful, and we also come together as a group to present our research to each other, which means you really have to know your own research inside out. My supervisor is always available if I need to talk things through, which is fantastic. I love the enthusiasm of my tutor, who is always available to talk through any issues, and my mentor is also brilliant, and will keep questioning me to make me think about my work. I really do love everything about studying here. When you are thinking about studying anywhere you have to weigh up what is the best subject for you, with the best supervisors – and for me, the University of Exeter has given me just that.

Claire Woollacott, Physics postgraduate