Physics at Exeter maintains an international reputation for research and we continue to invest in top-quality academics and research students to enhance this expertise.


All current open positions for staff and students will be listed on the College's vacancies page.

Postgraduate research projects

We encourage interested applicants to browse our research pages for areas of our research they are interested in and to contact the members of academic staff concerned.

Specific fully-funded PhD projects can become available throughout the year. Current positions will be listed on our Funding for postgraduates page.

We encourage applications to Exeter’s Centre for Doctoral Training in Metamaterials (XM2) to be made at any time, and there is a list of PhD projects given on the Themes and Projects pages.  XM2 provides up to 18 fully-funded 4-year studentships per year.

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

World-leading research staff

Physics at the University of Exeter is exemplified by our world-leading academic staff. Our academic team have an outstanding breadth of knowledge, passion and energy across a wide range of research interests, from quantum behaviour in nanomaterials, the formation of stars and the age of the universe to biomedical physics, photonics and astrophysics. that will support you throughout your research. You will develop a strong personal relationship with your supervisor and tutor which will support you to achieve your ambitions. 

Our academic team are enthusiastic about sharing their expertise and knowledge with the next generation of physicists, and are on hand to assist you in your innovative research projects. As well as dedicated contact hours with your supervisor and tutor, our team operate an open door policy which allows you to raise questions and issues as they arise.  This collaborative approach allows you to flourish by creating a supportive, cooperative environment in which to excel in your research.


Being part of a collaborative research community is the ideal environment for you to flourish.  We encourage our students to engage with each other, as well as our world-class academics, to promote a vibrant, supportive and friendly research atmosphere.  The group structure provides a very positive support mechanism, helping research students to sustain productive research; over 90 per cent submit within the EPSRC deadline period, with most publishing several scientific papers during their period of study.  We understand that it is vital that you are a part of a stimulating and energetic environment with your peers throughout your research degree.  We also recognise  that being in a position to discuss stages of your work is essential to your long-term success.  To support this, we organise a series of postgraduate seminars where research students discuss their work, carry out presentations and swap ideas. We strive to ensure that you are a valued and intrinsic member of a close-knit group of ambitious research students, who will cooperate and provide support to each other when necessary.

All postgraduate research students are allocated a second supervisors and/or mentor to guide you throughout your postgraduate degree and we deliberately create a policy of openness and approachability. You will undertake a full programme of induction and training in order to

  • provide the technical, mathematical, organisational and personal skills required for your research;
  • heighten your awareness of recent advances in physics and astronomy research, through the Colloquium Programme;
  • provide you with essential safety, and fire training;
  • introduce you to the facilities, support and monitoring services provided by Physics and Astronomy and throughout the College.

Further information

If you have any questions about specific projects or research areas please contact the relevant academics who will be happy to talk with you on an informal basis. You are welcome to enquire about more than one project or research area, but to avoid confusion please tell the staff members concerned that you are doing so.

If you have any other questions, please contact:


Dr Feodor Ogrin
Postgraduate Admissions Tutor

Prof Alastair Hibbins
Admissions Tutor for the Centre of Doctoral Training in Metamaterials (XM2)


Dr Clare Dobbs

Full information about how to apply for postgraduate study and the decision timeframe along with useful information about student life, accommodation, facilities and services at the University of Exeter can be found on the Postgraduate Research website.

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

Following the inspiring atmosphere and personal approach Exeter offered me as an undergraduate I was keen to further my education here. I experienced working in the Electromagnetic Materials Group as part of my Masters project and loved it! I was also impressed by the amount of world leading research produced by this Group, so I wanted to carry on and I hope to complete my study here in 2012.

After graduating in 2007 I was employed in Cornwall for a year as a Radio Frequency and Microwave Development Engineer where I worked in the research, design and development of precision waveguide components and test equipment. I returned from industry to further enhance my future employability while maintaining links through my industrial sponsor QinetiQ.

In my current study the understanding of fundamental electromagnetism enables me to explain much more complex systems. My work concerns controlling the transmission, reflection and absorption of electromagnetic radiation through sub wavelength metallic meshes which is important as our society develops more wireless technology where electromagnetic signals need to be screened or controlled.  I’ve taken part in several conferences during my time here and gave a talk at my first conference, Nanometa 2009, in Seefeld Austria. I’ve also presented posters of my work at Metamorphose 2009 in London, at META 2010 in Cairo, Egypt and at a Royal Society Meeting (2010), at Chicheley Hall, UK.

I would recommend postgraduate study or research at Exeter to anyone as it provides world class research opportunities in a great location. There’s the beauty of the North Devon coast, Dartmoor and Exmoor a short distance away, and yet the city itself is close, lively and friendly. As an undergraduate the lecturers were enthusiastic and were always available to sit down and provide support, which proved invaluable. I’ve enjoyed the friendly atmosphere through all levels of my study, in addition to the opportunity to present my own work at international conferences, and the chance to work with world leading physicists on world leading research.

Celia Butler, PhD in Physics (Microwave Photonics, Electromagnetic Materials Group)

Masters in Physics with Professional Experience, (MPhys), University of Exeter