PhD, MPhil, MRes, EngD Physics

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Research opportunities

You can study an MPhil or an MRes over one year or a PhD over the course of three to four years. You also have the option of an EngD over four or five years, depending on your research area.

MPhil, MRes & PhD

You can undertake your degree in any of our research groups:


Our EngD degree is specific to:

  • Photonics
  • Applied Photonics
  • Optics & Photonics Technologies

Physics machine tool

THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner
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Fees & funding

All fees quoted are per academic year unless otherwise stated.

Entrants may be subject to a small fee during the writing up period.

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England, Wales & Northern Ireland





You can apply for a SUPA Prize Studentship for research training funding.

You can also have a look at our scholarship search for any other funding opportunities.

Postgraduate research opportunities

Search for all funded and non-funded postgraduate research opportunities.

Please note: the fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year.

The Times / The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021. University of the Year shortlisted.
The Times / The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021. University of the Year shortlisted.
Araceli Venegas-Gomez, Physics PhD student
We collaborate with some of the best research groups in the fields of quantum optics, and we have several events over the year with people from all over the world.
Araceli Venegas-Gomez
Physics PhD student

Our research

Based on the REF 2014 GPA Scores, Times Higher Education ranked Strathclyde as number one in the UK for physics research.

Our research ranges from looking at the fundamental properties of the universe to developing technologies that have the potential to improve health care in the future.


Find out more about our research

Watch our departmental video to find out more

Athena Swan bronze logo

Our department holds an Athena Swan Bronze Award for its commitment to advancing women's careers in science.

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Research interests

Current PhD student topics

Dr Gordon Robb                 
  • theory and simulation of: collective light-matter interactions,  optomechanics, nonlinear and quantum optics/atom optics
  • self-organised atomic phases via diffractive light coupling, optomechanics and nonlinear optics involving orbital angular momentum, simulation of radiation-driven instabilities, control and measurement of quantum optical systems for quantum technologies
Dr Alan Kemp
  • solid-state laser engineering - in particular thermal management and compact designs for high-performance lasers
  • diamond Raman lasers; diode-pumped Ti:sapphire lasers; mid-infrared lasers; solid-state lasers for industrial applications 
Dr Daniel Oi   
  • space quantum technologies, quantum information theory, quantum optics, quantum computation, quantum system characterisation 
Dr Paul Griffin 
  • atomic physics, laser spectroscopy, optics, laser cooling, Bose-Einstein condensates, precision metrology, quantum technologies, quantum degenerate gases, coherent control 
  • laser-cooled atomic clocks, atomic magnetometry, atom interferometry, quantum technologies for ocean optics, compressive imaging from satellites, systems engineering for quantum technologies
Dr John Jeffers  
  • quantum radar and lidar, quantum state amplification, quantum imaging, coherent perfect absorption and amplification, quantum optical technology
  • quantum radar, state comparison amplification, quantification of nongaussianity of quantum operations
Professor Rob Martin 
  • III-nitride semiconductors, optoelectronic devices, scanning electron microscopy, condensed matter 
  • characterisation of LEDs and LED materials for new and advanced light sources; Novel techniques for 2D and 3D imaging of materials in the scanning electron microscope; Development of new semiconductor materials for new real-world applications
Dr David McKee
  • in situ radiometry and inherent optical properties, ocean colour remote sensing, ocean biogeochemistry, imaging flow cytometry, algal photophysiology, fluorescence lifetime, point source integrating cavity absorption meter, radiative transfer modelling
  • optical properties of natural waters, Arctic Ocean light fields and primary production, ocean colour remote sensing in optically complex coastal waters, spectral deconvolution for ocean colour remote sensing, machine learning for ocean colour remote sensing, underwater impacts of light pollution, remote sensing of zooplankton, propagation of OAM beams underwater, ultrafast fluorescence lifetime for lgal photophysiology
Dr Konstantinos Lagoudakis
  •  experimental quantum condensed matter physics, all-optical coherent control of individual quantum emitters, high-resolution spectroscopy, cryo-microscopy, scanning confocal microscopy
Professor Andrew Daley 
  • quantum simulation, quantum optics, ultracold quantum gases, implementation and applications of quantum computing, strongly interacting quantum systems, open quantum systems, tensor network methods
  • quantum feedback and control of many-body systems, dynamics in quantum systems with long-range interactions, controlled dissipation in quantum systems, non-markovian dynamics in open quantum systems, verification of quantum simulators, interacting particles in topological systems
Dr Jonathan Pritchard 
  • neutral atom quantum computing, quantum optics, hybrid quantum systems, quantum illumination, RF sensing and imaging, laser cooling and trapping
  • Rydberg atom quantum computing, hybrid quantum networking using Rydberg atoms coupled to superconducting circuits, quantum radar, practical high-brightness quantum illumination for unspoofable LIDAR
Dr Jennifer Hastie 
  • optically-pumped semiconductor lasers, lasers for quantum technology, lasers for metrology, ultra-coherent lasers, laser stabilisation, semiconductor gain structure design, novel semiconductor gain material, Raman lasers 
Dr Michael Strain 
  • integrated photonic devices, heterogeneous integration technologies, diamond and wide bandgap waveguides, micro-LED imaging arrays and communications
Dr Oliver Henrich 
  • Langevin and molecular dynamics, lattice-Boltzmann method, computational fluid dynamics, stochastic and partial differential equations 
  • coarse-grained modelling of DNA and RNA, DNA supercoiling, hydrodynamics of liquid crystals and complex fluids


Postgraduate research at the Strathclyde Doctoral School

The Strathclyde Doctoral School provides a vibrant and comprehensive student-centred research and training environment in order to grow and support current and future research talent. The School encompasses our four faculties and is committed to enriching the student experience, intensifying research outputs and opportunities, and ensuring training is at the highest level. As a postgraduate researcher, you'll automatically become a member of the Strathclyde Doctoral School.

Find out more about the Doctoral School

Aerial view of students sitting around coffee tables

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Support & development

Graduate School

All our physics research students are members of the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance (SUPA) Graduate School which supports postgraduate-level training across Scotland.

You'll take 40 hours of technical lecture courses in your first two years along with 20 hours of transferrable skills training.

Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Professional Development (PgCert RPD)

Our PgCert RPD programme aims to ensure you get the most out of your current research activities at Strathclyde and help you prepare for your future career as a researcher.

We'll help you recognise and develop your transferrable skills that'll have a positive impact on your research, now and in the future.

Find out more about the PgCert RPD programme.



The University Careers Service can help you with everything from writing your CV to interview preparation. Take a look at our Careers Service pages to get more information.

Student support

From financial advice to our IT facilities, we have a wide range of support for all students here at Strathclyde. Get all the information you need at Strathlife.


International students

We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 100 countries across the world. Find out all you need to know about studying in Glasgow at Strathclyde and hear from students about their experiences.

Visit our international students' section

Map of the world.

Interested in undertaking a postgraduate research degree at Strathclyde?

Read our step-by-step guide on how to submit your application.

How to apply
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Entry requirements

You require to have one of the following:

  • Masters or an Integrated Masters Degree in physics
  • first-class or upper second-class UK Honours degree, or overseas equivalent, from a recognised educational establishment in physics 
  • IELTS score of 6.5 as proof of English proficiency, if English isn't your first language

The application

During the application you'll be asked for the following:

  • your full contact details
  • transcripts and certificates of all degrees
  • proof of English language proficiency if English isn't your first language
  • two references, one of which must be academic
  • funding or scholarship information
  • research proposal of 250 to 1,000 words in length, detailing the subject area and topic to be investigated

By filling these details out as fully as possible, you'll avoid any delay to your application being processed by the university.


You can identify and interact with a supervisor before applying, or you can let us know who you'd like to work within your application and we'll team you up with the best supervisor for your project. When we've received your application, your research proposal is passed to potential supervisors for consideration. If it's not compatible with the researcher's current projects and they are unable to supervise, it's passed along to another for consideration. If they can supervise you, they'll confirm and nominate a potential second supervisor. As soon as a second supervisor is confirmed, an offer of study will be sent to you through Pegasus, our online application system.

When you accept our offer, you'll receive a full offer in writing via the email address you'll have provided.

Accepting an offer

When you've accepted our offer, we'll need you to fulfil any academic, administrative or financial conditions that we ask.

UK or EU students

If you're applying as a UK or EU student, you'll then be issued with your registration documentation.

International students

An ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) clearance certificate is a mandatory requirement for some postgraduate students in science, engineering and technology.

Find out if you need an ATAS certificate.

Apply now

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Contact us


Telephone: +44 (0)141 548 3362


John Anderson Building
107 Rottenrow
G1 1XJ