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PhD, MPhil, MRes, EngDPhysics

Research opportunities

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

You can study an MPhil or an MRes over the course of 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 study either option in any of our four research groups:


Our EngD degree is specific to:

  • Photonics
  • Applied Photonics
  • Optics & Photonics Technologies

Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Professional Development (PG Cert RPD) programme 

As part of your PhD degree, you'll be enrolled on the Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Professional Development (PG Cert RPD). 

This certificate is designed to support you with your research and rewards you for things you'll do as a research student here.

It'll help you improve skills which are important to professional development and employability:

  • the knowledge and intellectual abilities to conduct your research
  • the personal qualities to succeed in your research and chosen career
  • the standards, requirements and conduct of a professional researcher in your discipline
  • working with others and communicating the impact of your research to a wide range of audiences

All you have to do is plan these activities alongside your doctorate, documenting and reflecting your journey to success along the way.

Find out more about the PG Cert RPD programme.

PhD Synthetic and Natural Ester liquids: The Roadmap Towards Practical Use of Environmentally Friendly Liquid Dielectrics in the Pulsed Power Industry

A 36-month full-time, fully-funded PhD, supported by the University of Strathclyde and our major Pulsed Power industrial partner, focusing on the use of environmentally friendly non-toxic dielectric liquids (natural and synthetic ester fluids) in advanced power and pulsed power systems for high voltage insulation.


31 August 2018



Fees & funding


Scotland/ EU

  • £4,260*

Rest of UK

  • £4,260*

* Please note that 2018-19 PGR entrants may be subject to a small fee during the writing up period

International students

  • £18,750 (full-time)


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.

The fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year.

How can I apply?

You can apply for a postgraduate research degree at any point in the year.

All you have to do is complete an online application.

Entry requirements

You'll need one of the following:

  • a Masters or an Integrated Masters Degree in physics
  • a first or 2:1 UK Honours degree, or overseas equivalent, from a recognised educational establishment in physics 
  • an 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 with in your application and we'll team you up with the best supervisor for your project.

Once 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 cannot supervise then it's passed along to another for consideration.

If they can supervise you then the supervisor will confirm and nominate a potential second supervisor.

As soon as a second supervisor is confirmed, an offer will be sent to you through Pegasus, our online application system.

If you accept, you'll be sent a full offer in writing via the email address you'll have provided.

Accepting an offer

Once 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 clearance certificate will be a mandatory requirement for some postgraduate students in science, engineering and technology.

You do not need an ATAS certificate if:

  • you are a UK/EU/EEA national
  • you require a Tier 4 student Visa, Entry Clearance or Extension to Stay to study in the UK
  • you wish to study within certain subject areas at the University where the exit award will be a doctorate or postgraduate masters degree

Find out if you need an ATAS certificate.

You can apply for a postgraduate research degree at any point in the year.

All you have to do is complete an online application.

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 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.


We have a great careers service that 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 loads of different support for all students here at our University. Get all the information you need at Strathlife.

Discover more about physics

Self-organised optomechanical patterns

The physics behind some of nature's most spectacular structures have been observed in an atomic gas at very low temperatures, published in Nature Photonics

Physics - Photonics

Leading partnerships

Strathclyde Quantum Optics in Glasgow takes a leading role in the new International Max Planck Partnership in Measurement and Observatory as one of five Scottish physics departments together with five Max Planck institutes in Germany.

Physics machinery

Gravitational waves detected!

Gravitational waves have been detected 100 years after Einstein's prediction! The waves were observed at two separate LIGO sites in the United States. The discovery ushers in a new era of astronomy. Dr Nicholas Lockerbie tells us more:

What is a gravitational wave?

Gravitational waves carry information about their dramatic origins and about the nature of gravity that cannot otherwise be obtained.

Dr Nicholas Lockerbie, Reader in Department of Physics, tells us more:

Life in Glasgow

We're one of Europe's most vibrant cities. Voted the ‘friendliest city in the world’ in the Rough Guide in 2016, we're also named a must-visit destination in the New York Times, The Guardian and Wanderlust.

Glasgow at Night - Clyde, Crane, Armadillo, Hydro

Scholarships & funding opportunities

Group of graduates

We can help with a wide range of financial support.

Department of Physics

Find out more about studying with us.

Optical technologies