Physics PhD/MRes

Physics PhD/MRes
Join a school with an international reputation for high-quality research across a wide range of research areas.

Fact file

Physics PhD/MRes
PhD - 3 or 3.5 years full-time, MRes - 1 year full-time
Entry requirements
2:1 (or international equivalent) in physics, mathematical physics or mathematics
6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)  If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
Start date
University Park
Physics and Astronomy
Other requirements



Our research

We have an excellent track record in the training of postgraduate scientists, and offer courses that combine research projects with supporting training modules. We aim to provide a solid basis to enable you to excel in your subsequent careers.

We offer MRes and PhD programmes, which focus on major research projects. Supplemented by taught courses, they are designed to broaden your scientific knowledge and provide relevant IT, presentational and transferable skills.

Physics PhD page


One year research based degree with up to 20 optional credits of generic training taken in MPAGS and/or the Graduate School and up to 40 credits of taught modules. The main component is a research based dissertation the equivalent of 120-160 credits.


The School of Physics and Astronomy offers research opportunities across their six different research groups. Find out more about each of the individual research groups:

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As well as the main physics building, the school has two additional centres sited close by – the Centre for Astronomy and Particle Physics (CAPT) and the Sir Peter Mansfield Magnetic Resonance Centre (SPMMRC).

In 2003, Professor Sir Peter Mansfield, a researcher in the School for many years, jointly received the Nobel for Medicine for development of magnetic resonance imaging for medical purposes. Also linked to the school is the newly opened Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Centre, a coordinated nanotechnology resource for pure and applied research and teaching.

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Research support

Postgraduates are integrated into the research community through participation in research seminars given by visiting speakers, and research workshops given by members of the School. There is an active postgraduate research group in each of the school's main research areas. 

Student Services

Student Services provide a range of support and information to enhance your student experience. They are part of a comprehensive network of University services that includes academic and disability support, counselling, financial support and childcare services.

Centre for English Language Education

Accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK, the University's Centre for English Language Education provides high-quality preparation and English language support, as well as a social programme for its students.

Students' Union

The Students' Union is an important source of support with their own Student Advice Centre and dedicated Postgraduate Officer.

Researcher Development Programme

Working closely with academic schools, the Graduate School's dedicated training team contribute to faculty specific and doctoral training programmes. They deliver core training in line with the standards set out by the UK's major research funders through their researcher development programme.


Find a supervisor

We encourage you to get in touch with a member of academic staff about your research proposal before submitting an application. They may be able to help you with your proposal and offer support to find funding opportunities in your area. Details of research supervisors at the University can be found on our research A to Z.

Fees and funding

See information on how to fund your masters, including our step-by-step guide.

UK/EU Students

The Graduate School website provides more information on internal and external sources of postgraduate funding.

As a student on this course, we do not anticipate any extra significant costs, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses. You should be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies which you would need to factor into your budget.

Government loans for masters courses

The Government offers postgraduate student loans for students studying a taught or research masters course. Applicants must ordinarily live in England or the EU. Student loans are also available for students from Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

International and EU students

Masters scholarships are available for international students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study. You must already have an offer to study at Nottingham to apply. Please note closing dates to ensure your course application is submitted in good time.

Information and advice on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study is available on our website, as well as country-specific resources.



Average starting salary and career progression

In 2017, 87.5% of postgraduates in the school who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £30,000 with the highest being £31,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home higher degree postgraduates 2016/17. Salaries are calculated based on those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

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Career prospects and employability

Those who take up a postgraduate research opportunity with us will not only receive support in terms of close contact with supervisors and specific training related to your area of research, you will also benefit from dedicated careers advice from our Careers and Employability Service. Individual guidance appointments, career management training programme, access to resources and invitations to events including skills workshops and recruitment fairs are just some of the ways in which they can help you develop your full potential, whether you choose to continue within an academic setting or are looking at options outside of academia.


Related courses and downloads

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Get in touch

 t: +44 (0) 115 951 5559

This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

Student Recruitment Enquiries Centre

The University of Nottingham
King's Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

t: +44 (0) 115 951 5559
w: Frequently asked questions
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