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Centre for Materials Physics

Applying to CMP

How to apply

To apply to start a postgraduate course, please complete the University on line application form. Please also upload any relevant documentation with your application, including academic transcripts. Applications only proceed after all these documents have been received. Applications to the Centre via the Postgraduate Administrator will expedite your application being evaluated by all staff in the Centre. If you have discussed possible PhD projects with members of academic staff then you should also include that information on the University application form.

We have one postgraduate booklet outlining the Ph.D. projects that are available for prospective students.

If you are a UK citizen, we will automatically consider you for an EPSRC (UK funding agency) grant A critical component of a successful Ph.D. in Physics is a vibrant research team which in the Centre for Materials Physics includes the primary supervisor, a co-supervisor and the Ph.D. student. If you are interested in a number of projects or areas of physics, explicitly mention the title of the projects you are interested in on your application form and the admissions staff member in the Centre will ensure your application is circulated to all appropriate staff. If you are unable to use the online form, please contact the Postgraduate Administrator in the Department at: physics.pg-admissions@durham.ac.uk.

We will need the following information on your application:

• Personal details

• Academic qualifications and career to date

• An outline of your research interests (for higher degree by thesis) - note that the titles of the research projects taken from the CMP booklet are sufficient. You are not required or recommended to submit a full research project outline.

• The names and addresses of two academic referees

• Your chosen college, if you have a preference.

All full-time postgraduates are members of one of our colleges. If you have a preference for a particular college please indicate this on your application. More information about Durham's collegiate system can be found at www.durham.ac.uk/colleges/

Language requirements: You need to ensure that if you are not a native English speaker you meet the University's entry requirements for proficiency using the English Language. This, and other minimum requirements, are described at www.durham.ac.uk/international/countryinfo/ (the Centre for Materials Physics' postgraduate courses are all research based programmes).

International students: Durham has a long tradition of welcoming excellent students from all over the world. If you are thinking of applying to Durham University, of course you should look through these web-pages at the fabulous on-going research and training (and in particular our Ph.D Booklet and Ph.D handbook). Also try to speak with some of our alumni, they are our greatest ambassadors. The vast majority of international students bring their own scholarships with them - if you have your own scholarship and wish to be put in touch with a relevant alumni/a please include it on your application form.

Ph.D Studentships

Applications are invited for our Ph.D studentships.  We also take a limited number of MSc (by research) postgraduates (who usually bring their own research funding).

The demands of materials physics require that we can only accept students of the highest calibre; applicants usually have, or expect to gain, a first class degree in Physics, Mathematics, Natural Sciences or other appropriate subject. They are then provided with an excellent generic training in science. Doctoral graduates from Durham are highly sought after. In addition to many of our students taking first-class academic/research positions around the world, many others have secured careers for example in scientific management, patent law, industrial research, consultancy and scientific advisory positions for institutions and governments.

Our post-graduate degree courses normally start in October.

We have EPSRC funded studentships available to students resident in the UK for the past three years. These cover tuition fees and pay a generous bursary to cover living expenses. More details are available on our funding page.

Details on tuition fees are available on the following University pages:

We also hold an annual postgraduate research poster session/openday.

Reasons to study Materials Physics in Durham


  • World-class department and University (Durham's Physics Department is continually ranked in the top 5 in the UK)
  • World-class academics in Materials Physics
  • World-class facilities
  • A range of Ph.D projects varying from blue-skies fundamental topics to those addressing critical global technological issues so you will find something to really interest you.
  • Personalised supervision with a research programme tailored to the individual.
  • Our close inter-section collaboration allows you to be flexible and take charge of your research project.
  • 3.5 year fully funded Ph.D. studentships.
  • UK Times Higher award winning post-graduate training - following The Robert's Report. (The University's Graduate School provides doctoral training courses that support your research, teaching and career)
  • Advanced lecture courses and seminars given by world leaders in the subjects
  • International collaborators that lead to research trips and conferences
  • Collaboration with spin-out companies and industry.

Centre for Materials Physics Staff