About the Department
We are one of the UK's leading Physics and Astronomy departments and part of a prestigious university. As such, we are committed both to high-quality undergraduate teaching and to first-class scientific research. We are a large, dynamic department, with a staff of 37 professors, 12 readers, 11 senior lecturers, 18 lecturers, about 100 post-doctoral researchers and fellows, 150 PhD postgraduate students.
We offer a wide variety of B.Sc./M.Phys. undergraduate and integrated degree courses in Physics, Physics & Astronomy, and Theoretical Physics, and each year we admit about 170 students. In addition, Physics modules may be taken as a component of a B.Sc. or M.Sci. degree in Natural Sciences
Our research concentrates on five key areas of Physics: Advanced Instrumentation, Astronomy and Astrophysics, Atomic and Molecular Physics, Condensed Matter Physics, and Elementary Particle Theory. Durham has the largest Particle Theory group in the UK. The department is very strong in Astronomy and Astrophysics, from the design of giant telescopes to computational cosmology; our research group on galaxy evolution is the largest in Europe and a major user of the Hubble Space Telescope and other space-based observatories.The department hosts two EPSRC Centres for Doctoral Training in Soft Matter and Functional Interfaces and Fusion Science and Technology.
In a recent survey for "impact factors" (citations per paper published) we were ranked top in Astrophysics and third overall of all UK physics departments. Durham is home to two major research institutes: the Institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology and the Institute for Computational Cosmology. Staff of these institutes also participate in our undergraduate teaching.