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Department of Physics

Degrees Offered

We provide research topics at the forefront of the subject, with good facilities, high quality supervision and monitoring and with relevant postgraduate lecture courses and seminars, as well as opportunities to attend and speak at conferences. Successful postgraduate study at Durham will not only secure your higher degree but will also form a firm foundation for your future career.

Degrees Offered

We offer the following postgraduate courses:

Details of studentships can be found below and on the Studentships page.

Positions open in new EPSRC funded Centre for Doctoral Training

A number of PHD positions will be available in the EPSRC funded Centre for Doctoral Training in Soft Matter and Functional Interfaces (SOFI CDT).

For further information visit the SOFI CDT web pages ( or contact Dr Lian Hutchings (

PhD Opportunity - Cooperatively Enhanced Electric Field Sensing using Rydberg Atoms

Durham University is offering the following PhD research project, as part of the Translational Quantum Technology Programme:

Cooperatively Enhanced Electric Field Sensing using Rydberg Atoms

Academic Supervisors: Kevin Weatherill and Charles Adams

Industrial Collaborators: M2 lasers (Glasgow)

Further details can be found at the link below:

Astronomy Post-graduate Research Studentships

We are seeking graduate students to undertake research within our PhD and MSc programmes; the University regulations on the thesis/dissertation are outlined here.

STFC studentships: We expect to take on several STFC-funded students for a PhD degree, in addition to further students either self funded or with funding from different sources. Students will undertake full-time (or part time) cutting edge astronomical research, in addition to our post-graduate lecture courses in their first year: Astronomy and Astronomy and Astrophysics and Astronomical Instrumentation. More details on the application procedure and eligibilty are below. The STFC-funded PhD studentships cover course fees and living expenses for the duration of the studentship (typically 3.5 years); the eligiblility criteria for a fully funded STFC studentship is based on UK residency 3 years prior to the start of the studentship, unresticted rights to remain in the UK and be citizen of a European Union member state. STFC provides further guidelines about information and eligibility rules for STFC studentships . Applicants are required to have, or expected to gain, at least a 2.1 in an integrated MPhys or a pass in a Masters degree or a 1st class in a Bachelors degree, in physics, astrophysics or mathematics.

Given the large size of the astronomy group at Durham, each year we restrict the number of astronomy staff who offer STFC-funded PhD projects to about 10. We find that this provides a broad range of PhD projects while also making it (substantially) easier for potential students to select their preferred projects. The staff members who are likely to offer a STFC-funded PhD project this year include Prof. Alexander, Prof. Chadwick, Prof. Cole, Dr. Eke, Prof. Jenkins, Prof. Lacey, Dr. Li, Prof. Morris, Prof. Smail, Prof Theuns, and Prof. Ward.

Project booklet (STFC-funded students): This booklet provides details of the STFC-funded PhD projects that are available for an October 2018 start. Shortlisted candidates for STFC studentships will be invited for interviews; see below for the interview dates this year. For other potential students please also consult our group research web pages and contact the staff that you would be interested in working with.

Please Note: All applications received before January 31st 2018 will be considered in full. For further information regarding other funding opportunities available and about the Astronomy group please refer to

Skyrmion Project PhD studentship: Magnetic Skyrmions in thin Films

Project Description

Applications are invited for a Durham University 3.5 year fully funded PhD studentship in the growth and characterization of magnetic skyrmions in thin films to work with Professor Peter D. Hatton and Dr. Aidan Hindmarch in the Department of Physics at Durham University. The project is part of the UK nationally funded Skyrmion Project involving groups at Durham, Cambridge, Oxford, Southampton and Warwick universities The full time studentship, includes a stipend of £14,140 per year, fees and support for research costs and conference travel.

The successful candidate will join the Skyrmion Project, a UK national consortium of eight academics in five different institutions which have secured £7M in funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Universities and Industry project partners. This is an exciting opportunity to join a large national consortia for postgraduate research in the hottest area of magnetism and condensed matter physics and to undertake research in an area of national strategic importance.

The research student will undertake sputtering and pulsed laser deposition growth of thin films of skyrmionic materials. Structural and magnetic characterization will include x-ray and neutron reflectivity measurements, a.c magnetic susceptibility, Lorentz field transmission electron microscopy, magnetic field microscopy to study the dynamics and velocity of skyrmions in thin films and devices. The project will be jointly supervised by professor Peter D. Hatton and Dr. Aidan Hindmarch. There will be opportunities to travel and work with the other skyrmion project partners and industrial laboratories.

Applicants should have or expect to attain a good first or upper second class honours degree in physics, materials science or a related subject.

The closing date for applications is Thursday 1st February 2018. Please submit applications electronically via the Durham University, Department of Physics website

The start date is October 2018. Informal enquiries are welcome and should be directed to either Professor Peter Hatton ( or Dr. Aidan Hindmarch (

Due to funding requirements the post is only open to UK and EU students