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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:

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 (

SOFI CDT PhD Positions for October 2017

EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Soft Matter and Functional Interfaces

Up to 16 fully-funded four-year PhD studentships are available in the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Soft Matter and Functional Interfaces for October 2017 for graduates in the physical sciences including Physics.

The EPSRC funded Centre for Doctoral Training in Soft Matter and Functional Interfaces (SOFI CDT) provides industrially-integrated, postgraduate training in research, enterprise and innovation for future leaders in the soft matter academic and industrial sectors. SOFI CDT combines expertise from Durham, Leeds and Edinburgh universities, industry and central facilities. It brings together more than 50 academics from departments of Physics, Chemistry, Food Science, Biology, Engineering, Computing, (Applied) Mathematics and Durham University Business School.

For further information on SOFI CDT and how to apply please visit the SOFI CDT website: and

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:

PhD studentship: Dynamics of Complex and Biological Fluids (October 2017)

Applications are invited for a PhD studentship to work on the theoretical and computational dynamics of complex and biological fluids with Halim Kusumaatmaja and Suzanne Fielding in the Soft Matter and Biological Physics Group of the Department of Physics at Durham University.

Depending on the interests of the applicant the project could be mainly computational, or combine numerics with analytical work, and could fall in any of the following general areas:
Bioactive turbulence;
Fluid dynamics of microswimming;
Dynamics of ’active solids’ (e.g. biological tissue growth);
Rheology of complex fluids;
Chaotic dynamics of complex fluids;
Viscoelastic instabilities in complex fluids;
Flow in porous media (with industrial links);
Phase separation on curved surfaces (e.g. biological cell membranes);
Superhydrophobic surfaces.

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

The studentship is funded for a period of 48 months, covering tuition fees and a stipend of £14,296 per year.

Informal enquiries are welcome to or

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 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. Bower, Prof. Cole, Dr. Cooke, Dr. Deason, Dr. Edge, Dr. Fumagalli, Dr. Li, Prof. Morris and Dr. Swinbank.

Project booklet (STFC-funded students): This booklet provides details of the STFC-funded PhD projects that are available for an October 2017 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 staff that you would be interested in working with.

Please Note: All applications received before January 31st 2017 will be considered in full. For further information regarding other funding opportunities available and about the Astronomy group please refer to