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Department of Physics

PG research in Condensed Matter Physics

Applications for Ph.D. or MSc degrees in the area of 'Condensed Matter Physics' or 'Materials Physics' are made through staff in the Centre for Materials Physics.  Many of the staff in the Centre are members of other Centres and Institutes throughout the University and so can also offer interdisciplinary Ph.D. projects. If you are interested in studying for a Ph.D. in Physics where the core material is Materials Physics or Condensed Matter Physics, this is the booklet that you should read: CMP Postgraduate Booklet

Materials physics encompasses the study of all aspects of the states of matter. It therefore underpins a huge range of science from technological advances such as the silicon chip and liquid crystal displays to fundamental understanding of phenomena such as superconductivity, advanced many-body quantum-mechanics and elementary spin-charge interactions. Durham University has world-class researchers working across materials physics collaborating with the best groups around the world.

We employ a wide variety of different experimental methods including optical, magnetic, electrical, microscopy, magnetic resonance,  X-ray scattering measurements. Theoretical work, often in close collaboration with experiment, is a vital aspect of condensed matter physics and in Durham, studies include computational modelling at the level of the electrons and the theory of photonic microstructures. Experiments and computational simulations are supported by state of the art equipment based in the Department, including femtosecond lasers, scanning probe microscopes, electron microscopes, SQUID (Superconducting QUantum Interference Device) magnetometers,  a range of cryostats (300 mK to 1000 K), horizontal and vertical magnets (up to 17 T) and a supercomputer cluster. Extensive use is made of international facilities including synchrotron and neutron radiation sources, muon spectroscopy, high magnetic field facilities and supercomputers.

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

Fully-funded PhD studentship: Magnetic Skyrmions in Thin Films.


The Skyrmion Project is a UK national consortium of eight academics in five different institutions (Durham, Cambridge, Oxford, Southampton and Warwick). We have secured £7M in funding from EPSRC, the Universities and industrial project partners for a six-year programme researching into magnetic skyrmions and their possible applications in skyrmionic devices. We have 11 PDRAs and 12 PhD studentships available at the different institutions around the UK. Within Durham this project is led by Prof. Peter Hatton and Dr. Tom Lancaster who both have PhD positions available for starting in October 2017. These are exciting opportunities to join a large 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.

Durham PhD Studentship

This studentship available from October 2017 will be fully funded by Durham University for 3.5 years to include stipend, fees and travel funds. Possible topics that are available for research include Magnetic skyrmions, Sputtering and PLD growth of thin films, Magnetic characterisation, x-ray and neutron reflectivity, Dynamics and velocity of skyrmions, Lorentz field TEM, Small angle x-ray scattering. This project will be supervised by Professor Peter Hatton and Dr. Aidan Hindmarch.

For further information regarding this opportunity please contact: or

For information regarding the application process, please refer to our postgraduate webpages: