Why choose Surrey for your PhD?
The Department has more than 80 PhD students from the UK, EU and a wide range of overseas countries. They work on leading edge projects in both pure and applied physics, in the Department's friendly atmosphere.
We offer PhD projects which range from the frontiers of pure nuclear physics to industrially relevant projects in applied physics, and include exciting new areas of physics such as its application to problems in biology. Many of our projects are carried out in collaboration with international research facilities, such as the TRIUMF particle and nuclear physics lab in Vancouver, Canada. Some projects are also co-sponsored by industry.
Students benefit from the comprehensive training in transferable skills offered through our Faculty Graduate School, which serves to create a friendly social environment for the Faculty's 670 postgraduate research students.
Research Tailored to You
All PhD students work on individual projects within one of our research groups. A PhD normally lasts for 3 1/2 to 4 years. During this time you will undertake a critical review of your chosen field of study to bring you to the cutting-edge of science, propose a novel solution to your chosen problem, whether theoretical or experimental, and evaluate it. Along the way you will attend international conferences and present your work there, publish in international journals, and finally defend your thesis in your viva examination.
During your studies you are supported by two Surrey academic supervisors who will meet you regularly. You will also be part of the larger Graduate School community, which brings together researchers from all parts of the Faculty. As part of the Graduate School you will attend a training programme that will help you gain the skills you need to become a fully-fledged researcher, whether that is physics beyond undergraduate level or learning how to get published.
If you have an idea for a topic, or want to talk to someone about their current work, please get in touch with an individual academic.
All our PhD students are members of one of the Department's research groups: The Astrophysics research centre, the Centre for Nuclear and Radiation Physics, the Soft Matter Group and one of two groups in the University's Advanced Technology Institute.
Applying to study at Surrey
Applications to study for a PhD in the Department can be made online by clicking the 'apply online' link at the top of our postgraduate webpage. You can create an online account and then fill in an online form. If you have any questions about the application procedure please contact the admissions office for further information.
Each year the Department receives funds from two of the UK's research councils, EPSRC and STFC, to fund a number of PhD students. These funds cover the full costs of UK students, and part of the costs of EU students. Some academics within the Department also receive industrial funding. The funds to support students from outside the EU are typically very limited. See the Faculty Graduate School webpages for further information.
There are funds available to support PhD students on particular projects, Please see the studentships page or contact the admissions office for further information.
The University also offers EngD training. EngDs are like PhDs in that they are also a postgraduate qualification that is done by working on a project not by attending lectures and sitting exams as an MSc is. However, EngDs are always done in collaboration with a company, and the EngD student spends the majority of their time at the company. See the Faculty's Industrial Doctorate Centres for further details.