Join us for your MPhil or PhD Physics. We supervise MPhil and PhD students whose interests match the expertise we have in our five main research themes.
We research electronic, optical, structural and magnetic properties of novel solid-state materials. In particular, this is in reference to novel semi-conductor structures and nanostructured materials such as nanocrystals and nanowires. Theoretical studies use quantum mechanical approaches and involve massively parallel supercomputing.
Our development of new approaches to quantum modelling is changing the size and complexity of systems that can be modelled. Experimental work takes place at synchrotron facilities in Europe and America. Related work takes place with colleagues in the Emerging Technology and Materials (ETM) Group in the School of Engineering.
Our research in biophysics explores the structure and function of cells with the aim of creating artificial life and building machines based on biological parts. Projects include protocell development and the construction of a cyborg robot. An understanding of biological physics is needed. It uses techniques including single molecule manipulation, atomic force microscopy and scanning tunnelling microscopy.
We focus on:
- galaxies and the interstellar medium
- the source of the galactic magnetic field and its influence on the structure of the galaxy
- cosmology - particularly the early universe and its origin in the big bang
Our research focuses on coherent optical control of atomic collisions in ultracold gases by femtosecond laser light for studies of problems in fundamental physics. This includes the measurement of time dependence of the fundamental constants of nature. We also research metrological protocols for characterisation of broadband light. This is specifically in relation to foundational aspects of quantum mechanics and its application.
Our research focusses on the theoretical study and modelling of the quantum properties of matter and light. This includes fundamental aspects including:
- the nature of superfluids
- the principles of quantum mechanics
- state-of-the-art technological applications of quantum transport
- quantum sensing
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Given the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commitments outlined are subject to guidelines that may be in place from time to time.
View our COVID-19 Study page, which gives information about your Newcastle University study experience for the academic year 2021-22.
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Find out about the different qualification options for this course.
An MPhil is available in all subject areas. You receive research training and undertake original research leading to the completion of a 40,000 - 50,000 word thesis.
A PhD is a doctorate or doctoral award. It involves original research that should make a significant contribution to the knowledge of a specific subject. To complete the PhD you will produce a substantial piece of work (80,000 – 100,000 words) in the form of a supervised thesis. A PhD usually takes three years full time.
How you'll learn
Throughout your studies you'll work closely with your supervisor. In the initial stages your research will be guided by the supervisor. As you gain confidence and expertise you'll be given increasing responsibility for the day-to-day running of the project.
You'll be trained in all aspects of physics research, including the oral and written presentation of your work.
You'll be assessed through a combination of:
We offer a wide range of projects for the thesis. These will be provided by our academics. You can also propose your own topic.
Our Postgraduate Committee provides impartial academic advice and guidance throughout your studies.
Our mission is to help you:
- stay healthy, positive and feeling well
- overcome any challenges you may face during your degree – academic or personal
- get the most out of your postgraduate research experience
- carry out admin and activities essential to progressing through your degree
- understand postgraduate research processes, standards and rules
We can offer you tailored wellbeing support, courses and activities.
You can also access a broad range of workshops covering:
- research and professional skills
- careers support
- health and safety
- public engagement
- academic development
Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering (SAgE) researcher development programme
Each faculty offers a researcher development programme for its postgraduate research students. We have designed your programme to help you:
- perform better as a researcher
- boost your career prospects
- broaden your impact
Through workshops and activities, it will build your transferable skills and increase your confidence.
- techniques for effective research
- methods for better collaborative working
- essential professional standards and requirements
Your programme is flexible. You can adapt it to meet your changing needs as you progress through your doctorate.
Doctoral training and partnerships
There are opportunities to undertake your PhD at Newcastle within a:
- Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT)
- Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP)
Being part of a CDT or DTP has many benefits:
- they combine research expertise and training of a number of leading universities, academic schools and academics.
- you’ll study alongside a cohort of other PhD students
- they’re often interdisciplinary
- your PhD will normally be funded
If there are currently opportunities available in your subject area you’ll find them when you search for funding in the fees and funding section on this course.
The following centres/partnerships below may have PhD opportunities available in your subject area in the future:
- EPSRC Aura Centre for Doctoral Training in Offshore Wind Energy and the Environment
- IAPETUS2 Doctoral Training Partnership
- Discovery Medicine North - MRC DiMeN Doctoral Training Partnership
- Sustainable Electric Propulsion Centre for Doctoral Training
- EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Renewable Energy Northeast Universities (ReNU)
Our Careers Service
Our award-winning Careers Service is one of the largest and best in the country, and we have strong links with employers. We provide an extensive range of opportunities to all students through our ncl+ initiative.
Quality and ranking
All professional accreditations are reviewed regularly by their professional body
From 1 January 2020 there is an update to the way professional qualifications are recognised by countries outside of the UK
During your studies, you'll have access to high specification laboratories and computing facilities in the Herschel Annex at the heart of the University campus.
Fees and funding
Tuition fees for 2021 entry (per year)
If your studies last longer than one year, your tuition fee may increase in line with inflation.
For courses commencing from September 2021 and beyond, EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals will no longer be eligible for home fees or Student Finance England support.
If you are from the EU you will pay international tuition fees.
What you're paying for
Tuition fees include the costs of:
- tuition (or supervision)
- library access
Some of our degrees involve additional costs which are not covered by your tuition fees.
Find out more about:
- additional costs
- living costs
- tuition fees, including how to pay them and available discounts
If you're applying for funding, always check the funding application deadline. This deadline may be earlier than the application deadline for your course.
For some funding schemes, you need to have received an offer of a place on a course before you can apply for the funding.
Search for funding
Find funding available for your course
The entrance requirements below apply to 2021 entry.
Qualifications from outside the UK
English Language requirements
How to apply
Using the application portal
The applicant portal has instructions to guide you through your application. It will tell you what documents you need and how to upload them.
You can choose to start your application, save your details and come back to complete it later.
If you’re ready, you can select Apply Online and you’ll be taken directly to the applicant portal.
Alternatively you can find out more about applying on our applications and offers pages.
Applications for 2022/23
You'll be able to apply for 2022/23 entry from September 2021
Open days and events
The situation with Covid-19 means that we're unable to hold open days on campus. However, you don’t have to visit in person to experience Newcastle.
From the comfort of your sofa you'll be able to:
- explore our beautiful campus
- find out about our vibrant city
- discover what students think about studying at Newcastle
You'll also have the opportunity to speak to academic staff and find out more about the courses you're interested in.
We regularly travel overseas to meet with students interested in studying at Newcastle University.
We also hold various online and virtual events.
Get in touch
Questions about this course?
If you have specific questions about this course you can contact:
For more general enquiries you could also complete our online enquiry form.
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You'll find our Ncl chatbot in the bottom right of this page.
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