Physics

MPhil / PhD

By pursuing your PhD here you’ll not only get to explore fundamental physics using state-of-the-art technology. As a full member of our research groups you’ll also be part of a large multinational collaboration, living and working at an international research facility in the UK or overseas.

World leading research

I studied my undergraduate MPhys physics degree at Liverpool so I already knew it was a great department in a lively city. In addition, the department has excellent facilities which are essential for my research.

Laura Harkness - Physics PhD student
  • £35m

    funding per year from the research councils, the University and other sources.

  • 15

    PhD students each year onto our full-time study programme.

  • 1

    STFC-funded Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT), 2 EPSRC CDTs and 2 European Innovative Training Networks that we are leading.

Research at Liverpool

By pursuing your PhD here you’ll not only get to explore fundamental physics using state-of-the-art technology. As a full member of our research groups you’ll also be part of a large multinational collaboration, living and working at an international research facility in the UK or overseas.

Typically we welcome around 15 PhD students each year onto our full-time study programme. This generally takes 3 to 4 years to complete and requires you to submit a thesis, which is examined orally and must be on an original topic relevant to one of the following fields:

During your first year you’ll attend specialist courses provided by research-active staff members in each of our research groups. These will bring you up to the level required for frontline international research.

Additional courses, provided by the University Graduate School, will cover general research, presentation, and other transferable skills - and there are summer schools funded by the Research Councils that fund our work.

We’ve excellent facilities here in Liverpool, but most of our PhD students spend one to two years at international and national research facilities in Europe, America or Japan. Many present their work at international conferences and in scientific journal publications.

Completing a PhD research project takes dedication, good communication skills and team work. The qualification and skills you’ll gain will make you highly employable.

Research interests

Our research interests closely match our research themes.

Facilities

We can offer you excellent facilities to support your research. These include:

  • An in-house Design Office and Mechanical Workshop for designing and building apparatus
  • The Liverpool Semiconductor Detector Centre, which features a new £3m suite of clean rooms, supports the design, construction and characterisation of silicon and germanium for particle and nuclear physics research. We’re also using the materials to create new medical imaging devices
  • Advanced computer systems, including some of the UK’s fastest computer systems: large arrays of processors operated in parallel to perform intense tasks such as Monte Carlo calculations
  • The department participates in local, national and international GRID computing projects (Euro-Grid, Grid-PP, UL-Grid)
  • In the Surface Science Research Centre, one of the UK’s largest dedicated nano and surface science equipment bases, with state-of-the-art imaging and spectroscopy facilities.

Research groups

Particle Physics at the LHC, which started to take data in 2010 at CERN (Geneva), and at the T2K neutrino experiment, which started operation in 2010 at J-PARC (Japan)

  • Using several overseas accelerators, in particular Jyväskylä (Finland), GANIL (France), GSI (Germany), ISOLDE at CERN (Switzerland) or TRIUMF (Canada) to study exotic nuclei under extreme conditions of isospin or angular momentum and at the limits of existence
  • Using the techniques of scanning tunnelling microscopy, x-ray photoemission, ultraviolet photoemission, Auger electron spectroscopy and low-energy electron diffraction. The group also uses synchrotron facilities at ESRF (Grenoble), Diamond (Oxfordshire), the APS (Chicago) and SLRS (Stanford). An activity in thin film photovoltaics has been recently established

Accelerator Science and Technology, engaging in R&D projects aimed at developing techniques for novel acceleration and beam-handling for the next generation of particle accelerators.

Study options and fees

MPhil

The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) can be thought of as a shorter version of the PhD. It requires the same research skills, training, planning, and project management. It can be a way to assess whether you wish to undertake doctoral research - or it can be taken for its own sake.

Duration Fees: Home and EU Students Fees: International Students
Full time 2-4 years £4,260 £19,850 (Lab based programmes) £16,150 (Non Lab based programmes)
Part time 4-6 years £2,130 £9,925 (Lab based programmes) £8,075 (Non Lab based programmes)
PhD

A doctoral degree is awarded to students that have demonstrated the ability to conceptualise, design, and implement a substantial research project that results in new knowledge, applications, or understanding in their field of study. During your research, you can expect to draw on direct clinical and observational experience to produce an original thesis of 80,000-100,000 words. You'll be part of a research group which matches your research interests. Research groups offer opportunities for cross-disciplinary research collaboration, as well as support and expertise for your research.

Duration Fees: Home and EU Students Fees: International Students
Full time 2-4 years £4,260 £19,850 (Lab based programmes) £16,150 (Non Lab based programmes)
Part time 4-6 years £2,130 £9,925 (Lab based programmes) £8,075 (Non Lab based programmes)
MD

The Doctor of Medicine (MD) is a doctoral degree open to medical practitioners (technically, anyone holding a medical qualification registrable with the General Medical Council). It is equivalent in requirements and format to the PhD.

Duration Fees: Home and EU Students Fees: International Students
Full time 2-4 years £4,260 £19,850 (Lab based programmes) £16,150 (Non Lab based programmes)
Part time 2-6 years £2,130 £9,925 (Lab based programmes) £8,075 (Non Lab based programmes)

Entry requirements

Eligibility and entry qualifications

Candidates applying for a PhD/MPhil by research require a first class or good second class Honours degree from a British university or equivalent.

English language requirements

To apply for this research degree, you must have reached a minimum standard of English. You need to be able to provide evidence of this.  See our English language requirements for international students for guidance on the different English language qualifications and evidence that you can provide. 

International qualifications

We welcome applications from within the EU and from around the world. You should ensure that your qualifications are equivalent to those which are required to study for this research degree.  See our guidance on international qualifications.

Additional requirements

How to apply

Research degree applications can be made online.  Before you apply, we recommend that you identify a supervisor and develop a research proposal.  You'll also need to ensure that you have funding to cover all fees.

Applications are open all year round.

More about applying for research degrees

Apply online

Find a supervisor

Your supervisor is your main source of academic support and mentoring. You'll need to find a supervisor before you start your research degree. It's helpful to identify a supervisor and discuss your research proposal before you apply.

View supervisors in this area

Need help finding a supervisor? Contact us

Related studentships

Funding

LDC module

Your training and development

Join us and you'll also join the Liverpool Doctoral College, our home for doctoral support, training and development. You'll join a vibrant and collaborative community of researchers, get tailored support for your development and have the opportunity to undertake a work placement.

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