metal physics equipment

PhD, MPhil, MRes, EngDPhysics

Research opportunities

Based on the REF 2014 GPA Scores, Times Higher Education ranked Strathclyde as number one in the UK for physics research.

You can study an MPhil or an MRes over the course of one year or a PhD over the course of three to four years.

You also have the option of an EngD over four or five years, depending on your research area.

MPhil, MRes & PhD

You can study either option in any of our four research groups:


Our EngD degree is specific to:

  • Photonics
  • Applied Photonics
  • Optics & Photonics Technologies

Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Professional Development (PG Cert RPD) programme 

As part of your PhD degree, you'll be enrolled on the Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Professional Development (PG Cert RPD). 

This certificate is designed to support you with your research and rewards you for things you'll do as a research student here.

It'll help you improve skills which are important to professional development and employability:

  • the knowledge and intellectual abilities to conduct your research
  • the personal qualities to succeed in your research and chosen career
  • the standards, requirements and conduct of a professional researcher in your discipline
  • working with others and communicating the impact of your research to a wide range of audiences

All you have to do is plan these activities alongside your doctorate, documenting and reflecting your journey to success along the way.

Find out more about the PG Cert RPD programme.

Development and Evaluation of Fluorescent Probes of Reactive Oxygen Species for use in Super-Resolution Microscopy (Part of Strathclyde’s ‘Transformative Technologies for Future Nanomedicines’ Centre for Doctoral Training)

Project to develop fluorescent probes of reactive oxygen species by combining synthetic chemistry, photophysical measurements, and state-of-the-art super-resolution microscopy. Supervised by Dr Robert Edkins (Chemistry) and Dr Sebastian van de Linde (Physics).


7 August 2019




Physics PhD supervisors

Dr Gordon Robb

Research interests  - theory and simulation of : collective light-matter interactions,  optomechanics, nonlinear and quantum optics/atom optics.

Current PhD student topics - Self-organised atomic phases via diffractive light coupling, optomechanics and nonlinear optics involving orbital angular momentum, simulation of radiation-driven instabilities, control and measurement of quantum optical systems for quantum technologies.

Dr Alan Kemp

Research interests - Solid-state laser engineering - in particular thermal management and compact designs for high performance lasers.

Current PhD student topics - diamond Raman lasers; diode-pumped Ti:sapphire lasers; mid-infrared lasers; solid-state lasers for industrial applications.

Dr Daniel Oi 

Research Interests - Space quantum technologies, quantum information theory, quantum optics, quantum computation, quantum system characterisation.

Dr Paul Griffin

Research Interests -  atomic physics, laser spectroscopy, optics, laser cooling, Bose-Einstein condensates, precision metrology, quantum technologies, quantum degenerate gases, coherent control.

Current PhD student topics - laser-cooled atomic clocks, atomic magnetometry, atom interferometry, quantum technologies for ocean optics, compressive imaging from satellites, systems engineering for quantum technologies.

Dr John Jeffers 

Research interests -  Quantum radar and lidar, quantum state amplification, quantum imaging, coherent perfect absorption and amplification, quantum optical technology.

Current PhD student topics - Quantum radar, state comparison amplification, quantification of nongaussianity of quantum operations.

Professor Rob Martin

Research interests - III-nitride semiconductors, optoelectronic devices, scanning electron microscopy, condensed matter.

Current PhD student topics - Characterisation of LEDs and LED materials for new and advanced light sources; Novel techniques for 2D and 3D imaging of materials in the scanning electron microscope; Development of new semiconductor materials for new real-world applications.

Dr David McKee

Research interests - in situ radiometry and inherent optical properties, ocean colour remote sensing, ocean biogeochemistry, imaging flow cytometry, algal photophysiology, fluorescence lifetime, point source integrating cavity absorption meter, radiative transfer modelling.

Current PhD student topics - optical properties of natural waters, Arctic Ocean light fields and primary production, ocean colour remote sensing in optically complex coastal waters, spectral deconvolution for ocean colour remote sensing, machine learning for ocean colour remote sensing, underwater impacts of light pollution, remote sensing of zooplankton, propagation of OAM beams underwater, ultrafast fluorescnece lifetime for lgal photophysiology.

Dr Konstantinos Lagoudakis

Research interests - experimental quantum condensed matter physics, all-optical coherent control of individual quantum emitters, high resolution spectroscopy, cryo-microscopy, scanning confocal microscopy. 

Current PhD student topics - Quantum Dot Spin State Tailoring for Scalable On-Chip Quantum Information Processing

Professor Andrew Daley

Research interests - quantum simulation, quantum optics, ultracold quantum gases, implementation and applications of quantum computing, strongly interacting quantum systems, open quantum systems, tensor network methods.

Current PhD student topics - quantum feedback and control of many-body systems, dynamics in quantum systems with long-range interactions, controlled dissipation in quantum systems, non-markovian dynamics in open quantum systems, verification of quantum simulators, interacting particles in topological systems.

Dr Jonathan Pritchard

Research interests - neutral atom quantum computing, quantum optics, hybrid quantum systems, quantum illumination, RF sensing and imaging, laser cooling and trapping.

Current PhD student topics - Rydberg atom quantum computing, hybrid quantum networking using Rydberg atoms coupled to superconducting circuits, quantum radar, practical high-brightness quantum illumination for unspoofable LIDAR. 

Dr Jennifer Hastie

Research Interests - Optically-pumped semiconductor lasers, lasers for quantum technology, lasers for metrology, ultra-coherent lasers, laser stabilisation, semiconductor gain structure design, novel semiconductor gain material, Raman lasers.

Dr Michael Strain

Research interests - Integrated photonic devices, heterogeneous integration technologies, diamond and wide bandgap waveguides, micro-LED imaging arrays and communications.

Dr Oliver Henrich

Research interests - Langevin and molecular dynamics, lattice-Boltzmann method, computational fluid dynamics, stochastic and partial differential equations.

Current PhD student topics - Coarse-grained modelling of DNA and RNA, DNA supercoiling, hydrodynamics of liquid crystals and complex fluids.

Fees & funding


All fees quoted are per academic year unless otherwise stated.

2019/20 entrants may be subject to a small fee during the writing up period.

Scotland/ EU

  • £4,327

Rest of UK

  • £4,327


  • £18,950 (full-time)


You can apply for a SUPA Prize Studentship for research training funding.

You can also have a look at our scholarship search for any other funding opportunities.

Postgraduate research opportunities

Search for all funded and non-funded postgraduate research opportunities.

The fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year.

How can I apply?

You can apply for a postgraduate research degree at any point in the year.

All you have to do is complete an online application.

Entry requirements

You'll need one of the following:

  • a Masters or an Integrated Masters Degree in physics
  • a first or 2:1 UK Honours degree, or overseas equivalent, from a recognised educational establishment in physics 
  • an IELTS score of 6.5 as proof of English proficiency, if English isn't your first language

The application

During the application you'll be asked for the following:

  • your full contact details
  • transcripts and certificates of all degrees
  • proof of English language proficiency if English isn't your first language
  • two references, one of which must be academic
  • funding or scholarship information
  • research proposal of 250 to 1,000 words in length, detailing the subject area and topic to be investigated

By filling these details out as fully as possible, you'll avoid any delay to your application being processed by the university.


You can identify and interact with a supervisor before applying, or you can let us know who you'd like to work with in your application and we'll team you up with the best supervisor for your project.

Once we've received your application, your research proposal is passed to potential supervisors for consideration.

If it's not compatible with the researcher's current projects and they cannot supervise then it's passed along to another for consideration.

If they can supervise you then the supervisor will confirm and nominate a potential second supervisor.

As soon as a second supervisor is confirmed, an offer will be sent to you through Pegasus, our online application system.

If you accept, you'll be sent a full offer in writing via the email address you'll have provided.

Accepting an offer

Once you've accepted our offer, we'll need you to fulfil any academic, administrative or financial conditions that we ask.

UK or EU students

If you're applying as a UK or EU student, you'll then be issued with your registration documentation.

International students

An ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) clearance certificate is a mandatory requirement for some postgraduate students in science, engineering and technology.

Find out if you need an ATAS certificate.


You can apply for a postgraduate research degree at any point in the year.

All you have to do is complete an online application.

Support & development

Graduate School

All our physics research students are members of the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance (SUPA) Graduate School which supports postgraduate-level training across Scotland.

You'll take 40 hours of technical lecture courses in your first two years along with 20 hours transferrable skills training.

Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Professional Development (PgCert RPD)

Our PgCert RPD programme aims to ensure you get the most out of your current research activities at Strathclyde and help you prepare for your future career as a researcher.

We'll help you recognise and develop your transferrable skills that'll have a positive impact on your research, now and in the future.

Find out more about the PG Cert RPD programme.


We have a great careers service that can help you with everything from writing your CV to interview preparation. Take a look at our careers service pages to get more information.

Student support

From financial advice to our IT facilities, we have loads of different support for all students here at our University. Get all the information you need at Strathlife.

Discover more about physics