Physics - MSc, PhD

Gain advanced training under the supervision of leading experts and participate in ground-breaking research in physics and astrophysics. The School's main research interests focus on the physics of quantum materials, astrophysics and planetary science, and applied optics.

Overview

Physics and Astronomy at Kent has seen an increase in its Grade Point Average (GPA) to 3.06 in the Research Excellent Framework (REF) 2021. 93% of our outputs are classed as 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent' (4* and 3*).

Reasons to study Physics at Kent

Find a supervisor

Meet our staff who are open to supervising research students and find out about their research interests.

Once you have identified a potential supervisor, please contact them directly to discuss your research proposal. You should also supply a CV including details of your relevant experience, alongside making an application for the course by clicking ‘Apply now’ at the top of the page.


Entry requirements

A first or second class honours degree in Physics or Chemistry. We will also consider applicants with degrees in computer science, electronics, biochemistry or other closely related disciplines.

All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and relevant experience may also be taken into account when considering applications. 

International students

Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information. Due to visa restrictions, students who require a student visa to study cannot study part-time unless undertaking a distance or blended-learning programme with no on-campus provision.

English language entry requirements

The University requires all non-native speakers of English to reach a minimum standard of proficiency in written and spoken English before beginning a postgraduate degree. Certain subjects require a higher level.

For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages. 

Need help with English?

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.

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Course structure

Duration: MSc 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

PhD 3 to 4 years full-time, 5 to 6 years part-time

Fees

The 2023/24 annual tuition fees for this course are:

Physics - MSc at Canterbury

  • Home full-time TBC
  • EU full-time £21900
  • International full-time £21900
  • Home part-time TBC
  • EU part-time £10950
  • International part-time £10950

Physics - PhD at Canterbury

  • Home full-time TBC
  • EU full-time £21900
  • International full-time £21900
  • Home part-time TBC
  • EU part-time £10950
  • International part-time £10950

For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.

For students continuing on this programme fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact information@kent.ac.uk.

Your fee status

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

Additional costs

General additional costs

Find out more about general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent. 

Funding

Search our scholarships finder for possible funding opportunities. You may find it helpful to look at both:

We have a range of subject-specific awards and scholarships for academic, sporting and musical achievement.

Search scholarships

Research

Research areas

The School of Physics and Astronomy has a dynamic research community, producing innovative and interdisciplinary research. Our work has application in many industries, including medical imaging, quantum computing technologies and security. Take a closer look at our range of specialist research centres and groups:

Staff research interests

Kent’s world-class academics provide research students with excellent supervision. The academic staff in this school and their research interests are shown below. You are strongly encouraged to contact the school to discuss your proposed research and potential supervision prior to making an application. Please note, it is possible for students to be supervised by a member of academic staff from any of Kent’s schools, providing their expertise matches your research interests. Use our ‘find a supervisor’ search to search by staff member or keyword.

Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.

Careers

All programmes equip you with the tools you need to conduct research, solve problems, communicate effectively and transfer skills to the workplace, which means our graduates are always in high demand. Our links with industry not only provide you with the opportunity to gain work experience during your degree, but also equip you with the general and specialist skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the workplace.

Typical employment destinations for graduates from the physics programmes include power companies, aerospace, defence, optoelectronics and medical industries. Typical employment destinations for graduates from our forensic science and chemistry programmes include government agencies, consultancies, emergency services, laboratories, research or academia.

Study support

Postgraduate resources

The University has good facilities for modern research in physical sciences. These include: NMR spectrometers; powder X-ray diffractometers; X-ray fluorescence; atomic absorption in flame and graphite furnace mode; gel-permeation, gas, analytical and preparative high-performance liquid chromatography; mass spectrometry; scanning electron microscopy and EDX. We also have various microscopes, differential scanning calorimetry and thermal gravimetric analysis, dionex analysis of anions and automated CHN analysis. For planetary science impact studies, there is a two-stage light gas gun.

Interdisciplinary approach

Much of the department’s work is interdisciplinary and we have successful collaborative projects with members of the Schools of Biosciences, Computing and Engineering and Digital Arts at Kent, as well as an extensive network of international collaborations.

National and international links

Physics at Kent is a leading partner in the South East Physics Network (SEPnet), and benefits from £2.5 million of funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). The School has collaborations with universities around the world, particularly in Germany, France, Italy and the USA. UK links include King's College, London and St Bartholomew's Hospital, London. Our industrial partners include BAE Systems, New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, and Ophthalmic Technology Inc, Canada. We also have collaborations with NASA, European Southern Observatory (ESO) and European Space Agency (ESA) scientists.

Dynamic publishing culture

Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Among others, they have recently contributed to: Nature; Science; Astrophysical Journal; Journal of Polymer Science; Journal of Materials Chemistry; and Applied Optics.

Researcher Development Programme

Kent's Graduate School co-ordinates the Researcher Development Programme for research students, which includes workshops focused on research, specialist and transferable skills. The programme is mapped to the national Researcher Development Framework and covers a diverse range of topics, including subject-specific research skills, research management, personal effectiveness, communication skills, networking and teamworking, and career management skills.

Apply now

Learn more about the application process or begin your application by clicking on a link below.

You will be able to choose your preferred year of entry once you have started your application. You can also save and return to your application at any time.

Apply for entry to:

Contact us

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United Kingdom/EU enquiries

MSc at Canterbury

PhD at Canterbury

Admissions enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 768896

E: information@kent.ac.uk

Subject enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 764000

E: studypgnats@kent.ac.uk

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International student enquiries

Enquire online

T: +44 (0)1227 823254
E: internationalstudent@kent.ac.uk

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School website

Physics and Astronomy