School of Physics and Astronomy

Research degrees

We enable promising scientists to pursue original research in a friendly, vibrant, research-active environment and to equip them with the necessary skills to become productive independent researchers.

Whether you are studying for an MPhil or PhD, we offer you the opportunity to work with internationally-renowned scientists and facilities, across our research groups.

Find out more about a MPhil or PhD in Physics and Astronomy.

Why Leicester? Excellence in Doctoral Training

Leicester’s School of Physics and Astronomy has a uniquely designed Doctoral Training process that moves away from forcing students to complete specific courses, instead focusing on allowing students to plan and develop their own training.  This provides our students with the training that they need, allowing them to develop both research-specific academic and experimental skills, alongside a suite of transferable skills that will enhance their future employability.

This reflective approach to learning has been heralded as a model of good practice within the university and is highly valued by our own students. Our School ranks higher than the average for physics departments (both Russell group and all UK) across every one of the eight categories assessed in the Postgraduate  Research Experience Survey (PRES). In the last full PRES in 2019, our school ranked second for professional development, third for skills training and fifth for research supervision when compared against all the Physics departments across the UK.

Why Leicester? Leadership in Research

Our School has a long and deeply established heritage in astrophysics, space science and planetary science, space instrumentation and Earth Observation science. Our researchers, including our PhD students, regularly publish in world-renowned journals and Leicester-built instruments have been operating in space every year since 1967.

Our research activities, and particularly our industrial collaborations, are being strengthened considerably by the development of Space Park Leicester. This pioneering £100 million hub provides a direct link between for academic and industrial research, alongside innovation and teaching in space science and related fields.

Sources of Funding

We are pleased to host a number of studentships via multiple schemes - please visit the links below to find out more details, deadlines, and how to apply:

For a complete list of funded projects available in Physics and Astronomy please visit FindaPhD.

Contact us

For any enquiries about PhD or MPhil admissions, please get in touch at


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