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Kings College London Course/Program Name
Application closes on
National :02 Sep 
International :29 Jul 
EU :02 Sep 

PhD Physics Research

 Course Level
Full Time

3 Years
 Start month

 Tuition fee

19500 GBP
4600 GBP

Application fee

International 300 GBP
National 300 GBP
Department of Physics
Scores accepted
IELTS (min)6
TOEFL-IBT (min)80

World University Ranking


World University Ranking

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About this course

Current number of academic staff: 34.

Current number of postdoctoral research staff: 39.

Current number of research students: 77 PhD.

Current research projects:
It is possible to undertake research leading to the PhD degree in any of the areas of interest of the Physics Department.

If you are interested in a PhD at King's, in the Department of Physics, you should identify research topics and academic staff in your area of interest. Further details of  projects, potential supervisors and research areas can be found on the Group Pages

Applications are invited for research in the following areas:

  • Experimental Biophysics & Nanotechnology
  • Theory & Simulation of Condensed Matter
  • Theoretical Particle Physics and Cosmology

Partner organisations: Our research groups enjoy strong collaborations with institutions around the world including Athens, Cambridge, CERN, Geneva, Imperial College, Jena, McGill, Nottingham, Oxford, Paris 6, Shanghai, Texas Tech, Trieste, Valencia, UCL and ETH Zurich.

Joint PhDs available: Exciting opportunities to gain a joint PhD with Hong Kong University

Check further details on University website

Eligibility Criteria

Experimental Biophysics & Nanotechnology: minimum undergraduate degree with 2:1 honours (or international equivalent) in physics or a related subject. 

Theory & Simulation of Condensed Matter: minimum undergraduate degree with 2:1 honours (or international equivalent) in physics or a related subject. 

Theoretical Particle Physics & Cosmology: Master’s degree with Distinction or high Merit  in a relevant subject, and usually a Bachelor of Science with 1st class or higher 2:1 honours (or international equivalents). Alternatively a four year  MSci with 1st class honours (or international equivalent) is also acceptable.

Those applying for the joint degree are encouraged to contact an academic at King's to develop research links with the partner institution.

English language requirement:

  • IELTS: 6.0
  • TOEFL-IBT: 80

Check further details on University website

Course Modules


The Department has a distinguished history, with the study of Physics at King's College dating back to its foundation in 1829. The first Professor was Sir Charles Wheatstone, with other former professors including James Clerk Maxwell, who discovered the unified equations of electromagnetism while at King's, and four Nobel laureates. The seminal x-ray crystallography work by Wilkins and Franklin which led to the discovery of the structure of DNA, was performed in the Physics Department. The department today has a reputation as a friendly and supportive environment, with research in the department encompassing biophysics, materials science, nanotechnology, and theoretical particle physics and cosmology.

The Department has recently appointed international research leaders to head its three research groups: Professor John Ellis FRS, who has joined King's from CERN to lead the Theoretical Particle Physics & Cosmology Group; Professor Mark van Schilfgaarde, an expert in electronic structure theory, who heads the Materials & Molecular Modelling Group; and Professor Anatoly Zayats, a world-leader in the new field of plasmonics, who leads the Experimental Biophysics & Nantotechnology Group.

Activities in biophysics enjoy strong links with the Randall Division for Cell and Molecular Biophysics in the School of Biomedical Sciences, and the molecular and materials modelling group is part of the London-based Thomas Young Centre for Theory and Simulations of Materials. Research in theoretical physics and cosmology has a particular focus on the interdisciplinary area of astro-particle physics and on LHC phenomenology, with strong links to CERN through an ERC Advanced Investigator Grant held by Prof Ellis.

Joint PhD programme

Exciting opportunities are now available to undertake a joint PhD programme with Hong Kong University or as part of the Erasmus Mundus scheme.

Course study environment

Each of our research students is associated with a research group and supervised by a member of staff from this group. As part of this supervision you will take part in a monitoring exercise every six months. Your supervisor will help you learn the techniques you may need and advise on training/courses to attend.

We have excellent student facilities, including personal computers and office space for each of our graduate students. There is very extensive online access to journals and an excellent study environment in the College Library. Networking with other graduate students in the College is encouraged through the activities of the Graduate School.

Postgraduate training

All research students attend the School and College-based training in transferable skills. Training needs in specialised research techniques are assessed on an individual basis.

Head of group/division

Head of Department - Professor Peter Main

Experimental Biophysics & Nanotechnology - Professor Anatoly Zayats

Theory & Simulation of Condensed Matter - Professor Mark van Schilfgaarde

Theoretical Particle Physics & Cosmology - Professor John Ellis

Contact for information

Contact the Admissions Office • Before you apply: via our Enquiry Form (www.kcl.ac.uk/study/pg/contacts.aspx#admissions) • After applying: use the messaging service at apply.kcl.ac.uk Postgraduate Officer, Admissions Office Tel: +44 (0)20 7848 1648

Contact email

[email protected]

Course website


Check further details on University website

How to Apply

Application procedure

Your application is assessed by a relevant academic member of staff, and we aim to respond to you within four to six weeks. We interview most students living in the UK, and may hold telephone or email interviews for those overseas.

September, January, and April start dates available. Applicants are strongly encouraged to start their degree at beginning of the academic year in September, when the College offers a full induction programme.

Personal statement and supporting information

Please specify the area of research that interests you. Note that a detailed research proposal is not necessarily required. You should state at least an area of interest, as precisely as you want, and/or names of potential supervisors.

Course intake

Approximately 10.

Joint PhDs - Application advice

Applicants for the Joint PhD programme must contact the relevant departments at both universities before submitting an application in order to discuss the suitability of their topic for the joint programme and to locate potential supervisors. Applications should initially be submitted to the proposed home institution only, ie where the student will start and finish their programme. Students should note that acceptance onto the programme may take slightly longer than for single-institution PhDs because of the additional steps involved. Further details, including FAQs, can be found on the King’s Worldwide web pages.

Applicants who choose King’s as their home institution should apply through the online system, selecting the appropriate Joint PhD option from the drop-down list. In addition to the standard supporting documentation, applicants should submit a Travel Plan form indicating how they intend to divide their time between the two partner institutions. Students must spend a specified amount of time in each institution, details of which can be found in the ‘Notes’ section of the Travel Plan form.

It is recommended that students submit applications for the Joint PhD programme by the end of March to begin the following September.

Application closing date

There is no specific deadline for applications. Applications will be considered subject to the availability of places, thus we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible. Please note funding applications may be subject to specific deadlines.

Check further details on University website

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