Postgraduate research

PhD student in Physics

Research in the School involves worldwide collaborations and the use of leading-edge national and international facilities.

We have an established track record of worldwide collaborations and the use of leading-edge national and international facilities.

63% of our submitted research for REF 2014 was deemed ‘outstanding’ for its impact in terms of its reach and significance. We’re also ranked top amongst UK Physics departments for the proportion of our overall submissions deemed ‘world leading’ and ‘internationally excellent’.

  • 63% of our research rated ‘outstanding’ for impact

You can work alongside staff actively involved in major international collaborations, including the SPIRE instrument consortium for the Herschel satellite and the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, which recently made the headlines for its discovery of gravitational waves.

Study with us

We offer supervision and/or research projects in the following areas:

  • Astronomy (Observational and Theoretical)
  • Astronomy Instrumentation
  • Condensed Matter and Photonics
  • Gravitational Physics
  • Brain Imaging

All postgraduate research students are offered the opportunity to undertake demonstrating or marking duties for our undergraduate students.

Find out more about our postgraduate research degree in Physics and Astronomy.

These are exciting times in Cardiff. Not only will you discover exciting science at its cutting-edge, but you will also be part of a friendly, approachable School, where staff will do their very best to help you develop the skills and abilities which will allow you to be successful in your future career.

Professor Matt Griffin, Head of the School


Securing funding is likely to be an important consideration for you as a postgraduate.

Our research-intensive profile and reputation enables us to secure funding for doctoral study from a wide range of sources, including UK Research Councils, charities and trusts, governmental bodies and industry. We are currently leading or participating in a range of Doctoral Training Initiatives.

The University also offers scholarships and bursaries for students starting their studies. Our funding search facility also shows currently available funded research opportunities.

Academic prizes

Prizes are awarded each year to outstanding postgraduate students. These are donated by past and present students and staff.

Prizes are awarded for the following categories:

  • outstanding performance
  • commitment to outreach activities.