Condensed Matter Physics (EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training)

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Run by Faculty of Science
Awards available PhD
Programme length Four years full-time (minimum)
Part-time study available No, full-time only
Start date September 2018

Programme overview

The Centre for Doctoral Training in Condensed Matter Physics is jointly based at the Universities of Bath and Bristol, and aims to train students across a broad range of disciplines in hard condensed matter physics, encompassing experiment, theory, fundamental studies and device applications.

Our programme is designed to develop students’ knowledge and skills, particularly in the first year. It also allows students to learn more about different areas of condensed matter physics before choosing their research area. This is achieved through bespoke lectures, hands-on modules, projects and group tasks. The embedded training provides students with skills and knowledge that will be useful during their PhD and future careers.

In the first year we adopt a cohort approach to learning, meaning students work together on problem-solving tasks and other activities.

The centre’s researchers are world-leading scientists with a track record in passing on that knowledge and expertise to others. The complementary nature of the physics departments at Bath and Bristol allows the centre to offer a broad range of research topics, including semiconductors, superconductors, 2D materials (eg graphene), magnetic materials, spintronics, theory, photonic and plasmonic materials.

The centre also works in partnership with facility and industry partners to enhance the student experience with additional courses, interaction, joint projects and research placements.

Fees for 2018/19

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2018/19 are as follows:

UK/EU: full-time
Overseas: full-time
Channel Islands/Isle of Man: full-time

Bench fees: For postgraduate research students who are not funded by UK Research Councils or (specific) UK charities, it is usual to charge a bench fee. A bench fee covers the costs of laboratory consumables, specialist equipment and other relevant costs (e.g. training) for the duration of the programme. The bench fee charged can vary considerably depending on the nature of the programme being undertaken. Details of specific bench fee charges can be provided on request and will made clear in the offer letter sent to applicants.

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to a five per cent increase in fees each year. Find out more about tuition fees.

Alumni scholarship

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a ten per cent reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni scholarship.

Funding for 2018/19

We will offer approximately 14 studentships, funded either by the EPSRC, the University of Bristol, the University of Bath, or our project partners.

These studentships cover tuition fees, a stipend at Research Council UK minimum rates, and any bench fees. The living allowance (stipend) provides approximately £14,533 per year for living expenses and usually increases annually.

Our funded places are available to UK nationals and EU citizens who meet the criteria (normally that they have settled status in the UK, and have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start of study).

Funding is not usually available for international students, although we do welcome applications from self-funded or externally sponsored international students. 

Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.

Programme structure

Year 1

  • Core and optional taught units
  • Practical techniques training courses
  • Short exploratory training projects 
  • Short optional partner placement
  • Extended research project or partner placement

Year 2

In most cases the first-year research project will extend into the full PhD project, which will continue in years two to four. This is the research part of the degree where students are embedded in a research group at either Bath or Bristol.‚Äč For some students there will be the opportunity to collaborate with an industrial, academic or large facility partner (in the UK, Europe, Japan or the US) and perform the research project in an external laboratory or workplace.

For detailed information about the programme, including a diagram illustrating the structure, please see the Condensed Matter Physics CDT website.

Entry requirements

Normally, an upper second-class honours BSc, MSci or MPhys degree in physics or a related subject (or international equivalent).

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you need to meet this profile level:
Profile F
Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Admissions statement

Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Admissions statement

Research groups

Visit the Condensed Matter Physics website to find out more about the centre's research groups.


Our aim is to break down traditional boundaries between academic disciplines and produce graduates who are able to mix theory with experiment, embed state-of-the-art measurement or computational science in their research, and exploit fundamental physics in applications.

How to apply
Application deadline:

Funded places: we will hold a series of interview days during January, February and March 2018. Dates will be published on the programme website in due course. Early application is advised.

Deadline for self-funded applications: 1 August 2018

International students

Find out more about becoming a student at Bristol, applying for a visa and the support we offer to international students.

I chose Bristol because of its outstanding academic reputation. It's reassuring to be taught by people who truly love their subject - their passion becomes contagious.


REF 2014 results

  • 23% of research is world-leading (4 star)
  • 62% of research is internationally excellent (3 star)
  • 15% of research is recognised internationally (2 star)
  • 0% of research is recognised nationally (1 star)

Results are from the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality, conducted by HEFCE. More about REF 2014 results.

Bristol Doctoral College

The Bristol Doctoral College facilitates and supports doctoral training and researcher development across the University.

Get in touch

CDT-CMP Administrator Phone: +44 (0) 117 331 7725 Email:

Centre for Doctoral Training in Condensed Matter Physics
HH Wills Physics Laboratory
University of Bristol
Tyndall Avenue
Bristol BS8 1TL


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