The Condensed Matter Theory Group usually has about 20 postgraduate research students working towards a doctorate (D. Phil), and we admit five or six new students each year. It generally takes between 3 and 4 years to complete a doctorate.
Like other members of the Rudolf Peierls Centre, members of the group teach advanced courses in the MSc in Mathematical and Theoretical Physics which is an excellent preparation for doctoral studies in theoretical physics. We do not admit students to do a Masters by research.
Our graduate students work on a wide variety of topics. Here is a list of supervisors taking students to start in Michaelmas (Autumn) Term 2024; follow the links for more details on their research interests.
You can also get a sense of research in the group by looking at some recent theses.
Application and Admission
New students usually join us in October at the beginning of the academic year. The application and admissions process leading to admission for October 2023 will take place in the first three months of 2023. If you wish to apply you must follow the procedure described in the University's Graduate Prospectus for a D.Phil. in Theoretical Physics. In order to be considered for funding you must apply to the late January 2023 deadline (date to be confirmed).
It is not necessary to nominate a supervisor, but you may wish to do so if one of our research areas particularly appeals to you. Similarly, you need not make a detailed proposal for your research project on the application form; it is better to use this space to tell us a little bit more about why you are interested in studying condensed matter theory in general and doing so at Oxford in particular, and about any past research experiences you have had.
Please answer Condensed Matter Theory in the 'Title of Research Project' field and if you are interested in a particular area please say so. It is important to realise that competition for places is very strong and to have a realistic chance you must have the equivalent of a good First Class degree in Physics with a strong theoretical content, or a Distinction in a Masters level course in Theoretical Physics. We consider applications strictly on merit and will automatically consider you for all the funding opportunities for which you are eligible. However, if you believe that you might qualify for a source of external funding such as a scholarship from an overseas government or other funding body, it is helpful to let us know so we can allocate funds optimally. Interviews take place on-line in February and March and we aim to complete the admissions process by the end of March.
Candidates wishing to be considered by more than one physics sub-department (or more than one group within a sub-department) should fill in only one form and pay only one application fee. The form should be submitted giving the course code for the sub-department which most closely reflects their research interests (002610 for Theoretical Physics) and give under section 1(iii), Programme of Study, the sub-departments (or research groups) which are being asked to consider the application.
Our funding sources are varied; recent students have been supported through the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research, European Research Council grants held by members of the group, and college and University scholarships. We are also most grateful for the support of philanthropic donors who fund departmental scholarships for graduate study.