Students studying for a DPhil (PhD) in Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics will focus on either planetary and exoplanetary physics or climate physics and might use both experimental and theoretical techniques.

Our research focuses on the study of physical processes in the atmospheres, surfaces and oceans of the Earth and other planets, using experimental, theoretical and computational techniques. Candidates may also want to look at DPhil in Astrophysics projects and applications to more than one sub-department are encouraged.

Climate physics candidates with home fees status

AOPP is one of the core departments of the Oxford Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) in Environmental Research as it includes a highly relevant Physics Climate Science stream. Candidates with home fees status who wish to study climate physics should therefore apply to the DTP. Initial training is within the DTP before transferring to AOPP for a doctorate in physics during the second term of your first year; students will continue with the training programme within the DTP.  

Open days

We run an open day for prospective graduate students in November – whether in-person or online – for entry the following year. It is an opportunity to meet supervisors as well as some of our postdocs and current graduate students. We will confirm the date and registration details in [month/year].


Read comprehensive information on fees and funding for graduate students.

How to apply

Candidates with home fees status who wish to study climate physics should therefore apply to the Oxford Doctoral Training Programme in Environmental Research.

All other applications must be made through the central University of Oxford graduate admissions website where you will find information about applying to any of the six DPhil courses on offer at the Department of Physics.

It is important to note that you are not required to select a final project or supervisor at the point of application; while it is useful for us to know the broad areas you are interested in, we do not expect you to have made a final decision on your preferred projects and there will be opportunities to discuss your interests before offers are made.

If you would like to apply for more than one DPhil course, there is no need to complete a separate application for each or pay more than one application fee; please refer to the instructions for applying to related courses.