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.

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 who wish to study climate physics should therefore consider applying to the DTP, as this offers a funding route to ultimately pursue research in AOPP. 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.

AOPP embraces the benefits that a diverse department brings and strongly encourages applications from students who are passionate and excited about their subject regardless of background. Further information on graduate access programs within the University of Oxford is available from this link.


Read comprehensive information on fees and funding for graduate students. This includes information on a wide range of scholarships, including scholarships for under-represented groups.

Several UKRI scholarships in planetary physics (linked to STFC) are often available for the DPhil in Atmospheric, Oceanic & Planetary Physics course - see below for information on how to apply. UKRI scholarships in climate physics (linked to NERC) are usually administered via application to the Oxford Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) in Environmental Research.  Please note that in order to be considered for any of the UKRI funding sources administered directly by AOPP, you should submit your application before the earlier deadline of Friday 5th January 2024.

How to apply

Candidates who wish to study climate physics should consider applying to the Oxford Doctoral Training Programme in Environmental Research, as this offers a funding route to ultimately pursue research in climate physics in AOPP.

All other applications directly for a DPhil in AOPP 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 not necessarily 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.