PhD

Theoretical Physics

Study mode:Full-time Languages: English Duration:4 years
Local:$ 9.9k / Academic year(s) Foreign:$ 30.7k / Academic year(s) Deadline: Jan 20, 2022
StudyQA ranking:400

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The DPhil in Theoretical Physics is a research-based course of three to four years in duration. You will be supervised throughout the entire duration of the course and join your supervisor's research group.

Graduate destinations

The DPhil in Theoretical Physics at Oxford is ideally suited to those students who would like to pursue a career in research; either in academia or industry all over the world. The majority of alumni go on to take up postdoctoral research posts after graduation. 

However, a very wide range of career paths is possible, with recent graduates taking up positions in investment banking, business analysis and consulting.

You will be assigned to a research group: work on your original research project will start immediately and continue for the duration of your DPhil. During the first year you will be required to attend lectures and courses to increase your basic and specialist physics knowledge.

You are encouraged to attend conferences and summer schools inside or outside the UK and the department supports such attendance financially.

At the end of the first year you are expected to submit a report on your research and to defend it in an interview with the Graduate Studies Panel and a specialist reader. The panel will determine whether you can transfer status from Probationer Research Student status to DPhil student status.

Applicants are normally expected to be predicted or have achieved a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours (or equivalent international qualifications), as a minimum, in physics, mathematics or another relevant science. The degree must be at the level of MPhys, MSc, MSci or equivalent. Bachelor's degrees with a minimum of four years' standard duration may satisfy the entry requirements. 

For applicants with a degree from the USA, the typical minimum GPA sought is 3.3 out of 4.0. However, selection of candidates also depends on other factors in your application and most successful applicants have achieved higher GPA scores. 

Entrance is very competitive and most successful applicants have a first-class degree or the equivalent.

If you hold non-UK qualifications and wish to check how your qualifications match these requirements, you can contact the National Recognition Information Centre for the United Kingdom (UK NARIC).

No Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or GMAT scores are sought.

  • Official transcript(s)
  • CV/résumé
  • Research proposal: One page
  • References/letters of recommendation:Three overall, generally academic

ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS

Higher level

Test

Standard level scores

Higher level scores

IELTS Academic 
Institution code: 0713

7.0 Minimum 6.5 per component  7.5  Minimum 7.0 per component 

TOEFL iBT 
Institution code: 0490

100

Minimum component scores:

  • Listening: 22
  • Reading: 24
  • Speaking: 25
  • Writing: 24
110

Minimum component scores:

  • Listening: 22
  • Reading: 24
  • Speaking: 25
  • Writing: 24
Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) 185

Minimum 176 per component

191 

Minimum 185 per component

Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) 185

Minimum 176 per component

191 

Minimum 185 per component

  • Global Education
  • Hill Foundation Scholarships
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