The Department of Physics is one of the leading departments for Physics in the country, routinely appearing in the top 5 of the national league tables, and with 96% of research activity judged to be ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ by the Research Excellence Framework 2014.
We offer a unique blend of high-quality teaching and research in the areas of Advanced Instrumentation, Astronomy and Astrophysics, Atomic and Molecular Physics, Condensed Matter Physics, and Elementary Particle Theory. Two of the University’s Research Institutes are embedded in the Department. We pride ourselves on combining world-leading research with dedication to the learning experience of our undergraduate and postgraduate students.
The curriculum and degree structure is frequently revisited and modernised to provide our students with high quality training in physics and the best possible preparation for their future careers.
At the undergraduate level, our students can choose from a wide range of topics spanning the whole of Physics, with Bachelor and Masters degrees and a wide range of possible specialisations.
The Department is committed to advancing equality and we aim to ensure that our culture is inclusive, and that our systems support flexible and family-friendly working, As recognized by our Juno Champion and Athena SWAN Silver awards, we recognise and value the benefits of diversity throughout our staff and students.
Delivering world-leading research and teaching relevant to a modern global society.
The Physics Department has identified five research areas where we either are, or seek to be, world leaders: advanced instrumentation, astronomy and astrophysics, atomic and molecular physics, condensed matter physics, and particle physics.
To create the right platform to advance our research, we have recently invested in physical infrastructure. In 2016, our astronomy groups, the Centre for Advanced Instrumentation, the Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy and the Institute for Computational Cosmology, moved into the brand new Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics building, designed by the world-renowned Studio Daniel Libeskind. Laboratories for atomic and condensed matter experiments were refurbished to 21st century standard in 2017/18. The University has also invested in centralised machine rooms to host our high-performance computers.
We will maintain our position as the university’s highest research grant earner, in some years accounting for over 1/3 of the entire university grant income and build interdisciplinary links between the research groups in the Department and with the rest of the University, especially through the Durham Energy Institute and Biophysical Sciences Institute.
We will continue to recruit some of the best qualified students in the University (and the country) through our accredited Physics and Natural Sciences programmes while developing our courses to reflect developments in society. We will increase our overseas UG fraction as part of the University’s internationalisation strategy.
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