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School of Physical and Chemical Sciences


A PhD is primarily concerned with research, however our students benefit from a wide range of training opportunities. These are both useful and fun.

In your first year, you will be expected to attend lectures in two semesters, typically about three per week. These cover three types of topics:

  1. Learning about the science areas that are central to the work of the Centre of Condensed Matter and Materials Science. Although as a PhD student you will specialise in one particular science area, we will encourage you to learn something of the areas of research of your colleagues so that you can have well-informed discussions together about everyone's work.
  2. Learning some skills, even if outside your immediate area. These include computer simulation and programming, and use of diffraction methods. These will include some practical sessions.
  3. Learning what are called 'transferable skills', including writing, presentation, and LaTeX skills.

You will have more intensive personal training in the tools you require for your specific PhD topic in your first year.

In second and third years training will be more personal, and focused on developing presentation skills that are essential for research scientists.

Through all the years of your PhD you will be expected to attend weekly research seminars, which will not be in the exact area of your PhD but which will give you a view of the current research in condensed matter.

Queen Mary University benefits from being a partner in GRADnet.
GraDnet brings together the research strengths of nine leading University Physics Departments that make up the SEPnet consortium in the south east of England to create the largest Physics post graduate school in England. GRADnet works closely with employers to offer a coordinated and bespoke skills training programme for its students designed to meet the needs of students, employers and University researcher groups alike. Our PhD students regularly attend and benefit from GRADnet events.

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