MPhil and PhD Opportunities

Mathematics and Physics

Postgraduate Research in Mathematics and Physics.

Star Overview

Research overview

Our researchers work and supervise topics around the following areas of Applied Mathematics: Nonlinear Dynamics and Complex Systems, Logistics and Operations Research, Biostatistics, Numerical Analysis, and Science and Theology. These areas complement research undertaken in the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation (ICG), with which the Department of Mathematics has close ties. Research within the field of Mathematics and Physics may also be closely linked to the field of Computer Science.

Research centres

Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation (ICG)

The Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation is a research institute at the University of Portsmouth devoted to the investigation of cosmology, galaxy evolution and gravitation. We have staff, post-doctoral fellows and students working on subjects from inflation in the early universe to understanding the stellar populations in galaxies.The ICG is one of the leading cosmology groups in the United Kingdom, and is supported by major grants from the Research Council STFC and the European Union. The researchers at the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation work in a variety of projects. Our research covers theoretical and observational cosmology, astrophysics and their interface. Our research projects are supported by grants from the Research Council STFC, the Royal Society and the European Union.

Centre for Operational Research and Logistics (CORL)

The Centre for Operational Research and Logistics brings together a multidisciplinary expertise on the Science of Data and the Science of Decision Making from across the Department of Mathematics, Faculty of Technology, Portsmouth Business School and the Institute of Industrial Research at the University of Portsmouth. Members of the Centre provide a broad coverage of the field of Operational Research and Quantitative Logistics whilst strengthening several of the sub-fields. This ensures CORL furthers its reputation as a centre of international expertise in these areas.


How to apply 

To apply for a postgraduate research degree with us, you'll need a good first degree from an internationally-recognised university or a Master’s degree in an appropriate subject. We'll also consider outstanding applicants with exceptional equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications.

We're currently rebuilding our website, so to explore the 3 different routes you can take into a postgrad research degree at Portsmouth, visit our new 'How to Apply' pages.

A PhD is a challenging but wonderful opportunity to explore what excites you, be inspired and be part of a diverse and rewarding community.

Hana Schumacher, PhD ICG

Key Facts


MPhil: 2 years full-time, 4 years part-time
PhD: 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time
By Publication: 1 year part-time
Start date: October/February


A good honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject or a master’s degree in an appropriate subject. Exceptionally, equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications will be considered. All applicants are subject to interview.

English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.  

MPhil/PhD Fees*

MPhil full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the Government Postgraduate Loan

PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the Government Doctoral Loan


Home/EU/CI full-time students: £4,260 p/a*
Home/EU/CI part-time students: £2,130 p/a*
International full-time students: £15,100 p/a*
International part-time students: £7,550 p/a*

*All fees are subject to annual increase

By Publication Fees*


Members of staff: £1,550 p/a*
External candidates: £4,260 p/a*

*All fees are subject to annual increase.

View tuition fee terms and conditions



Mathematics, Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation 

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Light bulb Research Areas

Applied Mathematics

Nonlinear and Complex Systems
Researchers are engaged in research and supervision mainly in the field of Dynamical Systems. Some of our recent projects include:

  • Transport and collective phenomena
  • Universality and renormalisation in various contexts
  • The simulation and analysis of dynamically evolving networks

Logistics and Operational research
Research areas include:

  • Distance metric optimisation
  • Goal programming theory and algorithms
  • Goal programming applications
  • Multiple objective evolutionary algorithms (MOEAs)
  • Reverse logistics
  • Transport and vehicle routing

Institute of Cosmology

Early universe and particle cosmology
Our researchers are working and supervising research in fields such as:

  • Inflation
  • Brane-world cosmology
  • String cosmology
  • Primordial perturbations

Structure formation in the universe
Our researchers are working and supervising in fields such as:

  • Cosmic microwave background
  • Galaxy surveys
  • Dark energy
  • Gravitational lensing
  • Cosmic magnetic fields
  • Gravitational waves

Galaxy evolution
Our researchers are producing research and supervising postgraduate research students in:

  • Stellar population models
  • Chemical evolution
  • Galaxies at low and high redshift

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Monitor Facilities & Features

Flexible Learning

You will benefit from web, email or phone access to many of our facilities and services. Our student website will be your one-stop shop for all news, information and links to other services, and 24/7 online access to the University Library’s vast electronic book, journal and database collections will help you find the right resources for your research.


Our students have access to experimental and computational facilities, as well as expert technical support staff. We have invested heavily in our facilities so that you can put the knowledge you gain into practice.

Access our computing laboratories equipped with powerful hardware and software, including multimedia applications. You will be able to use the computer algebra package MAPLE and the numerical methods and matrix algebra package MATLAB.




Graduate School

From the moment you join us, you will be supported by the University's Graduate School, alongside your assigned supervisory team. You will be invited to a two-day induction, helping you to get the most from our facilities and be part of our thriving research community. You can also extend your skills as a researcher through the Graduate School Development Programme, which offers training, workshops and events.

University Library

Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.

Students will get to work with some of the best facilities in the world including the latest supercomputers and both ground and space-based telescopes.

Professor Bob Nichol, Astrophysics

Mortarboard Careers & Opportunities

Career Planning

One of the benefits of studying at Portsmouth is the comprehensive support that we provide to our Research Degrees students in career planning. Our careers and recruitment service – Purple Door – can assist you in career research and finding employment opportunities.

Through our Graduate School Development Programme, Purple Door offer a series of dedicated workshops on career planning for research degree students. They also offer our postgraduate students and alumni one-to-one appointments with a careers adviser, or an online service for those not able to travel back to the University. Our alumni can call on our career services for five years after graduation.


Doctoral graduates are highly-skilled researchers capable of making an impact in a range of sectors. They benefit from high employment rates and, on average, earn more than holders of undergraduate and Masters degrees. A doctorate demonstrates to employers that you are intelligent, capable and motivated, and that you have advanced technical and research skills.

At the University of Portsmouth, in addition to receiving supervision from experts in the field, we offer a huge range of training and development activities to support you to become an internationally employable doctoral graduate. In your time here you will also develop to a high level a range of other skills that are extremely desirable for employers including critical thinking, problem-solving, project management, communication, leadership and creativity.

Our students have gone on from their PhD to work all over the world, at some of the best known institutions. Our PhD students have access to bespoke skills training designed especially to meet the needs of relevant industries

Dr Karen Masters, Astronomy

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