Attend the Virtual Global Study Fair | Register Now Attend the Virtual Global Study Fair | Register Now

We have 101 Optical Physics PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships for Self-funded Students






All locations



All Institutions

PhD Type

PhD Type

All PhD Types



I am a self funded student

Optical Physics PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships for Self-funded Students

We have 101 Optical Physics PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships for Self-funded Students

A PhD in Optical Physics focuses on the study of light and how it interacts with matter. You’ll have the chance to lead your own research project that will further our current understanding of reflection, refraction, diffraction and interference. Whether you are researching optical fibres, display panels, semiconductor systems or drug-development tools, you’ll be aiming to improve the lives of millions of people across the world.

What's it like to study a PhD in Optical Physics?

Doing a PhD in Optical Physics, you will become proficient in the skills necessary to contribute to a research portfolio which spans sectors such as medicine, homeland security, telecommunications, the environment, and computer science.

Some typical research topics in Optical Physics include: 

  • laser spectroscopy
  • biophotonics
  • nanophotonics
  • quantum imaging and storage

Typical Optical Physics PhD research projects take between three and four years to complete. As well as undertaking research training within your department, you will also attend external meetings and conferences and may be submitting research posters as your research develops.

To be awarded your PhD, you must submit a thesis of about 60,000 words and defend it during your viva exam. 

PhD in Optical Physics entry requirements    

The entry requirements for a typical PhD in Optical Physics usually involves a 2:1 Bachelors in engineering, materials science, physics, medical sciences, biotechnology or in a related subject. If you can demonstrate experience in microscopy, machine learning or image data analysis then this would help your application (but isn’t essential). You will also need to submit a compelling research proposal detailing your study plans.  

PhD in Optical Physics funding options

In the UK, PhDs in Optical Physics are funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) who provide a tuition fee waiver and a living cost stipend. Depending on the programme, you may submit your own research proposal before being considered for funding or apply for a project that already has funding attached. 

It is also possible to apply for a PhD loan to help with the costs of a doctorate in Optical Physics (although this cannot be combined with Research Council funding). Other options for financial support include university scholarships, graduate teaching assistantships and charities.  

If you are considering a part-time PhD in Optical Physics, it may also be worth asking your employer if they are happy to sponsor you.    

PhD in Optical Physics careers

A PhD in Optical Physics could lead you down the road of a scientific career such as a lens design engineer, electrical engineer, optical designer or coating technician. You may work at a university, continuing your research or you might choose to work in the private sector. .

read more
PhD saved successfully

Ambulatory monitoring of Raynaud’s phenomenon and systemic sclerosis associated microcirculation

Systemic sclerosis (SSc), a microvascular autoimmune disease, causes damage to the small blood vessels (microvasculature). Although rare it has the highest mortality of all rheumatological conditions and causes significant morbidity. Read more

Computational Light Microscopy — Making the Invisible Visible

Light is a most versatile tool to study life. Optical microscopy opens a unique window into the inner workings of biological development without interfering with its delicate processes. Read more

Joint Sensing and Communications for Efficient Optical Wireless Networking

It is envisaged that integrated sensing and communication (ISAC) will be a key 6G technology to optimise the utilisation of resources such as spectrum, energy, and hardware. Read more

Stimulated and Quantum-enhanced Brillouin imaging

Brillouin spectroscopy is an important technique for measuring the visco-elastic properties of biological materials, with applications to fundamental biology, tissue engineering, and drug-discovery. Read more

Ultrafast Spectroscopy of Novel Semiconductors and Devices

PhD opportunity at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. The School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering (SPREE) is widely regarded as the one of the leading Photovoltaics research hubs in the world. Read more

Discover the Max Planck School of Photonics - scholarships available

The Max Planck School of Photonics (MPSP) is a top tier interdisciplinary graduate school in Germany that provides an integrated MSc and PhD program (or PhD only) in Photonics for excellent graduates from all over the world. Read more

Advancing optics and electronics of endoscopy and endomicroscopy

Throughout the history of microscopy, the endeavour has been to see smaller and smaller features. The key challenge in biology has been to observe this in vivo as this provides a dynamic view into living phenomena. Read more

Quantum Lidar: ultimate and practical limits of object sensing

Key Words. Quantum Optics, information, sensing.  In Lidar the task is to determine the properties of a remote object by illuminating it with laser light and detecting the scattered return signal. Read more

Plasma photonics at ultra-high intensities

The PhD studentship will support a bold and innovative project to evaluate novel methods of creating robust time-dependent plasma photonic structures by colliding intense laser pulses in plasma or gas. Read more

Operational & Design Techniques for Rapid Deployment of Quantum Enabled Optical Ground Stations (sateliite quantum communications)

The emergence of Optical Ground Stations (OGS) for high throughput space-ground communications, together with the need for quantum-secure encryption provides a compelling opportunity for the deployment of quantum receiver backends to emerging OGS infrastructure. Read more

Non-line-of-sight (NLOS) optical wireless communications with deep ultraviolet lasers

Start date. January 2024. Duration. 3.5 yrs. The optical spectrum offers significantly higher bandwidth for communications compared to the radio spectrum, spanning more than three orders of magnitude. Read more

Untying the knot: Remodelling of G4 structures by the NER machinery- implications in human DNA repair and regulatory pathways

Open PhD position on Genome Stability and Biochemistry. Joint PhD scholarship - St Andrews and Bonn-Biology. Untying the knot. Remodelling of G4 structures by the NER machinery- implications in human DNA repair and regulatory pathways. Read more

Filtering Results