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Plasma Physics - Research

Programme Overview

The research strategies of the Centre for Plasma Physics involve identifying and responding to the major contemporary issues within ionised matter physics, exploiting synergy derived from a close integration of experimental, theoretical and simulation studies, with major activities in laser- and electrically-produced plasmas, ultra-fast atomic and molecular physics and the interaction of ionising radiation and plasmas with biological systems. There is also activity in transferring our research findings into the industrial and medical sectors.

Entry requirements

Entry Requirements

A research degree offers you the opportunity to develop your research skills and prove yourself as a researcher. Queen's is committed to the enhancement of research training and teaching and offers postgraduate research opportunities across all fields of study. The following postgraduate research study routes for this subject area are:
•Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
•Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

Entrance Requirements

The minimum academic requirement for admission to a research degree programme is normally an Upper Second Class Honours degree from a UK or ROI HE provider, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. Further information can be obtained by contacting the School.

English Language Requirements

International students (where English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes. Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.0, with not less than 5.5 in any component (*taken within the last 2 years) is required. For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see:

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this programme, our partner INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability to entry to this programme.

•English for University Study - an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level.

•Pre-sessional English - a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.


Mode of study/Duration

Registration is on a full-time or part-time basis, under the direction of a supervisory team appointed by the University. You will be expected to submit your thesis at the end of three years of full-time registration for PhD, or two years for MPhil/MD (or part-time equivalent).

Careers or further progression

Career Prospects
Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes alongside sterling integration with business experts helps our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.

Further enquiries

If you have queries on course content please contact the school representative below.

Professor Matthew Zepf
Centre for Plasma Physics School of Mathematics and Physics
Tel: 9097 3123


Special Features

•The Centre occupies a purpose-built 4,700msqr., state-of-the-art physics laboratory, the International Research Centre for Experimental Physics (IRCEP).

•This research laboratory houses a multi-Terawatt laser system and a suite of laser- and electrically-produced plasmas and ion beam systems, equipped with advanced diagnostic techniques and apparatus.

•The Centre's staff and students also work at major laser and accelerator facilities and with university collaborators worldwide. This work is complemented by advanced computer simulation hardware and software.

Application date

Postgraduate Research

There is no standard closing date. You should however check both the University’s website and refer to the relevant School/Institute webpage for information on deadline dates for postgraduate funding applications, as these will also determine when your application for admission should be submitted.

Research areas

Research Strengths
The Centre currently comprises 14 academic staff, 9 research fellows and 30 PhD students, with research strengths in:

•Very hot dense plasmas, x-ray lasers, warm dense matter, particle acceleration, shock waves and free electron lasers.

•Molecular quantum dynamics: ultrafast processes, molecular dynamics and ion interactions
Physics: life sciences interface ionising radiation and plasmas interactions, biological systems for advanced therapy, intervention and diagnostics

•Ultra-intense optical lasers

•Cool, non-thermal plasmas, initiation, energy transport, instabilities and plasma chemistry

Enrolment and start dates

Year of entry: 2017

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