The PhD is the internationally recognised degree signifying high levels of achievement in research. It develops extensive subject expertise and independent research skills which are honed over an extended period, typically three to four years full-time. You would undertake a substantial, original research project for the duration of the degree, under the supervision and guidance of one or more academic members of staff. Your supervisory team provides guidance both in the selection of a research topic and in the conduct of the research. You are also supported by attendance at a postgraduate seminar series to develop subject specific knowledge and research skills relevant to the physical sciences. The degree is assessed solely on the basis of the final research output, in the form of a substantial written thesis which must be "defended" in a viva. During the course of the degree, you would expect to present your work at major conferences and in refereed research publications.
PhD programmes are up to 4 years (full-time); 8 years (part-time).