Research in Physics within the School of Physical Sciences falls into the following main research themes:

  • cold atoms for quantum technology
  • computational molecular physics
  • laboratory astrophysics
  • molecular clusters
  • physics education
  • theoretical condensed matter and biophysics.

Key facts

  • Our work is at the forefront of modern science, and we featured in submissions to REF 2014 and REF 2021
  • Research is funded by industry and by national and international funding agencies
  • Research students are recruited both nationally (some grants are restricted to UK nationals) and internationally


Most of our full-time research students are based at our Milton Keynes campus; for details of residence requirements for different modes of study, see Full-time study and Part-time study.


Researchers within the Physics Research Group have a suite of state-of-the-art laboratories on the OU campus. They also have access to the University’s STEM Linux computing cluster and external computing facilities.

Career prospects

Students with a Physics PhD go on to gain employment in a wide variety of roles, for example, software and IT companies and others in highly numerate areas, electronic manufacturing companies, education, etc.



Find your research topic

Explore specific areas of research, current and prospective projects, entry requirements, fees and funding, available supervisors, how to apply and contact details for advice.

Cold atoms for quantum technology

Computational molecular physics

Laboratory astrophysics

Molecular clusters

Physics education research

Theoretical condensed matter and biophysics


Related topics

Consider linked topics from other research areas.

Applied mathematics and theoretical physics


Chemistry and materials

Energy materials