Course Overview

All PhD students in the College of Science will enrol in a Structured PhD.

Research activities within the School of Physics are organised within the following three clusters - Centre for Photonics and Imaging, Atmospheric and Environmental Research Cluster, Centre for Astronomy:

Centre for Photonics and Imaging:

Lasers (‌NCLA)Applied OpticsMedical Physics & Tissue Optics (TOMI)

Research interests in Applied Optics and Imaging Science, Laser microfabrication and device development, Tissue Optics and Microcirculation Imaging, Medical Imaging & Modelling.

Atmospheric & Environmental Physics Research Cluster—Centre for Climate & Air Pollution Studies (C-CAPS)

Investigating physical and chemical properties of aerosols and gaseous species in the marine coastal environment and their ultimate role in climate change.

Centre for Astronomy (CfA) 

Research interests in ‌Astronomy, Astronomical Instrumentation and Computational Astrophysics.


Programmes Available

Structured PhD, 4 years full-time.
Applications are made online via the University of Galway Postgraduate Applications System


Learning Outcomes

Entry Requirements

To be eligible to enter on a programme of study and research for the degree of PhD you must have reached a high honours standard at the examination for the primary degree or presented such evidence as will satisfy the Head of School and the College of your fitness.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Current research projects

Current funded research opportunity

Work Placement

Related Student Organisations

Career Opportunities

Find a Supervisor / PhD Project

If you are still looking for a potential supervisor or PhD project or would like to identify the key research interests of our academic staff and researchers, you can use our online portal to help in that search

Research Areas

Follow the following link to find Research opportunities in Physics.

Researcher Profiles

For more details contact individual members of staff through the website contact points:

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€5,750 p.a. (€5,890 including levy) 2024/25

Fees: Non EU

€15,000 p.a. (€15,140 including levy) 2024/25

Extra Information

EU Part time: Year 1 €4,250 p.a. (€4,390 including levy) 2024/25

All students, irrespective of funding, must pay the student levy of €140.

Contact Us

What Our Students Say


Gordon Sands |   PhD Applied Physics

I'm doing research in radiation safety in radiotherapy, so it involves elements of physics, engineering and medicine. Essentially radiotherapy is one of the most technologically advanced forms of treatment in healthcare. It uses a lot of advanced equipment, with people involved every step of the way. What I am looking at is places where mistakes can be made and making sure the system is designed in such a way that patients’ treatments will never be affected by these mistakes. The learning environment at NUI Galway is fantastic. So many people, even outside of your own discipline, will always be there to help if you need it. Through my supervisor, I’ve developed a great relationship with the Radiotherapy Department in University Hospital Galway and have been able to get radiation therapists, clinical-based medical physicists, nurses and doctors involved with the research.