Doctor of Philosophy in Physics
Doctor of Philosophy in Physics
Award Title
Doctor of Philosophy
Offering Academic Unit
Department of Physics
Mode of Study

Credit Units Required for Graduation

14 and SG8001

Programme Aims

This programme aims to train and produce independent researchers with state-of-the-art expertise who can create original knowledge through innovative research.

Programme Intended Learning Outcomes (PILOs)

Upon successful completion of this programme, students should be able to:
1. achieve general intellectual proficiency and specialization in their chosen subject areas;
2. apply appropriate research methodology/tools to conduct independent research for discoveries;
3. formulate and derive effective, innovative and original solutions to fundamental problems in their chosen subject areas for discoveries;
4. communicate effectively with the learned community about the research process and findings for discoveries;
5. discover through in-depth investigation of the chosen subject areas;
6. build up ethical and social responsibilities; 
7. perform multi-disciplinary research with new ideas;
8. strengthen independent learning and researching abilities to suit future versatile employment requirements;
9. enhance proficiencies in scientific language and skills in numerical and IT solutions; 
10. collaborate effectively and healthily with colleagues.

Programme Requirements

Research Area(s) in which research students will be admitted to:

• Theory and Computational Physics
• Spectroscopy and Imaging
• Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics
• Soft Matter and Biophysics
• Low-Dimensional Materials

Programme Core Courses: (9 credits) - Choose three courses from the following, to be approved by supervisors based on the students' research topic:
Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Units
PHY8251#Advanced Quantum Mechanics3
PHY8252#Statistical Mechanics3
PHY8501#Modern Characterization Techniques for Materials Physics3
PHY8502#Advanced Computational Methods3
PHY8506#Advanced Electrodynamics3
PHY8521#Advanced Solid State Physics3

#These six courses can also be used as electives but students cannot select the same course as a core course and an elective.
Research Methodology and Ethics Courses (5 credits)
Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Units
PHY8001Survival Skills for Research Scientists3
PHY8004Postgraduate Seminar2

Programme Electives:

Please refer to the updated list of approved courses for research students posted in the SGS website.

Other Requirement (not counted towards the University’s coursework requirement)
Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Units
SG8001Teaching Students: First Steps1
--Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) programme--

CITI is an online training course on research integrity. Compulsory for RPg students who admitted in 2018/19 and thereafter.To be completed in the first year of study. Details are available in SGS website.

Qualifying Examination:

The aim of the Qualifying Examination are to test students’ knowledge of major subject areas of their research disciplines and assess their readiness to conduct research in their specific research discipline. The PhD qualifying examination is mandatory for all full-time and part-time PhD students, including those under joint PhD programmes, who commenced study in 2019/20 and thereafter. The requirements of PhD qualifying examination will be as follows:

a) The PhD qualifying examination is an additional requirement on top of the Qualifying Report and Annual Progress Report assessment.
b) The PhD qualifying examination shall consist of written examination only.
c) Students are required to pass the qualifying examination within 10-24 months (full-time) or 20-48 months (part-time) after commencement of their PhD studies.
d) A maximum of two attempts will be allowed. Those students who cannot pass the examination by the deadline will result in termination of their PhD studies.

Qualifying/Annual Report Submission:
Students are required to submit qualifying report and annual report in compliance with the University regulations or guidelines. Such regulations and guidelines are accessible via the Guidebook for Research Degree Studies located at School of Graduate Studies (SGS) website.

The thesis at the core of the PhD study enables a student to demonstrate his/her independent research work, design and conduct experiments, analyze and formulate physical and engineering problems, correlate and verify data, explain problems lucidly and reach sound conclusions. The data obtained and conclusions reached are placed in logical context substantiated by physics and mathematics. The output of the PhD thesis results from the student’s creativity and original ideas. It represents a tangible contribution to science and engineering. The PhD thesis is unique and represents evident contribution to science and /or engineering in the field of study. It contains experimental and/or theoretical output supported by theoretical physics and practical implications.

Students are required to submit their thesis in compliance with the University regulations or guidelines. Such regulations and guidelines are accessible via the Guidebook for Research Degree Studies located at School of Graduate Studies (SGS) website.

Additional Notes:

Other regulations and guidelines can be found in the Guidebook for Research Degree Studies located at School of Graduate Studies (SGS) website.