Postgraduate Study

In every one of our constituent Departments you will find research teams of absolutely the highest calibre - teams whose reputation is truly international.

Leicester also has one of the largest groups of postgraduate students of any UK institution, and the College makes a very significant contribution to the University Graduate School. Here are a few highlights from the research programmes of each Department. Click on the appropriate link to find out more about the overall research activity of the Department, or to view the opportunities for Postgraduate Study.


The Department has major strengths across a diverse portfolio of research, representing activity at the cutting edge in both 'traditional' and 'modern' interdisciplinary aspects of chemistry. These research activities are focussed into a number of strategically important themes, all containing staff of national and international standing; biological chemistry, electrochemistry and interface science, fluorine chemistry, green chemistry, reaction intermediates, and synthesis and catalysis.

Visit Department of Chemistry's web site >


The Department has an international reputation for its research, which is directed to the foundations of computational models, processes and structures, and the way they support the engineering of software intensive systems. It is involved in a number of national and European projects in IT, involving both industrial and academic partners. This gives postgraduates a chance to participate in the shaping of the Information Society and interact with fellow postgraduates across Europe. Members of the Department also play an active part in the University's Institute of Finance and the Digital Economy Research Group – digitUL.

A number of postgraduate programmes are offered by the Department, including the MSc in Advanced Computational Methods, the MSc in Advanced Computer Science, the MSc in Advanced Distributed Systems, the MSc in Advanced Software Engineering, the MSc in Agile Software Engineering Techniques, the MSc in Web Applications and Services, and the MSc in Software Engineering for Financial Services (with the School of Business). Furthermore, the Department participates in the MSc in Bioinformatics (with the School of Biological Sciences) and the MSc in Financial Mathematics and Computation (with Mathematics).

There is also a thriving PhD programme in the Department: Internal and external seminar series, a PhD seminar organised by PhD students, graduate lectures, and reading groups all make for a research environment in which staff and students can fulfil their potential.

Leicester is a founding member of the Midlands Graduate School in the Foundations of Computer Science, which organises along with Birmingham, Nottingham and Sheffield an annual school of advanced postgraduate courses for PhD students. Supported by EPSRC funding, it attracts international students as well as those from local universities including Oxford and Cambridge.  

Visit Informatics' web site >

Physics and Astronomy

The Department of Physics and Astronomy is internationally regarded as an excellent place to do research, having been awarded 5 in the HEFCE research assesments of 1992 and 1996.

There are five research groups within the department. The Condensed Matter Physics Group model the behaviour of both high tech and biological materials. The Radio and Space Plasma Physics Group is at the forefront of research into the interaction of planetary environments with the solar wind. The Space Projects and Instrumentation Group carries out a multi-disciplinary space research program, spanning fields as diverse as earth observation science and bioimaging.

The Theoretical Astrophysics Group have interests ranging from stellar evolution, to computational fluid dynamics to astrophysical accretion. The X-Ray and Observational Astronomy Group has a distinguished record in high-energy astrophysics, and is playing a leading role in X-ray observatories such as Chandra and XMM-Newton.

Visit Department of Physics and Astronomy's web site >


Research in physical geography at Leicester focuses on the low latitudes. These comprise host desert environments (we are currently active in western Asia, the Sahara and south west USA), winter and summer wet season environments (savannas and Mediterranean areas), the humid tropics and tropical montane environments.

Research in human geography is organised under the general topic of 'Restructuring Economies and Societies'. Within the group there are two distinct, but interrelated, research themes: Rural Economy and Society and Global and Local Socio-economic Restructuring. A third theme, Environment and Society, is being developed in cooperation with colleagues in Environmental Processes and Change in Low Latitudes and GIS and Remote Sensing research groups.

Research within the Geophysical Information Science and Earth Observation Research group is structured around three principal interrelated themes: Uncertainty in Spatial  Information, Environmental Monitoring and Modelling, and Visualisation of Spatial Information. 

Visit Department of Geography's web site >


The Department of Engineering is internationally known for its research that covers major areas of electromechanical engineering. It obtained a rating of 5A in each of the last two HEFCE Research Assessment Exercises, which places it among the top Unified Engineering Departments in the UK. The Department has distinguished research groups in the areas of Control and Instrumentation, Electrical and Electronic Power Engineering, Mechanics of Materials, Radio Systems, and Thermofluids and Environmental Engineering.

Visit Department of Engineering's web site >


The Department is fully committed to research investigations at international level.  It has strong recognition by academia and industry and is successful in both output and income measures.  Research activity is organized into three groups that embrace international and world-renowned centres of excellence: Palaeobiology; Crustal Processes; and Geophysics & Borehole Research. Research is facilitated by considerable dedicated laboratory space and state of the art instruments and analytical and interpretation facilities. The Department has close links with the British Geological Survey and the on-site NERC Isotope Geosciences Laboratory at nearby Keyworth, Nottingham. The research groups have links and collaborative projects with institutes world-wide.

Visit Department of Geology's web site >


Mathematics as a Department is coordinated through two research groups. The research interests of the Pure Mathematics group cover a range of topics with particular emphasis on representational theory, algebraic groups and Lie algebras, quantum groups, derived categories, generalized cohomology theories and dynamical systems. The Applicable Mathematics group focuses mainly on approximation theory, numerical analysis, applied computational dynamics, spectral theory and statistics. Members of the group also play an active part in the University's Centre for Mathematical Modelling.

Visit Department of Mathematics web site >

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Contact Details

College of Science and Engineering
Physics Building
University of Leicester 
Tel: 0116 252 3497