Welcome to SEPnet. Whether you know us as the South East Physics Network, or the consortium of nine world-class universities that's changing the face of physics, explore more about how we're leading the way with high quality research, teaching and outreach activities.

Meet the people that are bringing SEPnet to life, discover more about our impressive reputation and study opportunities, and engage with our innovative programmes that bring the excitement of physics to students, teachers and employers alike. SEPnet is also the home of the European Masters in Physics (MSc) - your opportunity to enjoy the European method of study in the UK with compressed fees.


SEPnet 2015 PhD Scholarships

GRADnet, the collaborative Physics Graduate School of SEPnet, is offering 9 PhD scholarships to UK or EU students for study starting October 2015 in the following areas: Astrophysics, Particle Physics, Quantum Technology and Condensed Matter Physics, Theoretical Physics and Medical and Bio Physics. Across SEPnet there are over 100 PhD projects in these and other fields of Physics of which 9 SEPnet Scholarships will be awarded. These scholarships come with an enhanced research training support grant.

Applications are now being accepted. To learn more, please look here.

GRADnet Winter School at Culham

Monday, 2nd February to Thursday, 5th February 2015

“Where might my physics take me?”

The Winter School will take place at Culham and will provide you with an exciting opportunity to interact with employers from leading companies through interactive workshops, presentations and poster sessions.   By the end of this winter school you will have expanded your skills and have the ability to apply them more broadly.  You will also develop your analytical, problem-solving skills, and your ability to present persuasively to a diverse audience.  These are skills that will help you succeed in your doctoral research and your viva, as well as in interviews and future employment. 

The GRADnet Winter School is open to all Physics postgraduate research students across the nine partner institutions of SEPnet.  Approximately 5 places per institution are available but priority will be given to final year students in the event it is over subscribed.  To find out more and register please use the following link:  here

Tec 66 Vacuum & Photonics Conference

Tec 66 Vacuum & Photonics Exhibition & Conference, 27 October 2014, East Sussex - opportunity for SEPnet partners and PGRs to present research to industry

Tec 66 is an annual Vacuum & Photonics Exhibition & Conference attracting industry specialists in this field including SMEs.

Speakers this year include Maggie Aderin-Pocock, space scientist, Dr Moritz Riede, Physics Department, University of Oxford and Stephen Sweeney, Professor of Physics and Head of Photonics at University of Surrey.

Tec 66 is offering universities free stands to showcase their research and develop links with industry. SEPnet partner Postgraduate Researchers carrying out research in this field are also invited to present posters related to UHV/Vacuum and/or Photonic applications as a way of engaging with employers in this very specialised industry. To date Surrey and Sussex are taking a stand.

This is a great opportunity to engage with industry in a specialist field for knowledge exchange and industry/research collaboration.

Anyone interested in taking a stand or presenting a poster should contact Jim Christy at jimchristy@hbol.co.uk.

Visit www.tec66.co.uk for further information.

First GRADnet SME Networking Event

Creating New Opportunities for Physics Research Students

On 2 September SEPnet held its first GRADnet networking evening at Queen Mary University for SMEs and regional employers, Physics Research Students and Academics from Queen Mary and Universities of Sussex and Kent.

Over 50 employers, students and academics attended the first of 3 regional events and heard from a panel of entrepreneurs and knowledge exchange experts about the opportunities for physics PhDs in industry. Attendees shared ideas for joint working and collaboration through a lively speed networking session and heard about the launch of the GRADnet Employer Engagement Programme and a new industry mentoring scheme for students.

The first event of its kind for the physics research community and industry, attendees reported finding the event very valuable for getting academics and employers together to learn about what is going on in industry and finding out what physics students do and want. The key message from the evening - employers ‘really do want to hire PhD students’!

See this article from the National Centre for Universities & Business

SEPnet Graduate Network Inaugural Summer School

Inaugural Summer School a success!

Over 70 students attended the a very enjoyable and successful inaugural GRADnet Summer School at the National Physical Laboratory between the 9th and 12th of June. They enjoyed a variety of activities including real-world consultancy challenges, employer led workshops that illustrated the application of physics based modelling techniques across a range of industrial sectors; a session on outreach and a water rockets BBQ. Many thanks to NPL for hosting the event and to all the contributors to the challenges and workshops.

Companies who led the workshops included Network Rail, AWE, NPL, The Met Office, Airbus Defence Systems and Rolls Royce. Real-world consultancy challenges were provided by Pentagon Plastics, Symetrica, NPL and Selex ES.

Read Pentagon Plastic's blog about taking part in the SEPnet Graduate Network Summer School June 2014: http://www.pentagonplastics.co.uk/blog/pentagon-takes-part-in-sepnet-summer-school/

GRADnet launches Virtual Research Environment

In collaboration with The Open University, GRADnet is delighted to announce the launch of its Virtual Research Environment to connect Physics Researchers, Research Students, employers and alumni in the SEPnet region.

Physics staff, postgraduate research students and Alumni are invited to register on: www.sepnet.ac.uk/vre

SEPnet Public Engagement Awards

We are pleased to announce the winners of this year’s SEPnet Public Engagement Awards. We had a good number of nominations, all of which were of a good quality. The winners and highly commended have been invited to a prize giving ceremony at the GRADnet Summer School on Wednesday 11th June, presented by Prof Jim Al-Khalili. Congratulations to all our winners.

Public engagement with research to enrich cultural life: Project awards
Winner: Brian Wecht, Queen Mary University of London
Highly Commended: Claudia Maraston, University of Portsmouth

Media and Communications Award
Winner: Natalie Starkey, The Open University
Highly Commended: Shakardokht Jafari, University of Surrey

Newcomer Award
Winner: Benjamin Williams, University of Oxford
Highly Commended: Sophia Goldberg, Queen Mary University of London
Highly Commended: Michael Hodgson

Achievement Award
Winner: Malcolm Coe, University of Southampton

SEPnet 2015 PhD Projects

GRADnet, the collaborative Physics Graduate School of SEPnet, is offering 9 PhD scholarships for study starting October 2015 in the following areas: Astrophysics, Particle Physics, Quantum Technology and Condensed Matter Physics, Theoretical Physics and Medical and Bio Physics. Across SEPnet there are over 100 PhD projects in these and other fields of Physics of which 9 SEPnet Scholarships will be awarded.

Applications are now being accepted. To learn more, please look here.

SEPnet Student Expo 2013

50 SEPnet summer placement students celebrate their achievements at the Royal Institution!

On 20th November, 50 physics students from Kent, Queen Mary, Royal Holloway, Southampton, Surrey and Sussex presented posters for their summer placement projects at the recent Annual SEPnet Students' Expo. 150 students, employers and academics heard from Charlotte Massey of Ultra Electronics and Miguel Carrasco and Cristina Guisca of NPL on the benefit of placements for developing students' employability skills and career choice.

Jim Al-Khalili, BBC presenter and Professor of Science Communication at Surrey, gave a keynote address on how to achieve a balanced career and presented copies of his book 'Paradox' as prizes to students who presented the best posters. Prize winners included Charlie Walker, Nicola Abraham, Azaria Coupe, James Cook, Amy Ennion and Jenny Vibert.

Students had an opportunity to network with employers and exhibitors included IOP, QinetiQ, Space Internship Network (SpIN), Selex ES, TeachFirst and Ultra Electronics.

Guests who attended were impressed with what the students had achieved during their placements and their presentations. One careers adviser summed it up by saying 'the students did really well and, once again, it accentuated the huge range of careers that physicists can consider'.

Read Azaria Coupe of University of Southampton’s blog account about her experience of the day here: http://azariacoupe.wordpress.com/2013/11/27/sepnet-students-speedy-sixty-second-science/


Atomic & Condensed Matter

A glimpse into our diverse portfolio of ACM research and the world-class facilities that support it.

Particle Physics

Making new connections between experiment and theory through the NExT Institute.


Explore research with SEPnet-Astro, from planetary science to astrophysics and cosmology.

Radiation Detection & Instrumentation

Be inspired by the development and application of RDI in industries across the world.

» Discover more research areas

  • Higher Education Funding Council for England
  • University of Hertfordshire
  • University of Kent
  • The Open University
  • University of Portsmouth
  • Queen Mary - University of London
  • Royal Holloway University of London
  • University of Southampton
  • University of Surrey
  • University of Sussex