How to apply

Our PhD programme has a single intake in October, with up to 14 places available in 2021 and similar numbers in 2022 and 2023.

We welcome applications from individuals holding or expecting a good degree in physics, electronic or electrical engineering (first or 2:1) with a genuine interest in compound semiconductors and enthusiasm for the group approach. Applicants with a lower second class degree (2:2) in these subjects may be considered if they have a good result at Masters-level study (merit or distinction) and/or other relevant qualifications or industry experience which demonstrates their scientific or engineering research capability. We will also consider applicants with related physical sciences degrees on an individual basis.

Applicants whose first language is not English are normally expected to meet the minimum requirements of Cardiff University, which is currently an IELTS (Academic) of 6.5 with a 5.5 in each sub-score or equivalent.  

Applications for the 2021 intake were considered in two tranches, with deadlines as follows:

•            10 January 202 interviewed in early February  

•            6 April 2021 interviewed in late April

Our initial information was that if places remained after the April round, there would be a final round in late June.  The current status, at 21 July, is that all offers have been made and accepted for the 2021 intake. Applications for the 2022 intake will open in late October.


Interviews are required, though these may be in person or virtual depending on your location and the current COVID-19 situation.  We will pay reasonable expenses for attendance at interview. Details will be provided in your invitation.   


You must provide two recent references, dated within the last six months, that address your capability for PhD study, at least one of which should be an academic referee. These should be uploaded or emailed to us not later than the application deadline, where possible, but before the interview date in all cases. At least one positive reference is required for us to make you an offer.   


Our studentships are available to Home and International fee payers (which now includes EU/EEA) applicants, however there is a cap on the number of studentships that can be awarded to those with international fee status, which is a maximum of 30% of the total intake. 

The CDT studentship pays the UKRI Home tuition fee.  For the first year, Cardiff University will provide an award to international students equivalent to the difference between home and international tuition fees, and all four University partners will provide a similar award to cover the fee difference for the second to fourth years to 30% of their intake.

To be classed as a Home student, candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a UK National (meeting residency requirements), or
  • Have settled status, or
  • Have pre-settled status (meeting residency requirements), or
  • Have indefinite leave to remain or enter, or
  • Have been granted full refugee status or is the child or spouse / civil partner of a refugee (meeting residency requirements)

If a candidate does not meet the criteria above, they would be classed as an International student.

Please see full details of the programme and online application form via the Cardiff University website.    

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us at

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