Year one

You will undertake modules from an MSc programme at Cardiff University focused on compound semiconductors, either in Physics or Electronics. This will include a significant practical component including relevant software and cleanroom training.  If you complete all requirements, you will be awarded the MSc.

You will also have the opportunity to attend a UK semiconductor conference and work with a Mentor to develop your own personal development plan which will be updated throughout the PhD.

PhD project selection

During the first year, you will develop your PhD Project through an iterative process. PhD projects are proposed by CDT supervisors at the four universities and provided in a catalogue to students. Students submit their projects in order of preference, according to guidance provided annually. Students meet with supervisors offering the projects, along with the second supervisor and industrial partner where relevant. The supervisor provides feedback to the Management Board, which allocates the projects with due consideration to student and supervisor preferences, utilisation of industrial funding and the balance of awards between University partners. Over the life of the CDT, a minimum of 10 students will be based at each of Manchester, Sheffield and UCL for their PhD project, and a minimum of 20 will be based at Cardiff. Each of the universities have provided additional awards to cover the difference between Home and International students’ fees in proportion to their expected intakes.


You will participate in cohort activities, including weekly tutorials, a guest lecture series, a Journal Club, and training in project management, responsible research and innovation, and intellectual property rights and commercialisation.

Guest Speakers and Visits

A programme of guest speakers from industry and universities will cover specific CS topics such as large area manufacturing, Inductively Coupled Plasma Processing, Metal- Organic Chemical Vapour Deposition (MOCVD) and Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE), RF techniques, Lithography, life-time testing of devices, and design software tools.  You will also have the opportunity to visit the facilities of our partners, including Newport Wafer Fab and the IQE ‘Megafoundry’.

Journal Club

You will take turns with your colleagues to summarise interesting and technically strong journal articles for the rest of the cohort, which will allow you to practice the important skills of constructively criticising published literature while learning how to produce higher standard academic publications.

Due to COVID-19, we have had a mixed mode of delivery for the 2020 intake. Autumn and Spring lab-based modules were delivered in-person in small groups with COVID-19 precautions. The remainder of modules, the CDT seminars and journal club have been held on-line. We held several in person CDT meetings, in between lockdowns, and students were able to use the CDT student office space on a rota basis, following COVID-safe guidelines. Updates for the 2021-22 session will provided as they become available.

Comments are closed.