Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics

The Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics (AOPP) sub-department offers a number of DPhil (PhD) places every year for students to take part in the research work of the department. We do not offer graduate Masters courses.

Our research focuses on the study of physical processes in the atmospheres, surfaces and oceans of the Earth and other planets, using experimental and theoretical techniques. We have approximately 110 members, including 15 permanent academic staff, 40 post-doctoral researchers and 35 graduate students.

Applying for admission for October 2017

If you are interested in coming to AOPP as a graduate student there are two main routes:

(1) ALL Planetary Physics candidates (Home/EU and Overseas) and OVERSEAS Climate Physics candidates should apply to AOPP.
  • Your application will need to be supported by three references and should include a transcript of your undergraduate degree course, and a curriculum vitae, all of which must be submitted by the application deadline (below). An application fee of £60 is applicable.
  • Short-listed overseas candidates will normally be interviewed via Skype.
  • Interviews for short-listed UK-based candidates will be held on 22-24 February.
  • Go here for the application form and further advice on completing your application.
(2) Climate Physics candidates from the UK/EU: AOPP is one of the core departments of the Oxford Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) in Environmental Research, including a Physical Climate Science stream of high relevance to Physics undergraduates considering graduate research in Climate Physics. Please apply to the DTP and follow their application procedures, ensuring you apply to the Physical Climate System stream. Your initial training will be within the DTP, before transferring to AOPP for a doctorate in physics during the second term of your first year, whilst continuing with the training programme within the DTP.

Application deadlines:

  • Route (1): Candidates should apply by 12 noon UK time on 20 January 2017 in order to be considered for Departmental Studentships and any funding the University administers. Candidates able to secure external scholarships should apply by 12 noon UK time on 10 March 2017.
  • Route (2) : The DTP's application deadline is 20 January 2017 at 12 noon UK time.

Ad hoc studentships for specific projects

  • NERC CASE studentship on the impact of fjord circulation on the ocean forcing of melting ice sheets: The first closing date for applications is 20 January 2017 by 12 noon (UK time). Further details here.

Some views from former students

Enquiries and further information

If you have any queries or require further information that is not available on these pages please email or write to

Sarah Harrington
Atmospheric, Oceanic & Planetary Physics
Clarendon Laboratory
Parks Road
Oxford OX1 3PU, U.K.