Quantum Science and Technology

Quantum Science and Technology


Study Quantum Science and Technology at Macquarie University

Why Study Quantum Science and Technology at Macquarie University

Why come undertake your higher degree focused in Quantum Science and Technology at Macquarie University? We have smart people, excellent infrastructure and facilities and a supportive environment focused on building your skills for enquiry, research and innovation.

Intellectual Environment

Our alumni enjoy doing researching and learning with one of the most cohesive, extensive and awarded quantum scientists in Australia. Our research team in the Quantum Sciences includes eight continuing academics working in areas ranging from: Quantum Photonics to Topological Quantum Computation. Our research team has been continuously funded by Macquarie University during the last seven years through the Macquarie Research Centre in Quantum Science and Technology (QSciTech). Our academic researchers publish regularly in top journals such as Science, Nature Physics and Nature Photonics and our research is supported by the Australian Research Council through the Centre of Excellence program (CoE for Engineered Quantum Systems, EQuS, CoE for Ultra-High Bandwidth Optical Devices CUDOS),  and have received multiple awards, including two Future Fellowships. The main thrive of our Centre is to build the best quantum sensors in the world, which would complete transform the technologies in the near future. We are working in quantum enhanced magnetic sensors, gravimeters and gyroscopes, which have attracted the interest of the companies which are involved in our Advisory Board: Microsoft Research, Lockheed Martin Inc. and QxBranch. We have also designed some of the most accurate quantum metrology schemes and are continuously developing new algorithms for quantum computing. The excellence of our research has been acknowledged by the Australian Government as we have been ranked three times consecutively as ERA 5, which recognises that our research activities are “Well above world standard”

Training Environment

The breath of our research activities and our international links, make Macquarie an ideal environment to get the most out of your post-graduate degrees. Our Centre is regularly visited by the top scientists in the world including, for example, Nobel Laureates Profs. Tony Legett and Bill Phillips, or Prof. Sir Michael Berry and Prof. Sir Peter Knight. Our students learn Quantum Physics from the best!

Research Foci

Our Research Centre is focused on developing Quantum Sensors and develop new Quantum Metrology schemes, but these areas are very wide and touch many interesting topics:

  • Quantum gravity. Our program focuses in understanding the fundamentals of these theories, but also we are interested on practical quantum cryptography applications and how they will be affected by relativistic effects
  • Quantum plasmonics. We aim to devise the most precise biosensors based on the quantum control of the optical properties of nanometric metals.
  • Quantum nanodiamond science. We have some of the world experts in the theoretical and experimental techniques related to the quantum control of nanodiamonds.
  • Topological quantum computation. The quantum computers of the near future will need to be robust and fault tolerant. We develop the theoretical techniques which will allow this possible.
  • Quantum optomechanics of levitated particles. Levitated particles can provide the technology to develop the next generation of sensors and quantum systems.
  • Quantum thermodynamics.
  •  Quantum sensors and metrology. Designing and building novel sensors based on the principals of quantum science e.g. detecting tiny magnetic fields.

Access to Facilities

Our students have access to the most advanced experimental facilities in the fields of quantum optics:

Where are our Alumni now?

We are proud of the success of our students! Our students have been awarded several times with the Vice Chancellor commendation for their Thesis and regularly the top achieving students of their disciplines. At the end of their studies they are ready to continue their careers either in the academia or the industry. QSciTech alumni have continued their careers in Universities all around the world: Germany (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and Ulm University), France (Institut Fresnel), Japan (Rikken University), Singapore (SUTD), and within Australia (Griffith), etc. If they decide to go to a business oriented career, they also succeed and our students have found positions in Napean Cancer Care Centre, or in the Forum Group for Environmental Solutions.

The Quantum Science and Technology focused PhD Programme

Students can be trained to be high achieving researchers in Quantum Science and Technology via the MQ Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). These students work with leading theorists and experimentalists in quantum science and technology, to develop deep understanding how the fundamental ideas of quantum physics can be used to build the most advanced quantum sensors in the worlds and to advance our understanding of the Quantum Sciences. PhD researchers will develop considerable expertise in data analysis, modelling, computer visualilation, optical manipulations and the most advanced metrological schemes during their studies. The 3 year PhD program enables the student to progress to become an independent researcher. At completion of their studies they will have acquired problem-solving capabilities, which will allow them to undertake and innovate state-of-the-art original research. They will also be able to communicate the relevance, significance and context of their work with their peers.  Students graduating from the PhD programme in quantum science often choose a diverse range of careers spanning biomedical research through to topological quantum circuits and some have continued to postdoctoral research in Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and the Singapore University of Technology and Design and Ulm University.

PhD Projects

A wide range of potential PhD topics are on offer. Students interested in particular projects are strongly encouraged to contact the relevant supervisor(s).Funding to support your PhD development

Funds are available to each student to help source small equipment or consumables, access to facilities, or specialist training, and to present your research results at premier national or international meetings. For more information click here…

Outreach and Education

The high degree research students within our Research Centre find innumerable opportunities to contribute to Outreach Activities both within the Centre and in the wider context of the Department. Some examples are the Indigenous Science Day @ Redfern or the Science Experience @ MQ.

MRES: Masters by Research

We offer Masters by Research degrees focusing on Quantum Science and Technology related research topics through the Macquarie University MRES degree. This two year degree involves eight units of coursework training and then a full year research project. For a flavour of current/past MRES projects in Quantum click here. Students accepted to this degree receive an automatic scholarship which increments from Yr1 to Yr2. For more information on the MRES degree click here.

How to Apply

To apply for either our PhD or MRES degree programme you need to complete an EXPRESSION OF INTEREST application form online. For this you will be asked to select your preferred research project from the list of offered PhD projects, your CV, and list of two potential Referees who you agree we can contact, and a brief statement regarding your short-term and long-term motivation for undertaking the degree programme.

This information allows us to judge your capability with other students applying so we can select those best suited to advance to full admission through the University scholarship programme.

Once selected you will be paired with a potential Supervisor who will then invite you to an interview. These interviews help potential students get a better feel for what the Degree Programme and research will be like. These interviews will be via Skype, phone or in-person and will take place at most one month after the Expression of Interest deadline.

Once you have passed the interview and the potential Supervisor agrees to supervise your PhD studies you need to prepare a formal application. This application will be to Macquarie University and will enable you to apply to all types of scholarships that you will be eligible for. You will need some referees to also fill out pre-set referee application forms and these are sent separately to the Macquarie University HDR office. Applicants are strongly advised to prepare their applications as soon as possible after finding a supervisor. Copies of some documents must be certified (by the relevant authorities) as part of the formal application.


The competition is high to obtain a Macquarie University PhD scholarship and to get some idea regarding the academic quality and eligibility for these please see this link. Proficiency in English is required by all HDR candidates and the standards set by Macquarie University are:

  • TOEFL (computer-based): Overall of 237 with minimum 19 in Listening, 19 in Reading, 25 in Structure/Writing and TWE of 5.0; OR
  • TOEFL (paper-based): Overall of 580 with 53 in Listening, 52 in Reading, 59 in Structure/Written Expression and TWE of 5.0; OR
  • iBT (internet-based TOEFL): Overall score of 92 with 23 in Speaking, 18 in Listening, 17 in Reading and 22 in Writing; OR IELTS (academic version): Overall 6.5 with minimum of 6.0 in each band

The University rigorously applies these.

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More information about Higher Degree Research at Macquarie University can be found here.

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