Research overview

Faced with exciting opportunities for new therapeutic targets and treatments that will improve the lives of millions of people, we’re proud to be at the forefront of world-changing, interdisciplinary research that’s both innovative and relevant.

We work with many of the major pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and have had the vision to start up several successful commercial ventures, providing valuable services to the pharmaceutical industry.

Research Divisions

All of our postgraduate research students are based in one of our five research divisions:

You are strongly encouraged to find a supervisor before you apply. You can approach any member of staff in relation to a research project of your own devising or you can look at our current vacancies.

Course content

The School of Pharmacy PhD is typically a 3 to 4 year research project. It can be undertaken with a significant laboratory based component or can be focused around pharmacy practice and policy. Within the course a PhD student will receive training within their respective research discipline by expert leading academics and technical teams.

The course includes compulsory and optional training sessions covering generic research skills (e.g. report writing) and specific skills relevant to your project. Students are asked to give oral presentations to their division in year 2 and to the School in year 3, and a poster presentation in year 2.

You will be able to identify a potential supervisor for your project by looking at the divisions and group members. You are strongly encouraged to find a supervisor before you apply. You can approach any member of staff in relation to a research project of your own devising or you can look at our current vacancies.

When you apply for a place, you will be studying for a ‘PhD in Pharmacy’.

This is a 3-4 year full-time course.

Our MRes course runs in collaboration with the University’s Graduate School and prepares you for advanced research and future employment. It provides training in practical techniques, as well as developing valuable transferable skills.

At least two-thirds of your time will be spent on an in-depth research project. This will be supervised by academics from the school, who can offer guidance on which taught elements of the programme will benefit you.

This is a 1-year full-time course.

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2021 entry.


2:1 (or international equivalent) in a relevant subject


2:1 (or international equivalent) in a relevant subject

International and EU equivalents

We accept a wide range of qualifications from all over the world.

For information on entry requirements from your country, see our country pages.

IELTS6.5 (6.0 in each element)
English language requirements

As well as IELTS (listed above), we also accept other English language qualifications.

This includes TOEFL iBT, Pearson PTE, GCSE, IB and O level English.

Meeting our English language requirements

If you need support to meet the required level, you may be able to attend a presessional English course. Presessional courses teach you academic skills in addition to English language. Our Centre for English Language Education is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK.

If you successfully complete your presessional course to the required level, you can then progress to your degree course. This means that you won't need to retake IELTS or equivalent.

For on-campus presessional English courses, you must take IELTS for UKVI to meet visa regulations. For online presessional courses, see our CELE webpages for guidance.

We recognise that applicants have a variety of experiences and follow different pathways to postgraduate study.

We treat all applicants with alternative qualifications on an individual basis. We may also consider relevant work experience.

If you are unsure whether your qualifications or work experience are relevant, contact us.


When applying for the PhD course, you will be studying for a ‘PhD in Pharmacy’.

Please find a potential supervisor before applying. We're open for applicants to contact academic staff members about PhD projects. 

We don't need a research proposal for the application form but please indicate the research area you're interested in and the supervisor's name.

Points to cover when discussing your interest in applying for a PhD

  • Motivation for doing a PhD
  • Your academic record and research experience
  • Sources of funding
  • Research topic
Find a supervisorView our PhD vacancies

Our step-by-step guide contains everything you need to know about applying for postgraduate research.

How to apply


Home / UK£4,496 (estimate) per year
InternationalInternational fees will be charged as follows: research in the Division of Pharmacy Practice and Policy – £23,000, other research – £26,500. Please contact the school for further advice on the fee level applicable to your area of research at

Additional information for international students

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you will pay international tuition fees in most cases. If you are resident in the UK and have 'settled' or 'pre-settled' status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you will be entitled to 'home' fee status.

Irish students will be charged tuition fees at the same rate as UK students. UK nationals living in the EU, EEA and Switzerland will also continue to be eligible for 'home' fee status at UK universities until 31 December 2027.

For further guidance, check our information for applicants from the EU.

These fees are for full-time study. If you are studying part-time, you will be charged a proportion of this fee each year (subject to inflation).

Additional costs

We do not anticipate any extra significant costs, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses. You should be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies which you would need to factor into your budget.


UK and EU applicants

We offer a number of projects each year which are funded by:

  • the school and University
  • industry partners
  • charities
  • centres of doctoral training (CDTs)
  • doctoral training partnerships (DTPs)

Some of the funded projects the school offers are posted on our PhD vacancies page.


These are our CDT's at our university that have projects related to pharmacy:

There are many ways to fund your research degree, from scholarships to government loans.

Check our guide to find out more about funding your postgraduate degree.

Postgraduate funding


You will have at least two supervisors who will support you throughout your studies. A minimum of 10 supervisory meetings are completed per year.

The school has two Postgraduate Research Tutors, a Disability Liaison Officer and a dedicated Welfare team who can provide additional support.

All students are entitled to 25 days’ annual leave a year, in addition to bank holidays and University closure days.

Researcher training and development

The Researcher Academy is the network for researchers, and staff who support them. We work together to promote a healthy research culture, to cultivate researcher excellence, and develop creative partnerships that enable researchers to flourish.

Postgraduate researchers at Nottingham have access to our online Members’ area, which includes a wealth of resources, access to training courses and award-winning postgraduate placements.

Student support

You will have access to a range of support services, including:

  • academic and disability support
  • childcare services
  • counselling service
  • faith support
  • financial support
  • mental health and wellbeing support
  • visa and immigration advice
  • welfare support

Students' Union

Our Students' Union represents all students. You can join the Postgraduate Students’ Network or contact the dedicated Postgraduate Officer.

There are also a range of support networks, including groups for:

  • international students
  • black and minority ethnic students
  • students who identify as women
  • students with disabilities
  • LGBT+ students

SU Advice provides free, independent and confidential advice on issues such as accommodation, financial and academic difficulties.

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Where you will learn

University Park Campus

University Park Campus covers 300 acres, with green spaces, wildlife, period buildings and modern facilities. It is one of the UK's most beautiful and sustainable campuses, winning a national Green Flag award every year since 2003.

Most schools and departments are based here. You will have access to libraries, shops, cafes, the Students’ Union, sports village and a health centre.

You can walk or cycle around campus. Free hopper buses connect you to our other campuses. Nottingham city centre is 15 minutes away by public bus or tram.


Whether you are considering a career in academia, industry or haven't yet decided, we’re here to support you every step of the way.

Expert staff will work with you to explore PhD career options and apply for vacancies, develop your interview skills and meet employers. You can book a one-to-one appointment, take an online course or attend a workshop.

International students who complete an eligible degree programme in the UK on a student visa can apply to stay and work in the UK after their course under the Graduate immigration route. Eligible courses at the University of Nottingham include bachelors, masters and research degrees, and PGCE courses.

The PhD equips individuals for a variety of careers in both academia and industry. Many graduates find employment within the pharmaceutical sector. We have alumni employed by GSKAstraZenecaCatalant and 3M amongst others.

Graduates are also well positioned to pursue academic research careers as post doctoral research associates, and academics all within the UK and internationally.

In 2017, 97.4% of postgraduates in the school who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £29,301 with the highest being £37,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates 2016/17. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Graduated PhD Student operating the 3D OrbiSIMS
Pharmacy is a friendly School with a broad range of world-leading research spread across four buildings. We have more than 200 PGR students. We support our PGR student community by providing excellent supervision, induction, training, seminar programmes, career development and social events. While we expect students to show commitment to their studies we also emphasize wellbeing. Enjoy your time in the School of Pharmacy as you acquire the research and transferable skills needed to complete your degree to succeed in your future career.
Catherine Jopling, Course Director and Assistant Professor in RNA biology, Faculty of Science

Related courses

Research Excellence Framework

We are ranked 8th in the UK for research power (2014). The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the system used by UK higher education funding bodies to assess research quality in universities.

  • The school came joint 1st in the UK on quality of research for Pharmacy Schools and is the only School of Pharmacy to have 100% of research at 4* in the 'Impact on Society’ category
  • More than 97% of research at Nottingham is recognised internationally
  • More than 80% of our research is ranked in the highest categories as world-leading or internationally excellent
  • 16 of our 29 subject areas feature in the UK top 10 by research power

This content was last updated on 23 November 2021. Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, but changes are likely to occur between the date of publishing and course start date. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply.