Triangle

Research overview

Our PhD/MPhil/MRes in Biosciences offers the opportunity to tailor your study to your individual research interests. With scope to study in one or more areas, our research degrees in biosciences can springboard to a career in multidisciplinary research. Our experienced research staff have interests across the full breadth of bioscience research including:

  • Microbiology
  • Sustainable agriculture
  • Advanced technologies
  • Food and drink
  • Plant and crop
  • Animal and livestock
  • Fundamental biology
  • Nutrition and health
  • Soil and environment

You will have access to our extensive, well-equipped laboratories and facilities on Sutton Bonington Campus. You will join a vibrant research community, learn from early career and established research leaders, develop your transferable skills and graduate with high level training to equip you for a career in research.

View the School of Biosciences fully funded opportunities 

Course content

A PhD is an independent in-depth research project. You will be able to develop additional skills through training programmes to help you complete your PhD. See the support section for more details.

In each year you will have a regular meetings with your supervisor and an annual review.

An MPhil is a shorter research degree. You will do a research project over one to two years. You'll have a supervisor to support you. An MPhil is assessed by a research thesis.

An MRes is a one-year course that includes an original independent research project worth 160 credits.

You’ll also study 20 credits of taught modules. You can choose from a selection of masters-level modules and transferable skills training.

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2022 entry.

QualificationPhD/MPhil/MRes
Degree

2:1 (or international equivalent) in a relevant subject or 2:2 (or international equivalent) in a relevant subject with a Merit at masters level; other qualifications may also be accepted.

QualificationPhD/MPhil/MRes
Degree

2:1 (or international equivalent) in a relevant subject or 2:2 (or international equivalent) in a relevant subject with a Merit at masters level; other qualifications may also be accepted.

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.

Visa restrictions

International students must have valid UK immigration permissions for any courses or study period where teaching takes place in the UK. Student route visas can be issued for eligible students studying full-time courses. The University of Nottingham does not sponsor a student visa for students studying part-time courses. The Standard Visitor visa route is not appropriate in all cases. Please contact the university’s Visa and Immigration team if you need advice about your visa options.

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.

Applying

For all of our research degrees, the first step is to identify one or more supervisors you would like to work with.

To do this, look through our academic staff research interests. We strongly encourage contacting supervisors before making a formal application, to discuss potential research projects and to ensure the best application possible.

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

How to apply

Fees

QualificationPhD
Home / UK£4,596 per year
InternationalYou will pay either £49,000, £38,000, £33,250 or £28,000 per year, depending on the nature of your project. We will assess the appropriate fee amount on receipt of your project proposal, and confirm it in your offer letter. Please contact the school for advice on the fee applicable to your area of research at biosciences-research@nottingham.ac.uk.

Additional information for international students

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you may be asked to complete a fee status questionnaire and your answers will be assessed usingguidance issued by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA).

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

All students will need at least one device to approve security access requests via Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). We also recommend students have a suitable laptop to work both on and off-campus. For more information, please check the equipment advice.

As a student on this course, 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 and journals you’ll need through our libraries.

Funding

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

Support

The school believes that formal training and guidance are critical components of the postgraduate experience and have developed specific and generic training which are available for all postgraduates.

Project-related training is provided by the supervisors and other staff within the school. You will have frequent contact with your supervisor, often on a weekly or even daily basis, and there is a formal requirement for at least 10 recorded meetings per year.

Teaching is typically delivered by professors, associate and assistant professors. Some practical laboratory sessions and research projects may be supported by postdoctoral research fellows.

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

Sutton Bonington Campus

Sutton Bonington Campus combines world-leading laboratories with a countryside location, just a few miles from the city of Nottingham. The campus is home to over 2,500 biosciences and veterinary medicine students.

You will have access to student services, a library, sports centre and places to eat. Specialist facilities include the super lab, food processing pilot plant, glasshouses and University farm. 

You can travel to University Park Campus in around 25 minutes on our free hopper bus.

Careers

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.

80.7% of postgraduates from the School of Biosciences secured employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary for these graduates was £23,333.*

* Data from UoN graduates, 2017-2019. HESA Graduate Outcomes. Sample sizes vary.

Ravinder Anand-Ivell profile 438x438
I am associate professor for endocrinology and reproductive physiology within the school of biosciences. I have experience of research, teaching and supervision from around the world. Alongside my team, I ensure postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers maximally benefit from the excellent research environment the school of biosciences offers.
Ravinder Anand-Ivell, Director of Postgraduate Research

Related courses

Research Excellence Framework

We are ranked 7th in the UK for research power (2021), according to analysis by Times Higher Education. The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is a national assessment of the quality of research in UK higher education institutions.

  • Our research environment was awarded 100% for agriculture, veterinary and food science
  • 97% of our work in the Schools of Biosciences and Veterinary Medicine and Science was judged to be of international quality
  • 90%* of our research is classed as 'world-leading' (4*) or 'internationally excellent' (3*)
  • 100%* of our research is recognised internationally
  • 51% of our research is assessed as 'world-leading' (4*) for its impact**

*According to analysis by Times Higher Education ** According to our own analysis.

This content was last updated on 25 May 2022. 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.