Nottingham Digestive Diseases Centre (NDDC)

Qualification name
Short snippet of overview to go here - no more than two lines please.

Fact file

MRes/MSc (by research)/MPhil/PhD/DM
MRes/MSc (by research) 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time; MPhil 2 years full-time, 4 years part-time; PhD/DM 3-4 years full-time, 6-8 years part-time
Entry requirements
Candidates who wish to register for a PhD will be required to possess a first degree with at least 2:1 (or international equivalent) classification; candidates who wish to register for a DM will require a registrable medical qualification. Evidence of research activity, including BMedSci or BSc degrees, will be an advantage; candidates who wish to register for an MRes, MSc (by research) or MPhil degree will be required to possess a first degree with at least 2:2 (or international equivalent) classification
6.5 (no lower than 6.0 in any element) If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
Start date
October, December, February, April, July 
Medical School
Other requirements



The Nottingham Digestive Diseases Centre (NDDC) has a strong track record in basic science, experimental medicine and translational research recognised by the award of Biomedical Research Unit status in 2008 and renewed in 2012-2017 funded with £7.2m from the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR). It comprises over 100 academics, PhD students and NHS associates including consultant gastroenterologists, hepatologists, GI pathologists, radiologists and surgeons.

We train non-clinical and clinical scientists in subjects ranging through molecular biology, cell biology, biochemistry, microbiology, clinical research and epidemiology.

PhD and DM degrees

The PhD is a research degree which is normally completed in three years full-time study. The main component is conducting novel research; this is written up as a thesis which is published and defended. Research is supervised by one or more of the NDDC Principal Investigators, usually with considerable help from other staff. Techniques are often new to the students and lots of training is given. There is also a formal research training component of the Nottingham PhD which is now compulsory with additional optional modules.

The DM is a research degree for medically qualified doctors. It is very similar to a PhD but often has a more clinical flavour; it is usually completed in two to three years through full-time study. It is not a professional qualification like an MD in the USA. There is also a formal research training component of the Nottingham DM degree which has been specially adapted from September 2005 to make it specifically suitable for clinicians studying for a higher degree. Clinicians studying for PhD will also take these modules in place of others.

There is frequently misunderstanding from clinically-qualified applicants from outside the European Union about what attainment of these degrees means. These are research degrees which will show that you have been trained in research. They do not qualify you to follow specialist vocational training in this country nor allow you to carry out clinical work during or following your studies. For this you need qualifications that enable you to register with the General Medical Council.


What do I need to study for a PhD or DM in the NDDC?

The three things you need are suitable qualifications, funding for University fees and living expenses, and a supervisor who has agreed to supervise your work during your time in Nottingham.

Identifying a supervisor

Whichever funding route you follow, you will need an identified supervisor within the NDDC

You will need to be accepted by a supervisor before we process your application and preferably before you apply. You can contact potential supervisors through their contact details on the web pages. They will want to see a copy of your CV, to know how you intend to fund your studies, and to know which areas of research interest you. Your detailed research project is normally formulated with your supervisor but they will want to know any preliminary plans you may have. 



School of Medicine Facilities

The School of Medicine has world-class laboratory facilities, incorporating the latest technologies and specialist services.

Read about our laboratory facilities and clinical services.



Research support


The Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences Graduate Centre provides a formal training course which covers a variety of transferable skills targeted specifically at students studying within the faculty. The course is credit weighted with particular parts of the course being compulsory/obligatory.

In addition The Graduate School has a dedicated training team who provide a comprehensive generic research training programme comprising over 80 different courses.  This central programme exists to complement the more discipline-specific research training mentioned above.


Pastoral care

A number of University support services exist to assist you during your time at Nottingham and beyond.

The Postgraduate Students' Association (PGSA) is a particularly important source of support.



Find a supervisor

We encourage you to get in touch with a member of academic staff about your research proposal before submitting an application. They may be able to help you with your proposal and offer support to find funding opportunities in your area. Use our search to find a supervisor whose expertise matches your own research interests.

Fees and funding


Competitive external studentships or fellowships

These are applied for by the student with the help of a supervisor in the NDDC. This is a common route for clinical PhD students. It often requires the student to do some preliminary work in Nottingham in their spare time or study time whilst in a full-time clinical SHO or SpR post.


University, research councils or charities

These pay your fees and contribute to living expenses. They may be funded by The University of Nottingham or Research Councils or charities. They are advertised by the University of Nottingham both nationally and on the University website. These studentships are the usual source of funding for UK and some EU non-clinical students. They usually pay a stipend, plus the payment of all tuition fees. Individual divisions may also offer their own studentships.

Home and EU students can contact the school for details about upcoming opportunities.

There are several studentship competitions available to international students. These usually pay the fees only and therefore students would generally have to be able to fund their living expenses.


Home/EU students

The University is very successful in attracting sponsorship for research students, particularly from the Research Councils through competitions and annual allocations and with the European Commission’s Marie Curie programme. Please refer to the Graduate School for more information. Studentship opportunities are also available. 

Government loans for doctoral study

The Government recently introduced doctoral student loans of up to £25,000 for PhDs and equivalent research programmes. Applicants must ordinarily live in England.

Doctoral training programmes

Linked to research councils, doctoral training programmes offer funding opportunities connected to our research priorities.

International and EU students

Research scholarships are available for outstanding international and EU students. You must already have an offer to study at Nottingham to apply. Please note closing dates to ensure your course application is submitted in good time.

Information and advice on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study is available on our website, as well as country-specific resources.




Average starting salary and career progression

In 2015, 93% of postgraduates from the Faculty of Medicine & Health Services who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £28,925 with the highest being £70,000.*

*Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates 2014/15. Salaries are calculated based on those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Career prospects and employability

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers* and can offer you a head-start when it comes to your career.

Our Careers and Employability Service offers a range of services including advice sessions, employer events, recruitment fairs and skills workshops – and once you have graduated, you will have access to the service for life.

* The Graduate Market 2013-2016, High Fliers Research

Digestive Diseases Centre

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+44 (0)115 823 0018  
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This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

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