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Biosciences PhD

Overview

About the course

Research students are welcomed to Brunel as valued members of our thriving, research-intensive community. A research degree provides the opportunity to investigate a topic in depth, and contribute new knowledge to your discipline. A PhD involves demonstrating through original research or other advanced scholarship the creation and interpretation of new knowledge, a systematic acquisition and understanding of a substantial body of knowledge at the forefront of an academic discipline or professional practice, the ability to conceptualise, design and implement a project for the general of new knowledge, applications or understanding at the forefront of the discipline. Both full-time (3 years) and part-time (6 years) study routes are available.

MPhil degree option
An MPhil involves the exploration of a research topic and is typically studied over a shorter period of 1 year for a full-time student and 2 years for a part-time student. MPhil students are required to demonstrate a systematic understanding of knowledge and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights informed by the forefront of their discipline, field of study or professional practice.

Research profile
Our academics are internationally renowned scientists in their fields of expertise and are involved in making major advances and breakthroughs in human diseases and syndromes, including breast, prostate and skin cancer, leukaemia, progeria (premature ageing), tuberculosis, malaria, aspergillus infection, trinucleotide repeat diseases and normal ageing. Our academics are also involved in the development of 21st century treatments for disease, such as: novel vaccines; stem cell, gene and antibody therapies; novel drug development; artificial biomaterials and, with advancing mechanistic understanding of cell and molecula biological processes.

Biosciences at Brunel offer a research environment with projects at the cutting edge of modern biomedical research.  Our research is internationally regarded and offers talented researchers the opportunity to work in a range of specialist areas including Nuclear & Genome Organisation, Mechanisms of Carcinogenesis & Therapeutics, Genetic Disease, Ageing, Immunology & Infection, Radiobiology and Endocrinology.

As a member of the Division of Biosciences you will:

  • Join an internationally recognised environment for research excellence
  • Be part of an expert community that publishes world-leading research and work with scientists who are leaders in their respective fields
  • Enjoy being part of a well-resourced, collegial research environment - all our research students are based in our dedicated postgraduate study rooms alongside academic staff offices and play a full part in the activities of the Division.

Find out more

Enquiries

All research degrees are administered by the Postgraduate Research Programmes Office in Colleges. Once you have identified your area of research and a potential supervisor, you can complete your application online. Please use the contact details below for enquiries. You may also approach your potential supervisor directly.

College of Health and Life Sciences
chls-pgr-office@brunel.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0) 1895 268161

Dr Rhona Anderson – Biosciences PGR Officer
Rhona.anderson@brunel.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)1895 267138

Dr Predrag Slijepcevic – Department PGR Director
Predrag.slijepcevic@brunel.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)1895 266302


Special Features

  • We have extensive state-of-the-art research laboratories, including a bioimaging suite, that houses specialist technology for 2/3/4D imaging from the single cell level to the whole organism, and a containment level 3 laboratory for research on tuberculosis. The well-equipped research laboratories can accommodate 40-50 PhD students at any time.
  • Current funders include the Medical Research Council, Barts and the London Charity, Arthritis Research Campaign, Sparks, The Neuroblastoma Society, ACCRF Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma Research Foundation and the MOD. A recent grant will see veterans of the 1950’s British nuclear testing programme participate in a cytogenetic study that will look for evidence of genetic damage in their make-up and, for any transmitted genetic alterations in their children. It is anticipated that outcomes of this project will enable meaningful considerations to help inform and educate the nuclear community on the potential genetic legacy of their presence at nuclear test sites.

  • A training programme will be provided by the College to assist students with achieving targets.  The programme will include the underpinning principles such as philosophy of science, research integrity, ethics and specialist methodology.  Sessions in core, specialist and advanced research methods will prepare students for an independent research career. Students will also enrol in the Graduate School Researcher Development Programme which ensures all students are equipped with generic research skills including presentational skills and impact activities. 

Facts and Figures

Brunel University London REF2014 Submission: Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy. The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is a system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The results of the REF2014 have been made public in December 2014, replacing the previous REF conducted in 2008.  The next REF will be undertaken in 2020. Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 - A Guide for PhD Students

Teaching and Assessment

Teaching

All academic staff in Biosciences are potential supervisors and are listed on link here.

Each student will be allocated a supervisory team consisting of the principal supervisor, second supervisor and a Research Development Advisor. The supervisory team will set teaching and learning targets and advise the student how to achieve them. The progress of each student will be assessed by the supervisory team at regular meetings and by a formal Progress Review Panel at 9 months for full-time students (18 months for part-time students) and then annually.  All academic supervisors receive university supported training in the supervision of PhD students.

Employability

Careers

Following the completion of the course students may follow several career paths:

  • Research within academia which may lead to the career path of a University Lecturer
  • Career progression within the bio-pharmaceutical sector including project management and above
  • A career path within government agencies (e.g. Department of Health, Public Health England) or international agencies (UN, WHO, IAEA etc.)
  • Career path within NHS including specialist research laboratories.
Career progression within specialist research institutes commencing as a post-doc researcher and progressing to senior researcher.

At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.

» More about Employability

Fees for 2017/18 entry

Home/EU students

Full time: £4,121
Part time: £2,060

International students

Full time: £17,200
Part time: £8,600

Additional course related costs

Fees quoted are per annum and are subject to an annual increase.

Entry Criteria 2017/18

The general University entrance requirement for registration for a research degree is normally a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree and additionally, for a PhD, a Master’s degree or equivalent.  All international students must show evidence that they meet the English requirement for their course of study: IELTS 7 (with no less than 6.0 in any section). This applies even if English is the native language of your home country. An appropriate level of English language competence is also expected as listed below. Find out which alternative English language qualifications we accept. Applicants may also be required to attend compulsory in-sessional English language support. The Senate reserves the right to assess the eligibility of applicants on an individual basis.

Potential research students are encouraged to contact members of staff in the area of interest to receive guidance on how to write the research proposal.

Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.


International and EU Entry Requirements

If your country or institution is not listed or if you are not sure whether your institution is eligible, please contact Admissions

This information is for guidance only by Brunel University London and by meeting the academic requirements does not guarantee entry for our courses as applications are assessed on case-by-case basis.

English Language Requirements

  • IELTS: 6.5 (min 6 in all areas)
  • Pearson: 58 (51 in all subscores)
  • BrunELT: 65% (min 60% in all areas)

Brunel University London strongly recommends that if you will require a Tier 4 visa, you sit your IELTS test at a test centre that has been approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as being a provider of a Secure English Language Test (SELT). Not all test centres have this status. The University can accept IELTS (with the required scores) taken at any official test centre or other English Language qualifications we accept as meeting our main award entry requirements.

However, if you wish to undertake a Pre-sessional English course to further improve your English prior to the start of your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider. This is because you will only be able to apply for a Tier 4 student visa to undertake a Pre-sessional English course if you hold a SELT from a UKVI approved test centre. Find out more information about it.

Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accepts a range of other language courses. We also have Pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English.

Our International Pathways and Language Centre offers a number of foundation and pre-masters courses to provide you with the academic skills required for your chosen course.