MPhil option available
This course has an MPhil option
PhD student loans
The UK Government has introduced PhD loans of up to £25000 to UK and EU nationals, residing in England, for postgraduate research programmes starting in the academic year 2018-19. Read more here.
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.
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
Contact our Enquiries team.
Course Enquiries: +44 (0)1895 265599 (before you submit an application)
Admissions Office: +44 (0)1895 265265 (after you submit an application)
Careers and your future
Following the completion of the course students may follow several career paths:
Career progression within specialist research institutes commencing as a post-doc researcher and progressing to senior researcher.
- 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.
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
Entry criteria 2019/20
The general University entrance requirement for registration for a research degree is normally a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree. 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)
You can find out more about the qualifications we accept on our English Language Requirements page.
If you require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK, you must prove knowledge of the English language so that we can issue you a Certificate of Acceptance for Study (CAS). To do this, you will need an IELTS for UKVI or Trinity SELT test pass gained from a test centre approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and on the Secure English Language Testing (SELT) list. This must have been taken and passed within two years from the date the CAS is made.
Should you wish to take a pre-sessional English course to improve your English prior to starting your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider for the same reason.
We offer our own BrunELT English Test and have pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet requirements or who wish to improve their English. You can find out more information on English courses and test options at the Brunel Language Centre.
Teaching and learning
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.
- 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
Fees and funding
Fees for 2019/20 entry
Full time: TBC / Part time: TBC
Full time: £18,720 Part time: £9,360
Full time: £4,260 / Part time: £2,130
Full time: £18,000 Part time: £9,000
Research projects undertaken in Biosciences may require an annual bench fee to cover the costs of laboratory consumables. The amount is variable dependent on the requirements of the project and will be discussed and agreed between the applicant and the supervisor at interview stage. This amount will be in addition to tuition fees and will be stated your offer letter.
We offer a range of PhD studentships, partial scholarships, and academic prizes, to help with your research fees. Explore external funding, particularly the Research Councils, as well as other support.
Some courses incur additional course related costs. You can also check our on-campus accommodation costs for more information on living expenses.
Fees quoted are per year and are subject to an annual increase.