Genetics PhD, MPhil and MD

Apply for a PhD or MPhil in Genetics
How to Apply

Search our staff interests to identify potential supervisors.


Draft a brief (1,000 words maximum) personal statement that:

  • explains why you want to work in this area
  • describes any relevant research experience - for example, as part of a previous degree
  • lists any academic work you have published or which is awaiting publication

Prepare your supporting documents - with your application you need to include proof that you meet the academic entry requirements and the English language entry requirements:

  • include all relevant certificates/diplomas and transcripts
  • international applicants must provide official copies of their entire course transcripts including explanations of the mark schemes used and, where possible, an indication of their class ranking/position in class
  • supporting documents not in English must be provided with a certified English translation

You must also provide contact details for two academic (not personal) referees who can comment on your suitability for the research degree programme

4. Submit your online application

Our Department of Genetics and Genome Biology - world-renowned for the discovery by Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys of the technique of DNA fingerprinting - is an international centre for pioneering research into genetics and provides a stimulating and supportive environment for postgraduate education.

Our Research Degrees

The Department of Genetics and Genome Biology offers supervision for the degrees of:

  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) - Full-Time and Part-Time
  • Master of Philosophy (MPhil) - Full-Time and Part-Time
Supervisors and Research Areas

We offer PhD and MPhil supervision covering a broad range of subjects:

  • Genomics
    • including processes underlying genome variation, adaptation and evolution
  • Informatics
    • including bioinformatics and biomedical information science
  • Cancer
    • including genetics of radiation therapy response, telomere dynamics and respiratory cancer genetics
  • Microbial and phage genetics
    • including microbial pathogenicity and antimicrobial therapies
  • Neurogenetics and behavioural genetics
    • including neurodegenerative disease, biological clocks and social organization
  • Food security
    • including plant reproductive development and study of commercially-relevant plants and microbes
  • Forensics
    • including human and non-human forensic genomics
  • Biology teaching and pedagogy

Potential supervisors can be identified in our list of staff research interests.

Interested in a different research area?

If there is an area in genetics or genomics that is not covered by these topics then please get in touch, as it is possible that some staff may have expertise and collaborations that would enable a different area of genetics to be studied for a PhD.

Entry Requirements and Fees

Applicants must hold a UK undergraduate (Bachelor's) degree with a first class or upper second class honours or an equivalent qualification from a recognised overseas institution. All applications are considered on a case-by-case basis with professional experience also given consideration even if academic grades are not quite achieved.

See academic entry requirements and the English language entry requirements

Tuition fees vary according to the applicant's fee status (UK, EU, or international) and the mode of study (full-time or part-time).

See current course fees

Studentships and Funding

Funded PhD studentships and other funding opportunities are advertised as they become available:

See current studentships and funding

PhD Description

PhD students complete an independent research project under the guidance of a supervisory team. The research is normally completed over a maximum period of 3.0-3.5 years (full-time) or 6.0-6.5 years (part-time).

A fourth year (full-time) or seventh year (part-time) or the remaining part of this can be used to prepare the thesis for examination. The thesis should not normally exceed 50,000 words and must make an original contribution to knowledge and contain work of publishable quality. The thesis must then be defended in a viva voce (oral) examination before a degree can be awarded.

PhDs Explained - Description and Requirements

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