male student sampling marine life on pontoon

Postgraduate research in biological sciences

Ready to start your research career? Explore our postgraduate research degrees in Biological Sciences

If you want to continue to be immersed in the biological sciences, and further your career with a postgraduate research degree, get started at Portsmouth.

We're exploring topics ranging from the evolution of life on Earth, to the huge ecological consequences of human activity, to the growing danger posed by antibiotic resistance. By studying for a postgraduate research degree with us, you'll play a part in our mission to turn our expertise into impact. You'll also become a part of our research community and engage in research projects supervised by academics who are specialists in their fields.

You'll work in modern laboratories with some of the latest equipment contributing to our world-class research. 72% of our research outputs in the area of Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences – which includes Biological Sciences – were classed as world leading or internationally excellent in the Research Excellence Framework 2014.

You'll get the opportunity to work across research disciplines including molecular, micro, marine and environmental biology. Your research may also be closely linked to Biomedical Science and Pharmacy, Geography, and Earth and Environmental Science.

Research degrees

Find out about our PhD, MPhil, Professional Doctorate and PhD by Publication opportunities in Biological Sciences below, including how to apply, entry requirements and funding your degree. For more detailed information about the application process, visit our How to Apply pages.

Biological Sciences PhDs and MPhils

Explore our pre-approved funded and self-funded PhD projects in Biological Sciences, or submit your own research idea. 

PhD and MPhil projects

Fully-funded projects

There are currently no funded PhD projects available in this area – for more information on funding your own research project, visit our pages on funding your research degree.

Submit your own idea

If you already have a research idea, find a supervisor whose research interests match yours using the Portsmouth Research Portal. Once you've identified someone suitable, contact them to discuss your idea. You'll find their contact details on their profile on the portal.

Professional Doctorate

If you're a working professional interested in pursuing work-based research in the field of Biological Sciences, find out more about our Professional Doctorate in Biological Sciences (DBMS).

PhD by Publication

A PhD by publication is a postgraduate research degree based on research you've already undertaken and had published (excluding self-publishing) before registering with us.

Eligible research outputs include peer-reviewed academic papers, complete books or chapters in anthologies, and other materials accepted for publication, exhibited or performed. You'll have to submit these materials for examination between 6-12 months after registering with us.

For more information, please visit our PhD by Publication page.

Duration, fees and funding

How long will my research take?

  • MPhil: 2 years full-time, 4 years part-time
  • PhD: 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time
  • PhD by Publication: 1 year part-time

How much will my research degree cost?

PhD and MPhil

  • Home/EU/CI full-time students: £4,260 p/a*
  • Home/EU/CI part-time students: £2,130 p/a*
  • International full-time students: £15,100 p/a*
  • International part-time students: £7,550 p/a*

PhD by Publication

  • External candidates: £4,260 p/a
  • Members of University of Portsmouth staff: £1,550 p/a

*All fees are subject to annual increase

Funding support

MPhil full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the Government Postgraduate Loan.

PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the Government Doctoral Loan.

For information on other sources of funding, visit our funding your postgraduate research degree page.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for a PhD, MPhil or Professional Doctorate include a good honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject, or a master’s degree in an appropriate subject. Equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications may be considered. All applicants are subject to interview.

If English is not your first language, you'll need English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

Support and facilities

When you join us, you'll be supported by our Graduate School, alongside your assigned supervisory team, who'll help you get the most from our facilities. The Graduate School will help you become part of our thriving, collaborative research community, and help grow your skills as a researcher through the Graduate School Development Programme, which offers training, workshops and events.

You'll have access to our biophysical laboratories including equipment such as 600 MHz NMR spectrometer with cryo-probe, X-ray diffractometer, confocal-laser scanning, and transmission electron microscopes. You can also use our extensive facilities for bacterial growth and protein purification.

You can also access facilities for Synchrotron Radiation at the Diamond Light Source (Harwell) and ESRF (Grenoble), Neutron Scattering facilities at Institute Laue-Langevin (Grenoble) and protein expression facilities at OPPF (Harwell).

At our Institute of Marine Sciences, you can use the following facilities:

  • Aquarium rooms with temperature-controlled flow-through sea water system
  • Shallow water research and testing platform
  • Quarantine facilities for non-native species
  • Experimentally-controlled temperature rooms
  • Molecular, general and sediment laboratories

What can a postgraduate research degree do for my career?

Once you complete your postgraduate research degree, you'll be a highly-skilled researcher with the knowledge and skills to make an impact in many different industries.

Your postgraduate research qualification demonstrates to potential employers that you're an intelligent, capable and motivated person, with provable abilities and experience in critical thinking, problem-solving, project management, communication, leadership and creativity.

Current research

Explore the work we're doing across our 6 areas of expertise within Biological Sciences.

This site uses cookies. Click here to view our cookie policy message.

Accept and close