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Entry requirements

Candidates must usually achieve a minimum upper-second class (2:1) UK honours degree (or overseas equivalent) in a relevant subject.

Months of entry

January, April, October

Course content

An MPhil/PhD is an advanced postgraduate research degree that requires original research and the submission of a substantial dissertation of 60,000 to 100,000 words. At Birkbeck, you are initially registered on an MPhil and you upgrade to a PhD after satisfactory progress in the first year or two. You need to find a suitable academic supervisor at Birkbeck, who can offer the requisite expertise to guide and support you through your research. Find out more about undertaking a research degree at Birkbeck.

As a PhD student in the Department of Biological Sciences, you will become part of a rich research environment at Birkbeck and University College London. The Department is also part of a multidisciplinary centre for world-class research, the Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology (ISMB), which seeks to integrate techniques from the chemical and physical sciences to provide insight into the molecular basis of biological processes.

In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF), in a joint submission with UCL, Biological Sciences at Birkbeck were ranked 11th in the UK, with a research environment supporting world-leading and internationally excellent research. Our academic staff have many years of experience in teaching both part-time and full-time research students and offer internationally recognised expertise in the following key areas of research:

  • Biology (organismal)
  • Biophysics
  • Cell biology
  • Chemical biology
  • Computational biology
  • Microbiology
  • Structural biology

Highlights

Information for international students

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

Fees and funding

PhD students resident in England can apply for government loans of over £26,000 to cover the cost of tuition fees, maintenance and other study-related costs.

Flexible finance: pay your fees in monthly instalments at no extra cost. Enrol early to spread your costs and reduce your monthly payments.

Fees discounts: If you are a member of a union that is recognised by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), you may apply for a 10% discount off your tuition fees.

As part of the Institute for Structural and Molecular Biology (ISMB) the Department of Biological Sciences attracts funding for PhD studentships that ensure researchers of the highest standard can pursue their research with us. Each year we invite applications for fully funded PhD studentships provided by the BBSRC, MRC, Wellcome Trust and others. Please note that applicants for studentships must be able to satisfy specific eligibility requirements in relation to qualifications and residency. Information about funded PhD opportunities within the department is available on the Department of Biological Sciences website.

Find out more about other research funding opportunities at Birkbeck (including the School of Science).

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MPhil/PhD
    part time
    84 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12-48 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Name
Student Advice Service
Email
studentadvice@bbk.ac.uk
Phone
+44 (0)20 3907 0700