Research course

Structural Biophysics

Cardiff University · School of Optometry and Vision Sciences

Entry requirements

Suitable for graduates in biology, physics, chemistry, biochemistry, optometry, mathematics or any relevant scientific discipline. A First or Upper Second class UK Honours degree, Masters degree, or equivalent is required.

Applicants whose first language is not English will be asked to provide evidence of English Language proficieny via or equivalent to IELTS 6.5.

Months of entry

January, October, July, April

Course content

About Research at the School

Research is currently aligned with four themes comprising Visual Neuroscience, Retinal Degeneration & Ageing, Structural Biophysics and Visual Rehabilitation. This breadth of research enables a truly multi-disciplinary, collaborative approach to the investigation of vision and visual disorders. Students are drawn from a wide variety of scientific backgrounds, including Psychology, Physics, Biology, Biochemistry, Neuroscience, Zoology etc., as well as Optometry.

Programme Description

A PhD by research at the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences is based around a specific, well-defined research topic. All students have regular meetings with their supervisory team, as well as an advisor who is not directly involved with the project, and is able to objectively monitor the progress of the research, and to provide independent guidance. In addition to the core research topic, the School provides a diverse programme of transferrable skills training, which complements the University Graduate College Programme.

Research Areas

  • Understanding corneal transparency and the structural causes of its loss
  • The role of proteoglycans in the development of corneal transparency
  • The ultrastructure of the cornea and limbus in relation to corneal shape and function
  • Collagen and fibrillin in ocular tissues
  • Structure function relationships in zonular filaments
  • Extraocular muscles
  • Ultrastructural changes in pathological corneas
  • Ageing and glycation in ocular tissues
  • Structure, transparency and ageing of the lens
  • Wound healing following ocular surgery

Full details of this programme can be found on our website.

Information for international students

International students pursuing part-time programmes of study are not eligible for Tier 4 General Student) visas and must have alternative leave to remain in the UK if they intend to study at the University in person. In addition, depending on the nature of the project, bench fees may be required.

Fees and funding

Research Councils, charities, industrial sponsorship, Overseas Government Bodies and School studentships.

Qualification and course duration


full time
36-48 months


full time
24 months

Course contact details

Dr Jon Erichsen
+44 (0)29 2087 6163