Research course

PhD Opportunities at the Royal Veterinary College

Royal Veterinary College

Entry requirements

We invite applications from candidates who hold/or expect to gain a first or upper second class honours degree (or equivalent), or an MSci or Masters degree from a range of disciplines such as: medicine, veterinary medicine, biological sciences, animal sciences, social sciences, statistics and economics.

Candidates with a lower second class degree supplemented by a Masters qualification (in a relevant subject) will also be considered.

You must be able to communicate clearly in English, both verbally and in writing.

If English is not your first language you must take an IELTS-Academic test (from the British Council), or acceptable alternative. You need to achieve an overall score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each sub-test. The test result must have been obtained within 2 years of the start-date of the course. For further information see English Language Proficiency .

Months of entry

January, April, June, October

Course content

A list of the PhD projects we're currently recruiting to can be found by following the link below:

PhD studentships are advertised on this page throughout the year, but our main round is in January/February for October start.

The Royal Veterinary College produces outstanding graduates, who go on to work in some of the world’s leading scientific research institutes as well as within industry and government.

Our research programmes provide excellent training opportunities for both biological and veterinary graduates and address both basic and clinical problems in the biosciences, with applications in veterinary and human medicine. Research spans cell and molecular science, whole animal physiology and population medicine.

Our PhD programme is our investment in the future

With over 100 research-active staff at the RVC, the range of research topics is vast, extending from molecules to whole animals and animal populations. We focus on two main research streams:

  • Comparative Physiology & Medicine - Our understanding of animal disease, together with the superb facilities at the RVC, means that we are well placed to contribute to the way in which human diseases are diagnosed and treated. The programme is led by Professor Dominic Wells.
  • Livestock Production and Health - There is international recognition of the need for new approaches to meet the growing challenges of livestock production, and to control infectious diseases that threaten humans and animals. The programme is led by Professor Dirk Werling.

Together with their postgraduate students researchers are organised into six groups: musculoskeletal biology, immune regulation and cancer, cardiovascular metabolism, ecosystems health, host pathogen interactions and vaccinology, safe and sustainable food

Each research group provides the optimum environment for research with 10-20 researchers, led by senior members of our academic staff. As a PhD student you will undertake a specific piece of research work based within one of more of these research groups with the direction and support of two supervisors.

The Graduate School will also be there to support you throughout your studies. Your journey begins with a full induction programme and continues with our comprehensive skills development programme, including seminars, on-line and face-to-face training to support your studies prepare you for your future career.

We develop scientists who are capable of working across interdisciplinary teams and who can tackle problems of practical relevance to veterinary, biomedical and biological science.

RVC PhD students have the privilege of learning from experts who produce cutting edge research in a range of subjects and are published in the top academic journals

Our staff and students come from around the world and our perspective is truly international. London is a unique location, and our students benefit from close proximity to other international centres of excellence in biomedical and biological sciences.

A PhD from the RVC is highly regarded and recognised internationally. Our graduates have a track record of successful careers in government, research, industry and charities. Your research, coupled with our skills development programme will equip you with a range of transferable skills such as project and time management, communication and analysis which will help to equip you for your future career. Our graduates go on to enjoy a wide range of careers positions, including: Animal Welfare Consultant, Lecturer, Veterinary Surgeon, Trainee Patent Attorney, Research Fellow, Companion Animal Epidemiologist, Pathologist, Scientist, Civil Servant, Post-Doctoral Researcher, and Medical Information Specialist

Information for international students

If you are an international student and you have a scholarship from your government or another funding body, or are able to support your studies yourself these are the steps to follow if you are looking to join our PhD programme:

If you have research project in mind you should begin by contacting a potential supervisor working in your field of interest so that a research proposal can be drawn up. Once a researcher has agreed to supervise you and your proposal has been approved, you will then need to apply to us formally: How to apply. You will need to meet our eligibility criteria and successfully participate in a panel interview.

Occasionally funded PhD studentships are open to international students. These are advertised on the Available Studentships page and will be clearly identified as being open to international students.

Fees and funding

UK students
£4,500 (2020/21), 2022/23 fees tbc
International students
£24,080 (2020/21), £26,540 (2022/23)

Our PhD studentships are primarily funded by the Research Council, Industry, Charities, and College funds.

Studentships can also be self-funded by the student or sponsored through government scholarships or another funding body.

International students:

Please see the PhD Fees and funding page for further information on fees for international students. Further information on funding options for international students can be found here.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    full time
    36-48 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    48-72 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

RVC Graduate School
+44 (0) 203 905 4612