Research course

Cell Matrix

The University of Manchester · Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

Entry requirements

We require applicants to hold, or be about to obtain, an Upper Second class Honours degree (or overseas equivalent) in a related subject area for entry to a PhD programme. A Lower Second class Honours degree may be considered if applicants also hold a Master's degree with a Merit classification.

Months of entry

January, September, July

Course content

Our PhD/MPhil Cell Matrix Research programme enables you to undertake a research project that will improve understanding of the interactions between cells and their extracellular matrix environment in the contexts of health, disease and tissue regeneration.

Cells continuously sense, synthesise and remodel the proteins and glycosaminoglycans that form the Extracellular Matrix (ECM). This ECM varies in its biochemical and biophysical properties in different parts of the body, and cellular responses to these differences influence the motility, growth, differentiation and survival of cells. Therefore, cell-ECM interactions underpin the development of multicellular organisms and are essential throughout the life of an organism.

Aberrations in cell-matrix communication with severe diseases, such as cancer, fibrosis, cardiovascular disease, and inflammatory disorders. Conversely, the synthesis of healthy matrix can be used to induce new functional tissue that can support regeneration. Because understanding how cells sense and synthesise their ECM is critically important for preventing disease and supporting tissue regeneration, our Cell Matrix postgraduate research programme comprises projects that study:

  • The biochemistry and biophysical properties of the ECM.
  • The mechanisms of how cells interact with the ECM and how they translate the extracellular information into a cellular response
  • How cell-matrix interactions affect cell fate and tissue function;
  • The mechanisms of how cells synthesise and remodel their ECM environment, including how aberrant signals affect health and can result in disease;
  • How ECM signalling can be used for tissue regeneration.

See the Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell-Matrix Research website for further information.

Information for international students

For applicants whose first language is not English, or for those who have not recently studied in the United Kingdom, you must supply an official IELTS or TOEFL transcript to support your application, or provide a date on which you will be taking a test. Please note IELTS and TOEFL are only valid for two years.

We require a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 overall or TOEFL iBT 90. For the writing component, we expect that you have achieved a minimum of 6.0 (IELTS) or 21-23 (iBT). For each of the other components of the English test you should meet the minimum requirement of IELTS 5.5, TOEFL iBT 18.

For more information about English language tests see English language requirements.

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries. For these and general requirements, including English language, see entry requirements from your country .

Fees and funding

UK students
Standard £4,260, Low £8,500, Medium £15,000, High £20,000
International students
Standard £22,000, Low £23,500, Medium £29,500, High £34,500

Qualification and course duration


full time
36-48 months


full time
12 months
part time
24 months

Course contact details

Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health
+44 (0) 161 275 5608