Research course

Molecular Biology

The University of Manchester · Faculty of Life Sciences

Entry requirements

Applicants are expected to hold, or about to obtain, an Upper Second class Honours degree (or equivalent) in a related subject area. A Lower Second class Honours degree may be considered if applicants also hold a Masters degree with a Merit classification. Full entry requirements.

Months of entry

January, September, July, April

Course content

Molecular biology is fundamental to almost all research that studies microbial, animal and plant systems.

Many research groups at Manchester are concerned with clinically related subjects including cancer, embryology, development, movement disorders, arthritis, bacterial pathogenesis, tissue injury and its repair.

The unifying theme examines how genes are expressed and how they interact with other molecules to exert a biological effect.

Fundamental studies of the mechanisms that control gene expression involve investigation of transcriptional and post-transcriptional events.

Likewise, the study of cellular processes formulates an understanding of the roles of genes in effecting cellular mechanisms and organisation in living systems.

In vitro and in vivo investigations exploit state-of-the-art technologies to visualise the activity of genes and gene products in real time.

Model organisms such as C. elegans, mice, Drosophila and Arabidopsis are also used to understand the biological function of individual genes. Gene discovery is closely linked with our strengths in Bioinformatics.

Examples of the breadth and diversity of molecular biology research at Manchester include:

  • transcription factors and signal transduction;
  • RNA processing;
  • apoptosis and cell fate;
  • molecular basis of inherited diseases;
  • cell and tissue morphogenesis;
  • cytoplasmic inheritance;
  • transgenic technologies;
  • biological clocks.

Information for international students

International applicants interested in this research area can also consider the 4 year International PhD programme .

This unique programme will enable you to gain a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning, whilst also carrying out independent research.

Fees and funding

Funded programmes and projects are promoted throughout the year. Funding is available through UK Research Councils, charities and industry. We also have other internal awards and scholarships for the most outstanding applicants.

For more information on available funding, please visit the funding opportunities page.

Qualification and course duration


full time
36-48 months
part time
72-96 months


part time
24 months
full time
12 months

Course contact details

+44 (0)161 275 5608