Research course

Molecular Biology

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, April

Course content

Our PhD/MPhil Molecular Biology programme enables you to undertake a research project that will improve understanding of Molecular Biology.

Molecular biology is fundamental to almost all research that studies microbial, animal and plant systems and is important to underpin clinically related subjects including cancer, embryology, development, movement disorders, arthritis, bacterial pathogenesis, tissue injury and its repair.

Research is focussed on how genes are expressed and how their products interact with other molecules to exert a biological effect. This involves studies of the mechanisms that control transcription, RNA processing and translational events with a view to understanding their roles in regulating cellular processes and organisation in living systems. In vitro and in vivo investigations exploit state-of-the-art technologies, including gene editing and genomics/proteomics approaches, to visualise the activity of genes and gene products. These approaches provide a strong link with our strengths in Bioinformatics.

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

  • Transcription factors and signal transduction;
  • RNAprocessing and protein translation;
  • Apoptosis and cell fate;
  • Molecular basis of inherited diseases;
  • Cell and tissue morphogenesis;
  • Cytoplasmic inheritance;
  • Biological clocks.
  • Transgenic technologies.

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
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

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