Research course

Dental Health Sciences

The University of Manchester · School of Dentistry

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 Basic Dental Sciences programme enables you to undertake a research project that will improve understanding of Basic Dental Sciences.

Basic dental sciences is a large area covering craniofacial genetics, stem cell biology and craniofacial development.

Craniofacial genetics

We aim to understand the normal developmental mechanisms underlying craniofacial morphogenesis and how these are disturbed in a variety of birth defects.

Group research has identified genetic mutations underlying craniofacial malformations, including Treacher Collins syndrome, Van der Woude syndrome, amelogenesis imperfecta, and dentine dysplasia.

These findings have contributed to quality-of-life improvements as they have impacted directly on clinical management of affected families by providing the basis for genetic counselling internationally.

Stem cell biology

We use human embryonic stem cells (ESCs), induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and cancer-derived stem cells (CSCs) to study the function of adhesion molecules in development, tumorigenesis and cancer cell metastasis.

The group has demonstrated that ESC differentiation is associated with an epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) event that exhibits striking similarities to tumour cell metastasis.

The Ward group is based in state-of-the-art laboratories that include a dedicated facility for the derivation of human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC).

Craniofacial development

We study the regulation of gene expression in cranial neural crest development and differentiation. Changes in gene expression instruct the formation of organs and body parts during development and are mainly regulated at the transcriptional level.

The group has made important contributions to the understanding of the gene regulatory networks that control the formation of diverse cranial neural crest derivatives, including the middle and outer ear and the heart circulation.

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.

Fees and funding

UK students
Standard £4,260, Low £8,500, Medium £15,000, High £20,000
International students
Clinical-based £40,000, non-clinical Standard £22,000 , Low £23,500, Medium £29,500, High £34,500

Qualification and course duration


part time
72 months
full time
36 months


part time
24 months
full time
12 months

Course contact details

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