Research course

Dermatological Sciences

The University of Manchester · School of Medical Sciences

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

Research in The Dermatology Centre is undertaken by established groups and independent researchers investigating a wide array of skin conditions ranging from psoriasis, skin cancer, photodermatoses, inflammatory hair disease, wound healing and skin ageing to the psychological morbidity of living with skin disease.

Specific researchers have varying interests within each of these conditions such as genetics, genomics and immunological basis of disease, epidemiology, the brain skin axis and psychological investigations of disease burden, which adds to the wide array of available postgraduate research study options.

We have a strong track record of training postgraduate research students and all our staff have a hands on approach to supervision.

Training and mentorship is a strength of the supervisors in the centre and is specifically directed at all levels of career development. You will gain training in skill sets relevant to your studies and are encouraged to take part in patient/public engagement and involvement activities (PPE/I) to discuss your research with members of the general public and patients.

The Dermatology Centre has a high success rate of securing funding from research councils such as the Medical Research Council, National Institute for Health Research, British Skin Foundation and Psoriasis Association.

Examples of recent PhDs are below.


  • Defining the key biological and genetic mechanisms involved in psoriasis.
  • The role of mast cell tryptase in psoriatic itch.
  • Statistical approaches to the integration of electronic health records and genetics for understanding disease risk and its application to psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
  • Risk and predictors of infections in psoriasis patients exposed to biologic therapy: a prospective observational cohort study in the British Association of Dermatologists' Biologic Interventions Register (BADBIR)
  • The role of exercise on cardiovascular disease risk in psoriasis.

Photodermatoses and ultraviolet radiation

  • Identification and characterisation of photosensitivity in the connective tissue disorders
  • Prevalence of drug-induced photosensitivity
  • Vitamin D synthesis in ageing skin
  • Characterisation of the effects of ultraviolet radiation on tight junction proteins.
  • Epigenetic determinants of optimal skin response to UV radiation
  • Prevention and treatment of basal cell carcinoma and other keratinocyte cancers
  • The interaction of UV, the microbiome and the skin

Hair follicle biology and pathology

  • Examining mechanisms underlying anagen associated acceleration of wound repair.
  • Role of adipocytes in human hair follicle cycling.
  • Localisation and characterisation of stem cells in the ageing human hair follicle.
  • Role of immunocytes in human hair follicle growth and disease.
  • Role of clock genes in the control of human hair growth and pigmentation.

Skin immunology and ageing

  • Skin immune cell interactions in health and disease with emphasis on mast cells.
  • Ageing: Cutaneous consequences of fibrillin microfibril remodelling.
  • Ageing: The role of oxidation and UV sensitive proteins.
  • A study of fibrillin microfibril degradation on ECM remodelling in ageing.

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


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


part time
24 months
full time
12 months

Course contact details

Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health