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 the equivalent qualification gained outside the UK, 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, April, September

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.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    full time
    36-48 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    72-96 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
  • MPhil
    full time
    12-24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

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