Research course

South West Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (BBSRC)

University of Bristol · Faculty of Life Sciences

Entry requirements

Applicants for a studentship must have obtained, or be about to obtain, a first or upper second class UK honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in an appropriate area of science or technology. Applicants with a lower second class degree will be considered if they also have a master's degree or have significant relevant non-academic experience.

In addition, due to the mathematical component of the taught course in the first year and the quantitative emphasis in our projects, a minimum of grade B in A-level Maths or equivalent qualification or experience is required.

Equivalent Maths qualifications/experience:

  • Physics A-level (grade B and above);
  • Undertaking units as part of your degree that have a significant mathematical component (for example, maths, statistics, or bioinformatics).

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Months of entry


Course content

The South West Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (SWBio DTP) is led by the University of Bristol, together with the Universities of Bath, Cardiff and Exeter, alongside Rothamsted Research. This partnership also includes the following collaborative partners; Marine Biological Association (MBA), Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML), Swansea University, UCB Pharma, University of the West of England (UWE) and SETsquared Bristol.

These institutions represent a distinctive group of bioscience research staff and students, with established international, national and regional networks, and widely recognised research excellence. As research leaders, we have a strong track record in advancing knowledge through high-quality research and teaching, in partnership with industry and the government.

The programme particularly aims to provide students with outstanding interdisciplinary research training within the following themes:

  • advancing the frontiers of bioscience discovery;
  • bioscience for sustainable agriculture and food;
  • bioscience for an integrated understanding of health.

Importantly this research training is also underpinned by transformative technologies, allowing you to expand the boundaries of your research through innovative tools, technologies and approaches.

You will be recruited to a broad, interdisciplinary project, supported by a multidisciplinary supervisory team, with many cross-institutional PhD projects available that build on the expertise of each of our partners. There are also opportunities to:

  • apply your research in an industrial setting through our projects with an industrial partner (DTP CASE studentships).
  • undertake research jointly with some of our core and collaborative partners (Standard DTP studentships with a collaborative partner).

Some projects will also offer working with other national/international researchers, as well as fieldwork opportunities.

Further information can be found on the SWBio DTP website:

Information for international students

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Fees and funding

Home students

Fully-funded studentships are available for home students. To be classed as a home student, applicants must meet the required residency criteria set out by the UK government.

Further information can be found on the University of Bristol website

International students

If you do not meet the above criteria, you will be classed as an international student.

A limited number (up to 30%) of UKRI fully-funded studentships are available through the SWBio DTP, that applicants who would be classed as international students are eligible for.

Please note, these studentships do not cover the costs associated with obtaining a visa (including healthcare surcharge) or relocating to the UK. Please ensure you review the details relating to obtaining a visa before applying.

Further information on funding for prospective UK and international postgraduate students.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    full time
    48 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

DTE Administrator
+44 (0) 117 374 6625