Research course

South West Biosciences (SWBio) Doctoral Training Partnership (BBSRC)

University of Bristol · Faculty of Life Sciences

Entry requirements

A first or upper second-class honours degree (or international equivalent) in a biomedical sciences discipline, or closely related subject (eg chemistry, earth sciences, biology, veterinary science). We may consider applicants with a lower second-class degree who also have a master's or significant non-academic experience. A minimum of a grade B in A-level Mathematics (or evidence of an equivalent qualification or experience, eg undertaking units as part of your degree that have a significant mathematical component such as statistics, bioinformatics) is required.

Months of entry


Course content

The South West Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (SWBio DTP) is led by the University of Bristol, together with the University of Exeter, the University of Bath, the University of Cardiff and Rothamsted Research. 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 SWBio DTP is one of a limited number of DTPs across the UK that are funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council to provide PhD training in areas of strategic relevance. We provide training in two key areas: agriculture and food security, and world-class underpinning bioscience, with approximately 23 studentships available each year across the partnership.

The scheme particularly aims to provide students with excellent cross-disciplinary research training in line with the current BBSRC strategy. Our students will be exposed to the expertise of all the partners by visiting/using their facilities, and taking part in joint conferences, workshops and taught modules. To further the collaboration, there are cross-institutional PhD projects that build on the expertise of each partner.

A structured approach to training is adopted, with compulsory common training units in year one, along with two laboratory rotations in different disciplinary areas related to the research project. This will enable you to refine your area of study at the end of year one, before your research studies continue through years two to four. An MRes exit route is available at the end of year one. All students must also complete a three-month internship outside their area of academic expertise. Students must submit their thesis by the end of year four.

Due to the nature of the funding, fully funded studentships for this programme are only available to Home/EU students. However, other students with their own sources of funding can apply to join the programme.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

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

Course contact details

Postgraduate Admissions