Entry requirements

Applicants for this course should have achieved a UK 2:1 Honours Degree.

The undergraduate degree must be in a subject relevant or related to the proposed PhD research project.

Months of entry

January, April, October

Course content

The PhD course is a three- to four-year full-time, or five- to seven-year part-time, research-based course. PhD students are initially on probation, with registration for the PhD degree being dependent on successful completion of a registration assessment, which involves producing a written report followed by an oral examination with two examiners.

Full-time students are on probation for their first year and must successfully complete their registration assessment before entering their second year. Part-time students are on probation for the first two years and should complete their registration assessment before they enter their third year. In addition, full-time and part-time students are also required to produce regular written progress reports.

At the end of the course, students produce a written thesis of up to 60,000 words, followed by an oral examination based on both their thesis and a broader knowledge of their chosen area of research. Students are provided with information which clearly sets out what is expected of them in order to obtain their degree.

Most research training is provided within the structure of the student’s research group and informal opportunities to develop research skills are available through mentoring by other members of staff and fellow students. All students are encouraged to attend scientific meetings, seminars and graduate courses relevant to their area of interest. They are also expected to participate in journal clubs and lab meetings and to take advantage of the numerous and varied opportunities including transferable skills training offered by the University.

Each student is assigned a principal supervisor who oversees their research project and an adviser who provides additional support. Our graduate student administrator acts as the first point of contact for any student with a query or difficulty that is not directly related to their scientific work. All student matters in the department are overseen by our director of graduate education and the Cancer Biology Graduate Education Committee.

The PhD course is designed to produce graduates with rigorous research and analytical skills, who are exceptionally well equipped to go onto doctoral research or employment in industry and the public service.

The PhD course provides:

  • a period of a sustained in-depth study of a specific topic;
  • an environment that encourages the student’s originality and creativity in their research;
  • skills to enable the student to critically examine the background literature relevant to their specific research area;
  • the opportunity to develop skills in making and testing hypotheses, in developing new theories, and in planning and conducting experiments;
  • the opportunity to expand the student’s knowledge of their research area, including its theoretical foundations and the specific techniques used to study it;
  • the opportunity to gain knowledge of the broader field of cancer research; and
  • an environment in which to develop skills in written work, oral presentation and publishing the results of their research in high-profile scientific journals, through constructive feedback of written work and oral presentations.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    full time
    36-48 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    60-84 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details