Research course

Life Sciences (PhD Wellcome Programme)

University of Dundee · School of Life Sciences

Entry requirements

Honours degree at 2.1 or above, or a Masters degree in a relevant discipline. IELTS of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in the written component, or equivalent.

Months of entry

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Course content

The prestigious Wellcome Trust Four-Year PhD Training Programme in the College of Life Sciences comprises two components: a first year of rotation projects and course work, followed by a conventional 3-Yr PhD project.

In the first year, students select 3 rotation projects of around 3 months duration each, in the areas of "Cell Signalling and Gene Expression", "Biological Chemistry and Molecular Physiology" and "Cell and Developmental Biology, Immunology". At the end of the first year, students can choose to do their full 3-year project (in years 2, 3 & 4) with any of the ~40 supervisors on the Programme, although it is more likely to be with one of the supervisors from the 3 rotation projects.

Students will undertake an innovative practical training course beginning in September. The first 6 weeks of the course will comprise intensive training in tissue culture, molecular biology, proteomics, cell imaging, flow cytometry. This will expose students to the outstanding core facilities available within the College and train them in the basic skills that will underpin their rotation and PhD projects.

In addition to gaining laboratory experience in the first year, students will undertake advanced course work, principally in the form of 'Super Seminars'. These will consist of weekly meetings with potential supervisors who will give a research seminar and then convene a journal club in his or her area of interest, to be led by one of the students. This format is designed to stimulate pro-active learning in the diverse areas of Life Sciences currently being researched in Dundee and provide a broad basis of knowledge that will assist students in making their decisions for rotation projects and ultimately their 3-Yr PhD project. Other specialised workshops and courses will also be available, for example in bioinformatics, statistics and microscopy.

Up to 5 positions are available on the 4-year Programme each year and awards will be made on a competitive basis. This programme is available to all nationalities.

Department specialisms

Research Divisons: Anatomy and Human Identification Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery Cell Signalling and Immunology Cell and Developmental Biology Gene Regulation and Expression Molecular Microbiology MRC Protein Phosphorylation Unit Nucleic Acid Structure Research Group Plant Sciences SCottish Institute for CeLL Signalling

Information for international students

Please visit our website for further information for international students.

Fees and funding

Please visit our website.

Qualification and course duration


full time
48 months

Course contact details

Gail Guild or Nikki Forbes
+44 (0)1382 384880