Research course

Biological Sciences

University of Portsmouth · School of Biological Sciences

Entry requirements

A good honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject or a master's degree in an appropriate subject. Exceptionally, equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications will be considered. All applicants subject to interview. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

Months of entry

October, February

Course content

Why take this course?

We have a strong reputation for research in Biological Sciences and our modern laboratories contain some of the latest equipment enabling us to undertake world-class research. Enjoy a lively research culture and engage in a variety of research projects, supervised by our academics, who are specialists in their fields.

You have the opportunity to work across a range of research disciplines including, molecular, micro, marine and environmental biology. Research within the field of Biology may also be closely linked to: Biomedical Science and Pharmacy, Geography, Earth and Environmental Science.

Research centres:

The Institute of Biomedical and Biomolecular Science (IBBS) serves as a focus for multidisciplinary research in the biomedical sciences, including both fundamental studies and applied research in the molecular biosciences. Molecular biology is supported by a dedicated molecular modelling centre, a 600 MHz NMR facility, as well as apparatus for DNA profiling and array analysis, while mass spectrometer and gas chromatography/mass spectrometers are available for detailed sample analyses. A further highlight is the European Xenopus Resource Centre funded by the Wellcome Trust, which opened in April 2007.

Research Groups:

Biodiversity and Evolution group:
Our group explores the diversity of life at levels ranging from the molecular and genetic, to organismal and ecosystem.

Epigenetics and Developmental group:
We are interested in the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms of development and differentiation.

Ecotoxicology and Environmental Monitoring group:
This group is collaboration between the School of Biological Sciences, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences and the School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences. Focusing on pure and applied aspects of biological and environmental sciences associated with how humans impact their environment.

Institute of Marine Sciences:
Researchers at the Institute of Marine Sciences are at the forefront of international projects researching diverse marine topics from the molecular to the ecosystem/community level.

Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology:
This research group covers topics including: diversity and function of microbes associated with the GI tract of detrivorous fish, freshwater phage-host dynamics and ecology, and micro organisms associated with the Mary Rose.

Molecular Biophysics group:
We focus on the structure of proteins and understanding the molecular basis of their interactions with nucleic acids (DNA and RNA), as well as protein-protein interactions and protein-ligand interactions.

Module Details

Molecular Biophysics

Research areas include:

  • Nucleic acid structure and gene regulation
  • Enzyme structure and function
  • Protein structure and biomedical science
  • Biophysical methods

Biodiversity and Evolution

Research areas include:

  • Evolutionary ecology of plant reproduction
  • Biodiversity and genome science
  • Invasive species and biogeograph

Epigenetics and Developmental Biology

Research areas include:

  • Analysing gene function in development
  • Formation of the early axon scaffol
  • Interaction between vascularisation and axon outgrowth in the developing brain and Epigenetics
  • The role of histone variants

Ecotoxicology and Environmental Monitoring

Research areas include:

  • Understanding the changes in environmental processes
  • Understanding of how humans impact their environment
  • Research into invasive non-native species

Marine Resource Management

Research areas include:

  • Exploitation of the marine environment
  • Marine resource management
  • Fundamental research on marine systems

Student Destinations

One of the benefits of studying at Portsmouth is the comprehensive support we provide in career planning. Our careers and recruitment service - Purple Door - can assist you in career research and finding employment opportunities.

The Graduate School Development Programme offers a series of dedicated workshops on career planning, specifically for research degree students. You will also have access to consultations with careers advisers or online support. This service is available for five years after graduation.

Fees and funding

UK students
full-time students: £4,121 p/a, part-time students: £1,590 p/a *All fees are subject to annual increase.
International students
full-time students: £14,400 p/a, part-time students: £7,200 p/a *All fees are subject to annual increase

Qualification and course duration


full time
24 months
part time
48 months


full time
36 months
part time
72 months

Course contact details

Research Team - Faculty of Science
+44 (0)23 9284 2994