Research course

Microbial and Cellular Sciences

University of Surrey · Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Entry requirements

Open to candidates registered with the General Medical Council and working within the NHS or in an approved institution.

Months of entry

October, April

Course content

The aim of the Department of Microbial and Cellular Sciences is to study biological processes in micro-organisms and eukaryotic cells at the physiological and molecular level. Our academics are engaged in research relating to microbial bioproduct formation, cancer, vaccine biology, immunology, cell biology, and bacterial and viral pathogenesis in humans and animals.

Microbes currently under investigation include the Mycobacteria, Streptomyces, Neisseria, Escherichia coli, Vibrio and Campylobacter, as well as viruses and yeast. Virology studies centre around interactions with the host ribosomal apparatus and are augmented by fundamental work on the translational apparatus of eukaryotic cells.

We specialise in studies employing an integrated systems biology approach encompassing laboratory and computational investigation.

Research facilities and equipment

We have access to a number of core technologies and instruments to carry out our research. This includes facilities for:

  • Functional genomics (microarray, sequencing, genomics, transcriptomics)
  • Computational biology/bioinformatics (data mining, systems biology, pathway modelling, fluxomics)
  • Proteomics (2D-PAGE, ICAT, MudPit, MALDI-TOF)
  • Metabolomics (GC-MS-MS, GC-MS, LC-MS)
  • BIOLOG and bio-imaging (laser scanning confocal and fluorescence microscopy, flow cytometry, fluorescence-activated cell sorting, in situ hybridisation)

MD overview

Research for an MD may be carried out in the clinical workplace and/or in the University’s facilities, and will be supervised jointly by a collaborative supervisor from the hospital and a principal supervisor from the Faculty.

Your research area may be in any branch of medicine that links in with our research portfolio, and you should expect to commit approximately two years to research and training activities, plus some time to write up the MD thesis and take the viva voce exam.

Research areas

  • Cancer, including embryonic gene targeting, viral and gene cancer therapies, biomarkers and clinical trials
  • Infectious diseases, including mycobacterial and meningococcal disease, zoonotic diseases, RNA enteric viruses, viral and bacterial veterinary pathogens
  • Computational and systems biology

Recent projects include, but are not limited to:

  • Pathogenesis of bacterial and viral infections
  • Novel vaccines against tuberculosis
  • The creation of whole genome computational models of bacterial metabolism
  • Biotechnology for microbial fuel cells and antibiotic production

Information for international students

IELTS minimum overall: 7.0

IELTS minimum by component: 6.5

We offer intensive English language pre-sessional courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

Every year we offer a number of funded studentships. These are advertised on the Faculty studentships and scholarships page as and when they become available.

Qualification and course duration


full time
24-60 months

Course contact details