PhD Study: Overview

phd-projects-wideThe School admits about 25 PhD students each year. Several of these are BBSRC funded.

Any person with a good first degree from a recognised British, British Commonwealth or foreign University can be admitted to postgraduate studies. Students with qualifications equivalent to a degree may also apply for admission.

The School of Biology at St Andrews comprises 55 academic staff, 95 postdoctoral researchers and over 100 postgraduate students. You will have the opportunity to undertake a research degree in your chosen subject area within a School where research interests span the breadth of biological science.

The School aims to nurture excellent research using the most modern techniques and within this environment to provide an integrated programme of training for postgraduate students. The School promotes an interdisciplinary approach to both applied and fundamental research problems and to postgraduate training. Additional information for post-graduate study can be found in the University Prospectus and School Prospectus.

The School of Biology comprises a large number of research groups organised into three Research Centres.

A number of intra-disciplinary collaborations exist within the School in addition to exciting new developments in which studies are fostered by the formation of Inter-Disciplinary Research Centres with other Schools within the university.

A Postgraduate Committee oversees all aspects of School-related postgraduate administration that includes recruitment, planning of School-based taught modules, and acts on information made available from the Progress Review Committees.

We encourage applications from suitably qualified graduates to join the School to study for a research degree.

scope2Research Degree Programmes (PhD/MPhil)

In the School of Biology, PhD degrees are typically completed through 3 years of full time study; studentships supported by the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) are for 3 years.

The School is a current holder of a UK BBSRC Quota Doctoral Training Account (DTA) that supports full time 4-year PhD studentships to suitably qualified applicants. Under the BBSRC DTA scheme, 3-year studentships are only considered under certain circumstances, e.g. if the applicant has gained a Master’s degree. Interdisciplinary projects with another School, such as Physics or Chemistry, are possible through joint support arrangements.

 See Funding for eligibility restrictions for UK Research Council support.

An MPhil degree is typically a one-year full time research degree if an exemption from the first year is granted.

Both PhD and MPhil degrees can be taken part-time (50%) over a longer period of time.

PhD study within the School of Biology involves skills training in addition to subject-specific training achieved through the research project itself. Additional skills training is achieved through choosing from a broad selection of centrally organized generic skills modules are available that run throughout the year (see Skills Training).