Why choose Bristol?

Excellent training

Our top-class training is recognized by UK Research Councils, which have awarded us major Doctoral Training funding.

You will be trained by world-class researchers who are all at the forefront of their research specialisms. Our lively research community will inspire and support you. We have many international experts in the latest cutting-edge topics in the life sciences, who will give you valuable feedback on your progress. You will also have access to weekly research talks, international visiting speakers, postgraduate symposia and Science Faculty events.

Our taught courses and training sessions develop key transferable skills such as statistics, data handling and presentation, scientific writing and communication, and research methods. Our postgraduate research students regularly publish in the world's leading scientific journals.

World class research

We have an international reputation for the outstanding quality of our research, all of which underpins our training. Many of our staff are world leaders in their fields, giving you the opportunity to learn the most up to date perspectives from those shaping the latest advances in biology. Our staff span world-leading young pioneers to highly experienced Professors.

Our research has grown from highly reputable and traditional strengths in whole organism biology (e.g. behaviour, ecology) to encompass molecular, cellular and genomic approaches to research on animals, plants, evolutionary mechanisms, and ecosystems. Genomics is spearheaded by one of the leaders of the multi-million pound UK wheat genome project, while international-award winning Professors drive highly interdisciplinary research in behavioural ecology.

Our passionate belief is that the big advances in biology come from interdisciplinarity and addressing problems at multiple scales. That breadth and ambition is reflected in our research portfolio.

An exciting future

This is an exciting time to join the School of Biological Sciences. We attract research students and research fellows from around the globe and our pool of academic staff is expanding.

We are increasingly interdisciplinary. Staff and research fellows hold joint appointments with departments such as Earth Sciences, Geography, Maths and Engineering Maths. With selected colleagues from yet more departments joining us in the new 56 million pound Life Sciences building, we have a very exciting pool of world class expertise to draw on. Come and join us as we forge a path to the future of biology.

Ideal location

Bristol is the ideal place to study the life sciences – as well as being home to one of the leading biology departments in the UK, it is the base for other areas of biological expertise, such as the BBC Natural History Unit, the At-Bristol centre of science, art and nature, Bristol Zoological Gardens and the University of Bristol Botanic Garden.

It is even possible to walk from the Life Sciences building to a National Nature Reserve, Leigh Woods, and the spectacular Avon Gorge, a protected Site of Special Scientific Interest on account of its unique range of endemic species.

Quality of life

Bristol is a historical, cultural and well-connected city that is large enough to be vibrant, yet small enough to be friendly. It is a 'green capital', leading the way on environmental issues and sustainability, with excellent public transport (although you can cycle or walk to most places of interest).

Bristol is also a technology hub, second only to Silicon Valley in microchip design. It is easy to travel to London, while also having access to the amazing countryside of South West England (the Mendips, Devon, Cornwall), the Cotswolds, South Wales and the Wye Valley.

I enjoy the freedom that you get. My supervisor provided a list of possible research topics but I have a lot of freedom in how I structure my research.

Jana, MSc by Research (Wildlife Conservation)

What our postgraduates say

Postgraduate study

Between the Graduate School in Biological Sciences and other departments within Bristol University, postgraduate students are offered a wide range of training in academic and transferable skills. We also encourage post-doctoral researchers to attend any components of particular interest to them.