Synthetic Biology (EPSRC and BBSRC Centre for Doctoral Training)

Find a programme
Run by Faculty of Science Faculty of Biomedical Sciences Faculty of Engineering
Awards available PhD
Programme length Four years full-time
Part-time study available No, full-time only
Open to international students Yes
Number of places 18 (6 at Bristol)
Start date October 2016

Programme overview

The Synthetic Biology Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) is a collaboration between Oxford, Warwick and Bristol Universities. It offers a four-year training programme leading to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. The programme is designed for students with both physical and life sciences backgrounds.

Fees for 2016/17

Full time fees


Additional fees

A bench fee may be charged depending on the research project

Fees quoted are provisional, per annum and subject to annual increase.

Funding for 2016/17

A total of 18 studentships (for Home/EU students) per year of four years' duration are available across the three institutions, of which 6 are available at Bristol.

Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.

Programme structure

The first two terms are devoted to acquiring the necessary theoretical and technical skills through a combination of intensive lecture courses, practicals, seminars, project work and research and communication skills training.

Over the third term and summer period of the first year, students undertake two extended projects of approximately ten weeks' duration each. These are similar in scope to a Masters' level project and serve both as advanced training and to help students to choose their research topic for the final three years of the course.

On completion of the projects, students undertake their substantive PhD research projects in the area of Synthetic Biology in one of the participating universities.

The Synthetic Biology CDT will produce internationally excellent researchers with key skills desired by prospective employers in the nascent field of Synthetic Biology. 

Entry requirements

A first-class or upper second-class undergraduate degree (or international equivalent) as a minimum in Physical Sciences (eg Engineering, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics, Plant Sciences) or Life Sciences (eg Biology, Biochemistry).

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Application method Online application form
English language requirements Profile A
Further information about English language requirements
Admissions statement Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Research groups

CDT students carrying out PhD projects at Bristol will join research groups associated with the BrisSynBio Research Centre.


Students graduating from the CDT will be ideally placed to progress into many different scientific-based jobs, including multi-disciplinary research in both academia and industry. There are strong links to diverse industrial partners, some of whom will sponsor PhD projects

Staff profiles

For information about potential PhD supervisors across the three institutions please see the centre website.

How to apply
Application deadline:

15 January 2016

International students

Find out more about becoming a student at Bristol, and the support we offer to international students.

I chose Bristol because of its outstanding academic reputation. It's reassuring to be taught by people who truly love their subject - their passion becomes contagious.


REF 2014 results

Results are from the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality, conducted by HEFCE. More about REF 2014 results.

Bristol Doctoral College

The Bristol Doctoral College facilitates and supports doctoral training and researcher development across the University.

Get in touch

Professor Claire Grierson Associate Director (Bristol lead) Email:

Diana Wilkins Executive Assistant Phone: +44 (0) 117 394 1316 Email:


Important disclaimer information about our programmes.

Edit this page