South West Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (BBSRC)

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Run by Faculty of Life Sciences Faculty of Science Faculty of Health Sciences
Awards available PhD
Programme length Four years full-time
Location of programme Clifton campus, Langford campus
Part-time study available No, full-time only
Part-time study will only be considered in exceptional circumstances.
Start date September 2022

Programme overview

The South West Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (SWBio DTP) is led by the University of Bristol, together with the Universities of Bath, Cardiff and Exeter, alongside Rothamsted Research. This partnership also includes the following collaborative partners; Marine Biological Association (MBA), Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML), Swansea University, UCB Pharma, University of the West of England (UWE) and SETsquared Bristol.

These institutions represent a distinctive group of bioscience research staff and students, with established international, national and regional networks, and widely recognised research excellence. As research leaders, we have a strong track record in advancing knowledge through high-quality research and teaching, in partnership with industry and the government.

The programme particularly aims to provide students with outstanding interdisciplinary research training within the following themes:

  • Advancing the frontiers of bioscience discovery;
  • Bioscience for sustainable agriculture and food;
  • Bioscience for an integrated understanding of health.

Importantly this research training is also underpinned by transformative technologies, allowing you to expand the boundaries of your research through innovative tools, technologies and approaches.

You will be recruited to a broad, interdisciplinary project, supported by a multidisciplinary supervisory team, with many cross-institutional PhD projects available that build on the expertise of each of our partners. There are also opportunities to:

  • Apply your research in an industrial setting through our projects with an industrial partner (DTP CASE studentships).
  • Undertake research jointly with some of our core and collaborative partners (Standard DTP studentships with a collaborative partner).

Some projects will also offer working with other national/international researchers, as well as fieldwork opportunities

Fees for 2022/23

Please see individual programme entries for fees information.

Following the recent changes to fee assessment regulation, Channel Islands and Isle of Man students will no longer be charged a separate tuition fee. From the 2021/22 academic year they will be charged the same fees as Home students.

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to a five per cent increase in fees each year. Find out more about tuition fees.

Alumni scholarship

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a ten per cent reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni scholarship.

Funding for 2022/23

Home students

Fully-funded studentships are available for Home students.  To be classed as a Home student, candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a UK National (meeting residency requirements), or
  • Have settled status, or
  • Have pre-settled status (meeting residency requirement) or,
  • Have indefinite leave to remain or enter

For further guidance please refer to Annex B in UKRI guidance on using training grant terms and conditions.

International students

If you do not meet the above criteria, you will be classed as an International student.

A limited number (up to 30%) of UKRI fully-funded studentships are available through the SWBio DTP, that applicants who would be classed as an International student are eligible for. 

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

Programme structure

First year

In the first year, we provide a broad awareness of the fundamental research approaches in life sciences and how they could be applied to real-life situations through taught units and rotation projects. You will complete three co-localised taught units and two rotation projects.

You will need to successfully complete the first year to be able to progress into your second year of studies. An MRes exit route is available at the end of year one should this be required.

Second to fourth years

The remaining three years will be more like a conventional PhD, with academic progression monitored by your registered university. You will be taking on full-time research and are likely to be based in the research group of your main supervisor.

You will also have the opportunity to attend a number of SWBio DTP cohort activities held across the partnership, such as annual student conferences, workshops, research theme activities and outreach events where you will get the chance to meet and interact with other students from the partnership, giving you access to a multidisciplinary and supportive student network.

Students must submit their thesis by the end of year four.

Professional Internships for Postgraduate Students (PIPS)

You will also take part in a three-month full-time placement (or part-time equivalent) outside of an academic research environment. Placements are intended to broaden the scope of your employability after your PhD. In particular, it will encourage you to use your doctoral training skills in a broader range of careers

Examples of placements include working within policy, science communication, charities, industry and publishing.

PIPS is optional for CASE studentships as these projects will involve an industrial placement with the CASE partner for 3-18 months.

Entry requirements

Applicants for a studentship must have obtained, or be about to obtain, a first or upper second class UK honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in an appropriate area of science or technology. Applicants with a lower second class degree will be considered if they also have a master’s degree or have significant relevant non-academic experience.

In addition, due to the strong mathematical component of the taught course in the first year and the quantitative emphasis in our projects, a minimum of a grade B in A-level Maths or an equivalent qualification or experience is required.

Equivalent Maths qualifications/experience
  • Physics A-level (grade B and above)
  • Undertaking units as part of your degree that have a significant mathematical component*

*Significant mathematical component examples include; maths, statistics, bioinformatics.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you need to meet this profile level:
Profile C
Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Admissions statement

Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Admissions statement

Research groups

A wide range of research projects are advertised each year. These are hosted across many schools.

Careers

Students who complete this programme are likely to enter research careers within academia or industry, or careers in non-governmental organisations (NGOs), teaching, public engagement or government.

Staff profiles

Please refer to individual programmes for staff research interests.

Apply now

Find out how to apply

Application deadline

6 December 2021

(This programme will be open for applications from mid-October 2021.)

Open days and visits

Watch on-demand recordings from November's virtual open week.

Get in touch

Faculty Education Team Postgraduate Administrator Phone: +44 (0) 117 374 6625 Email: fls-pg-admissions@bristol.ac.uk

65 St Michael's Hill
Bristol
BS2 8DZ
School website:

International students

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

Bristol Doctoral College

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

REF 2014 results

  • Biological Sciences:
  • 33% of research is world-leading (4*)
  • 51% of research is internationally excellent (3*)
  • 15% of research is recognised internationally (2*)

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

Disclaimer

Important disclaimer information about our programmes.

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