Genetics MPhil; PhD; MD

MPhil: minimum 12 months full time; minimum 24 months part time
PhD: minimum 36 months full time; minimum 72 months part time
MD: normally 24 months full time; normally 48 months part time


Fees per academic year 2014-15

UK and EU: full time £4,320-£13,500(MPhil; PhD; MD) part time £2,160-£6,750(MPhil; PhD; MD)
International: full time £14,180-£23,980 (MPhil; PhD; MD) part time fees

Fees vary according to the exact nature of the research project.

More information is available about tuition fees and discounts.

Research Areas

MPhil, PhD and MD supervision is normally available in the following areas:

Cancer genetics and genome instability
Research includes a major clinical trial for chemoprevention of colon cancer; genetic analyses of neuroblastoma susceptibility; research into Wilms Tumour (a childhood kidney cancer) and studies on cell cycle regulation and genome instability.

Cardiovascular genetics and development
We use techniques of high-throughput genetic analyses to identify mechanisms whereby genetic variability between individuals contributes to the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. We also use mouse and zebrafish and stem cell models to understand the ways in which particular gene families' genetic and environmental factors are involved in the normal and abnormal development of the heart and blood vessels.

Complex disease and quantitative genetics
Large-scale studies into the genetic basis of common diseases with complex genetic causes, for example autoimmune disease, complex cardiovascular traits and renal disorders, is a major theme. We are also developing novel statistical methods and tools for analysing this genetic data.

Developmental genetics
Study of genes known (or suspected to be) involved in malformations found in newborn babies. These include genes involved in normal and abnormal development of the face, brain, heart, muscle and kidney system. Includes the use of knockout mice and zebrafish as laboratory models.

Gene expression and regulation in normal development and disease
Research into how gene expression is controlled during development and misregulated in diseases, including the roles of transcription factors, RNA binding proteins and the signalling pathways that control these. Studies of early human brain development, including gene expression analysis, primary cell culture models and 3D visualisation and modelling.

Genetics of neurological disorders
Identification of genes that in isolation can cause neurological disorders, molecular mechanisms and treatment of neurometabolic disease, complex genetics of common neurological disorders including Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. The genetics of epilepsy.

Kidney genetics and development
Kidney research focuses on atypical haemolytic uraemic syndrome (aHUS), vesicoureteric reflux (VUR), cystic renal disease and nephrolithiasis to study renal genetics. The discovery that aHUS is a disease of complement dysregulation has led to a specific interest in complement genetics.

Mitochondrial disease
Investigation of the role of mitochondria in human disease, nuclear-mitochondrial interactions in disease, the inheritance of mitochondrial DNA heteroplasmy, and mitochondrial function in stem cells.

Neuromuscular genetics
The Neuromuscular Research Group has a series of basic research programmes looking at the function of novel muscle proteins and their roles in pathogenesis. Recently developed translational research programmes are seeking therapeutic targets for various muscle diseases.

Stem cell biology
Research on human embryonic stem (ES) cells, germline stem cells and somatic stem cells. ES cell research is aimed at understanding stem cell pluripotency, self-renewal, survival and epigenetic control of differentiation and development, including the functional analysis of genes involved in germline stem cell proliferation and differentiation. Somatic stem cell projects include programmes on umbilical cord blood stem cells, haematopoietic progenitors, and limbal stem cells.

Research Degree Training and Skills Development

Our Medical Sciences Graduate School has a thriving postgraduate research culture, with additional support for international students. We have an excellent record for timely PhD submission, provide training in professional/key skills and research techniques and support personal development.

+Entrance Requirements

An upper-second-class Honours degree, or international equivalent, in a science or medicine related subject.

An upper-second-class Honours degree, or international equivalent, plus further research experience and/or a further qualification such as an MRes.

A MBBS, or an equivalent medical degree.

Applicants whose first language is not English require IELTS 6.5, TOEFL 90 (Internet-based), Pearson's PTE Academic Test 62 or equivalent.

Our INTO Newcastle University Centre can provide extra tuition to help you meet the University's English language requirements.

The UK Border Agency (UKBA) has rules for international students regarding minimum English language requirements.

+Scholarships and Other Sources of Funding

Funded PhD positions are usually advertised on the funding database and the Newcastle Biomedicine website.

International Students, consult your own government for funding. The University offers International Scholarships, and there are funding opportunities by external organisations available.

Students should consult their employers for sponsorship opportunities.

More information on scholarships, studentships, bursaries and other funding is available from our database.

+How to Apply

Visit our postgraduate application site.

Applications are considered throughout the year although specific deadlines for funding may apply. Further application advice is available from the Faculty of Medical Sciences.

There are three possible start dates for your research degree:

  • 6 January 2014
  • 28 April 2014
  • 22 September 2014

However, these dates are not mandatory and in some circumstances permission can be granted for alternative start dates.

Please note: As a formal condition of the offer to study at Newcastle University, students from outside the UK/EU are required to pay a deposit of £1,500 or submit an official letter of sponsorship for their chosen programme. The deposit payment is non refundable, but will be deducted from tuition fees upon registration.

+Further Information

For further information please contact:
Medical Sciences Graduate School
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7002

Subject Overview

This programme is within the subject area of Genetics.