Bioscience research at Newcastle is part of the Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences. We integrate traditional bioscience disciplines to investigate the steps from genotype to phenotype. Our research also incorporates chemistry, biophysics and eukaryotic-microbial models.
We offer MPhil, PhD and MD supervision in all of our main research areas. You will join a vibrant research community of about 100 postgraduate research students in the Institute. You will work in one of our established research groups alongside postdoctoral researchers, senior students and staff. You will be encouraged to present your work in the Institute and at scientific meetings.
Our staff are successful in attracting postgraduate funding from diverse sources, such as:
- UK Research Councils, including a BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership
- Industrial CASE awards
- UK and international government initiatives
Our results in the Research Excellence Framework 2014 were exceptional. We were ranked 1st for research output amongst all UK submitted university biosciences departments (UoA5 - Biological Sciences Unit of Assessment). In the overall scores, the Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences (UoA5) was 5th out of 44 UK submissions.
Our research is divided into four themes, each linked to a research group.
Bacterial Cell Biology Group
The Bacterial Cell Biology Group focuses on the fundamental aspects of cell biology, biochemistry and pathogenicity of eubacteria. Together with colleagues from Computing Sciences, they form the Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology (CBCB). The CBCB is the world’s largest research centre focussed on the molecular and cellular biology of bacterial cells and bacterial cell wall biosynthesis. Using a wide range of biochemical, genetic and microscopic approaches, researchers reveal fundamental cell mechanisms including:
- bacterial cell wall biosynthesis
- cell division including plasmid and chromosome segregation
- cellular response to phage infection
- genetic competence
- the action of toxin–antitoxin genes and mRNA cleaving enzymes
- secretion chaperones involved in the regulation of flagellar assembly
- microbial protein secretion
- responses to environmental stress
- gene expression and regulatory networks
- determination and control of cell shape
Epithelial Biology Group
The Epithelial Biology Group focuses on universal organising principles that include the processes governing the specialised roles of epithelial cells in:
- epithelial transport
- health and disease
Proteins: Structure, Function and Evolution Group
The Proteins: Structure, Function and Evolution Group is united by the common goal of seeking to understand the nature of protein:protein and protein:ligand structure/function relationships at the molecular level. In particular, members focus on:
- macromolecular X-ray crystallography
- structures of proteins crucial to bacterial cell division
- metals in cells
- protein-carbohydrate interactions in macromolecular and cellular recognition
- molecular and cellular evolution of eukaryotic cells, their genomes and organelles
- membrane protein structure:function relationships
- archaeal DNA polymerases
Sensing, Signalling and Expression Group
The Sensing, Signalling and Expression Group is concerned with how DNA is replicated and expressed, and how this expression can be altered by sensing change, in the environment or within the eukaryotic cell. Research in this area is aimed at explaining the molecular signalling pathways that regulate membrane, cytoplasmic and nuclear events in eukaryotic cells, including signalling specific to:
- cellular ageing
- cell division and differentiation
- cell cycle control
- calcium homeostasis
- environmental sensing
- infection and immunity
- organelle function
Current research interests, projects and publications are available from our staff profiles.
Find out more about postgraduate research study in the Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences.
Our new School of Pharmacy has scientists and clinicians working together on all aspects of pharmaceutical sciences and clinical pharmacy.
We will be offering the following PhD projects:
- Targeting Biosynthetic and Regulatory Pathways of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis as Novel Drug Targets
- Design, Synthesis and Target Identification of Novel Anti-Tubercular Agents
- Activity-Based Chemical Probes for the Profiling of Cytochrome P450s
- Development of Novel Silanediol HDAC Inhibitors for the Treatment of Cancer
The Intern Scholarship Scheme provides you with the opportunity to develop your skills by working in industry, the public sector or a charity. These internships are available following submission of your thesis.
Our Postgraduate Student Association, the Postgraduate Network in ICaMB (PAN!C) organises an annual Careers Symposium. Guests have included speakers from industry (pharmaceutical and biotechnology), small and medium enterprises, medical charities, patent and trade mark attorneys, and national newspapers.
A number of successful spin off companies have been created by institute staff. This is testimony to our intellectual and innovative capacity, and our ability to translate biosciences research to the industrial setting.
Research in the Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences is supported by a wide range of facilities, including services and equipment for:
- cell imaging
- high throughput technologies
- bioinformatics and proteomics
- transcriptomics and X-ray crystallography
- proteomics and biological mass spectrometry
Underpinning our status as a world leading research institute was the construction of the Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology (CBCB) that was opened in 2010.
In the news
Newcastle moves up 20 places into the top 150 in the QS World University Rankings 2019.
published on: 15 June 2018
Unsure of whether a taught or research postgraduate degree is right for you?
published on: 30 November 2018
Student blogger Hannah tells us her story about the support she received from Newcastle University.
published on: 16 November 2018
Training & Skills
As a research student you will receive a tailored package of academic and support elements to ensure you maximise your research and future career. The academic information is in the programme profile and you will be supported by our Faculty of Medical Sciences Graduate School.
Faculty of Medical Sciences Graduate School
Our Medical Sciences Graduate School is dedicated to providing you with information, support and advice throughout your research degree studies. We can help and advise you on a variety of queries relating to your studies, funding or welfare.
Our Research Student Development Programme supports and complements your research whilst developing your professional skills and confidence.
You will make an on-going assessment of your own development and training needs through personal development planning (PDP) in the ePortfolio system. Our organised external events and development programme have been mapped against the Vitae Researcher Development Framework to help you identify how best to meet your training and development needs.
Newcastle-Liverpool-Durham Doctoral Training Partnership
The Newcastle-Liverpool-Durham Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) is supported by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and offers:
- researchers the opportunity to address scientific biosciences questions
- an exceptional programme of research training, emphasising the interdisciplinary nature of modern biology
- the latest technologies and facilities to deliver world-class results
Each year we award around 22 fully-funded studentships across the partnership on the following research themes:
- Agriculture and Food Security
- Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy
- Bioscience for Health
- World Class Underpinning Bioscience
Fees & Funding
If your studies last longer than one year your fee may be subject to an annual inflationary increase.
The fees displayed here are per year.
MPhil, PhD, MD
Full time: £4,350 - 15,150*
Part time: £2,175 - £7,575*
Full time: £4,350 - 15,150*
Part time: £2,175 - £7,575*
*For 2019-2020 entry, we will be aligning our standard UK/EU research fees with those set by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). The fees given above are indicative only. The standard fee will be confirmed in Spring 2019 by UKRI. (Updated November 2018).
Full time: £22,110 - £32,910
Find out more about our tuition fees, including how to pay them and available discounts.
EU students starting at Newcastle in 2019 will pay the UK (Home) tuition fee for the full duration of their course.
Our fee range takes into account your research topic and resource requirements.
Your research topic is unique and as such will have unique resource requirements. Resources could include specialist equipment, such as laboratory/workshop access, or technical staff.
If your research involves accessing specialist resources then you're likely to pay a higher fee. You'll discuss the exact nature of your research project with your supervisor(s). You'll find out the fee in your offer letter.
A 2:1 honours degree, or international equivalent, in a science or medicine related subject.
A 2:1 honours degree, or international equivalent. Further research experience or a master’s degree would be advantageous.
A MBBS, or an equivalent medical degree.
Find out the equivalent qualifications for your country.
Use the drop down above to find your country. If your country isn't listed please email: email@example.com for further information.
English Language Requirements
To study this course you need to meet the following English Language requirements:
IELTS 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in all other sub-skills).
Our typical English Language requirements are listed as IELTS scores but we also accept a wide range of English Language tests.
You may need an ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) clearance certificate. You'll need to get this before you can get your visa or study on this programme. We'll let you know about the ATAS requirement in your offer letter.
How to Apply
You apply online, track your application and contact the admissions team via our applicant portal. Our step-by-step guide can help you on your way.
There are usually three possible start dates, although in some circumstances an alternative start date can be arranged:
There is no application closing date for this course, but specific deadlines for funding may apply.
We suggest international students apply at least two months before the course starts. This is so that you have enough time to make the necessary arrangements.
If you live outside the UK/EU you must:
- pay a deposit of £1,500
- or submit an official letter of sponsorship
The deposit is payable after you receive an offer to study at Newcastle University. The deposit is non-refundable, but is deducted from your tuition fees when you register.
Medical Sciences Graduate School
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7002