Join us for your MPhil or PhD in Biology. Our research-active academic staff will support you. Supervision is available in a number of research areas.
Ecology and conservation
Our Ecology and Conservation Research Group works to understand patterns observed in nature - species and habitats. This often includes anthropogenic effects.
We collaborate with a variety of organisations concerned with species and habitat conservation, including statutory responsibility. We work with research partners and conservation practitioners from the UK and across the globe.
Our research covers:
- human-wildlife interactions
Biological, clinical and environmental systems modelling
The Biological, clinical and environmental systems modelling group focuses on analysing the structure and dynamics of complex biological and clinical systems. We have a specific interest in investigating spatially and temporally heterogeneous processes in biology. We are driven by practical problem solving through the use of modelling.
Applied and environmental biology
We conduct research on organisms and processes of commercial and environmental importance. Our experimental approaches include:
- molecular biology
Some examples of the commercial applications we develop include:
- natural products discovery
- creation of novel antimicrobials and biopesticides
- sustainable methods of reducing food spoilage
- microbes involved in biofuel production
- uses of microbes in bioremediation of polluted environments
As Biology PhD student you'll play an important role in our active research portfolio.
We've highlighted important information about your course. Please take note of any deadlines.
Please rest assured we make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the programmes, services and facilities described. However, it may be necessary to make changes due to significant disruption.
Given the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commitments outlined are subject to guidelines that may be in place from time to time.
View our COVID-19 Study page, which gives information about your Newcastle University study experience for the academic year 2022-23.
See our terms and conditions and student complaints information
Find out about the different qualification options for this course.
An MPhil is available in all subject areas. You receive research training and undertake original research leading to the completion of a 40,000 - 50,000 word thesis.
A PhD is a doctorate or doctoral award. It involves original research that should make a significant contribution to the knowledge of a specific subject. To complete the PhD you will produce a substantial piece of work (80,000 – 100,000 words) in the form of a supervised thesis. A PhD usually takes three years full time.
How you'll learn
You'll benefit from two supervisors from our research community. You're encouraged to present your research results at our annual Postgraduate conference.
You'll also benefit from training in a wide range of transferable skills, such as statistics and web design, through the Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering (SAgE) Graduate School.
Depending on your modules, you'll be assessed through a combination of:
We offer a wide range of projects for the thesis. These will be provided by our academics. You can also propose your own topic.
Our mission is to help you:
- stay healthy, positive and feeling well
- overcome any challenges you may face during your degree – academic or personal
- get the most out of your postgraduate research experience
- carry out admin and activities essential to progressing through your degree
- understand postgraduate research processes, standards and rules
We can offer you tailored wellbeing support, courses and activities.
You can also access a broad range of workshops covering:
- research and professional skills
- careers support
- health and safety
- public engagement
- academic development
Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering (SAgE) researcher development programme
Each faculty offers a researcher development programme for its postgraduate research students. We have designed your programme to help you:
- perform better as a researcher
- boost your career prospects
- broaden your impact
Through workshops and activities, it will build your transferable skills and increase your confidence.
- techniques for effective research
- methods for better collaborative working
- essential professional standards and requirements
Your programme is flexible. You can adapt it to meet your changing needs as you progress through your doctorate.
Doctoral training and partnerships
There are opportunities to undertake your PhD at Newcastle within a:
- Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT)
- Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP)
Being part of a CDT or DTP has many benefits:
- they combine research expertise and training of a number of leading universities, academic schools and academics.
- you’ll study alongside a cohort of other PhD students
- they’re often interdisciplinary
- your PhD may be funded
If there are currently opportunities available in your subject area you’ll find them when you search for funding in the fees and funding section on this course.
The following centres/partnerships below may have PhD opportunities available in your subject area in the future:
- EPSRC Aura Centre for Doctoral Training in Offshore Wind Energy and the Environment
- IAPETUS2 Doctoral Training Partnership
- Discovery Medicine North - MRC DiMeN Doctoral Training Partnership
- EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Molecular Sciences for Medicine (MoSMed)
- ONE Planet Doctoral Training Partnership
The School of Natural and Environmental Sciences has good contacts with industry. We host seminars and workshops, some of which are attended by visiting professors from industry.
Biology PhD students have the opportunity to participate in national and international conferences. You can supplement your income by undertaking undergraduate laboratory demonstrating.
Our Careers Service
Our award-winning Careers Service is one of the largest and best in the country, and we have strong links with employers. We provide an extensive range of opportunities to all students through our ncl+ initiative.
Quality and ranking
All professional accreditations are reviewed regularly by their professional body
From 1 January 2021 there is an update to the way professional qualifications are recognised by countries outside of the UK
Fees and funding
Tuition fees for 2022 entry (per year)
We are unable to give an exact fee, this is why the fee is shown as a range. This fee range takes into account your research topic and resource requirements.
Your research topic is unique so it 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.
Home fees for research degree students
For 2022-23 entry, we have aligned our standard Home research fees with those set by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).
For 2023-24 entry, we will again be aligning our standard Home research fees with those set by UKRI. The standard fee will be confirmed in Spring 2023 by UKRI.
If your studies last longer than one year, your tuition fee may increase in line with inflation.
Depending on your residency history, if you’re a student from the EU, other EEA or a Swiss national, with settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you’ll normally pay the ‘Home’ tuition fee rate and may be eligible for Student Finance England support.
EU students without settled or pre-settled status will normally be charged fees at the ‘International’ rate and will not be eligible for Student Finance England support.
If you are unsure of your fee status, check out the latest guidance here.
We support our EU and international students by providing a generous range of Vice-Chancellor's automatic and merit-based scholarships. See our searchable postgraduate funding page for more information.
What you're paying for
Tuition fees include the costs of:
- tuition (or supervision)
- library access
Some of our degrees involve additional costs which are not covered by your tuition fees.
Find out more about:
- additional costs
- living costs
- tuition fees, including how to pay them and available discounts
If you're applying for funding, always check the funding application deadline. This deadline may be earlier than the application deadline for your course.
For some funding schemes, you need to have received an offer of a place on a course before you can apply for the funding.
Search for funding
Find funding available for your course
The entrance requirements below apply to 2022 entry.
Qualifications from outside the UK
English Language requirements
How to apply
Using the application portal
The applicant portal has instructions to guide you through your application. It will tell you what documents you need and how to upload them.
You can choose to start your application, save your details and come back to complete it later.
If you’re ready, you can select Apply Online and you’ll be taken directly to the applicant portal.
Alternatively you can find out more about applying on our applications and offers pages.
Open days and events
You'll have a number of opportunities to meet us throughout the year including:
- campus tours
- on-campus open days
- virtual open days
We regularly travel overseas to meet with students interested in studying at Newcastle University.
Get in touch
Questions about this course?
If you have specific questions about this course you can contact:
For more general enquiries you could also complete our online enquiry form.
Our Ncl chatbot might be able to give you an answer straight away. If not, it’ll direct you to someone who can help.
You'll find our Ncl chatbot in the bottom right of this page.
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