We offer MPhil, PhD and MD supervision in our main research areas. Our research also incorporates chemistry, biophysics and eukaryotic-microbial model.
You'll join a vibrant research community of about 100 postgraduate research students. You'll work in one of our established research groups. This will be alongside postdoctoral researchers, senior students and staff. We will encourage you to present your work in the Institute and at scientific meetings.
Our staff successfully attracts postgraduate funding from diverse sources. These include:
- UK Research Councils, including a BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership
- Industrial CASE awards
- UK and international government initiatives
Our research has 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
- 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. They focus on the molecular and cellular biology of bacterial cells and bacterial cell wall biosynthesis. They use a range of biochemical, genetic and microscopic approaches. With this, researchers reveal fundamental cell mechanisms. These include:
- 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. This includes 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 has the common goal of seeking to understand the nature of protein:protein and protein:ligand. This includes 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. This includes their genomes and organellesmembrane protein structure:function relationships
- archaeal DNA polymerases
Sensing, Signalling and Expression group
The Sensing, Signalling and Expression Group works with how DNA replicates and expresses. They explore how this expression alters by sensing change. This can be in the environment or within the eukaryotic cell. Research in this area explains the molecular signalling pathways. They regulate membrane, cytoplasmic and nuclear events in eukaryotic cells. This is 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.
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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.
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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.
An MD is a doctorate or doctoral award. It combines your research findings with clinical practice. To complete the MD you will produce a substantial piece of work (80,000 – 100,000 words) in the form of a supervised thesis. For professionally qualified doctors, an MD (Doctor of Medicine) is awarded.
How you'll learn
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 Medical Sciences (FMS) 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:
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Quality and ranking
All professional accreditations are reviewed regularly by their professional body
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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:
Medical Sciences Graduate School
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7002
For more general enquiries you could also complete our online enquiry form.
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