Join us for your PhD in Marine Sciences.
Your research project will be in one of the areas covered by the marine science research groups:
- Marine Resources and Renewable Energy (MRRE):
- antifouling and ballast water treatment
- bacterial bioactive products
- Modelling, Evidence and Policy
Depending on your previous academic training and the requirements of the project, you receive formal instruction through taught modules in important areas such as laboratory safety and sea survival.
You'll be part of our research community of:
- 30 research students
- 10-20 MSc students
- six to 10 post-doctoral scientists
- six technicians
- 13 full-time academic staff
This provides you with abundant opportunities to progress your scientific career in any sector. Our research students have been successful at finding work across industry, academia, government agencies and non-governmental organisations.
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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.
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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.
How you'll learn
This research degree operates through the Postgraduate Researcher Development Programme (PGRDP). This is part of the Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering (SAgE) Graduate School.
Your original research project is managed in the marine science research groups. There is flexibility in how your research outputs are achieved. Supervisory inputs and collaborations with other schools and faculties are common. Input from outside the University, eg Research Council (RCUK) CASE studentships, is also encouraged.
The programme of work is tailored to your project requirements. You'll achieve a certain number of credits through the PGRDP and School in your first two years. You'll also:
- write a thesis for viva voce examination
- attend regional and international conferences in your chosen subject area
- prepare papers for publication in academic journals
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
Many research projects include industrial work experience. Other projects involve working with other universities, government institutes and scientific associations. The marine science research groups form part of extensive national and international networks. Recent collaboration includes:
- the Environment Agency
- Natural England
- Northumberland Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority
- University of the West Indies (Barbados)
- National Oceanographic Centre Southampton (NOCS)
- University of Costa Rica,
- North Sea Regional Advisory Council
- Haribon Foundation
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:
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
The School of Natural and Environmental Sciences has an outstanding range of facilities to support our research and teaching, including:
- algal culture
- stable-isotope preparation
- marine geochemistry
- gas chromatography
- air-sea gas exchange tank
- force gauge
- contact angle goniometer
- molecular biology
- tracking systems
We study live marine animals at our Dove Marine Laboratory in Cullercoats. With an aquarium on-site, we examine a range of wildlife.
Our research vessel, The Princess Royal, is a floating laboratory. Activities on the vessel range from oceanographic characterisation of river plumes to remote camera surveys of offshore habitats.
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?
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