MPhil and PhD Opportunities

Biomedical, Biomolecular and Pharmacy

Postgraduate Research in Biomedical, Biomolecular Medicine and Pharmacy.

Star Overview

Research overview

The School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Science is one of the University's strongest areas of research - in the most recent research assessment round, Portsmouth was in the top three for funding in England in the subject Allied Health Professions & Studies. Our researchers are contributing to the Institute of Biomedical and Biomolecular Sciences (IBBS) where the majority of the research was rated internationally as excellent or world-leading.

The major strengths of our current research portfolio lie in: Molecular Medicine (including oncology, the neurosciences and inherited diseases such as cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy) and Medicines Research (including drug development, targeting, safety, uses of natural products within medicine). Research in the field of Biomedical, Biomolecular science and Pharmacy can be closely linked to: Health Sciences and Social Work, Psychology and Biology. 

Research centres

The Institute of Biological and Biomedical Sciences (IBBS)

The Institute of Biological and Biomedical Sciences (IBBS) serves as a focus for multidisciplinary research in the biomedical sciences, including both fundamental studies and applied research in the molecular biosciences. Molecular biology is supported by a dedicated molecular modelling centre, a 600 MHz NMR facility, as well as apparatus for DNA profiling and array analysis, while mass spectrometer and gas chromatography/mass spectrometers are available for detailed sample analyses.

University of Portsmouth Imaging Centre (UPIC)

The University of Portsmouth Imaging Centre (UPIC) brings together the wide variety of advanced microscopy techniques available in the Institute of Biomedical and Biomolecular Science. The Centre has a purpose-built Microscopy Imaging Suite, which houses the atomic force microscope, live cell imaging microscope, total internal reflectance microscope and laser capture micro dissection apparatus. Various other microscopes, including three confocal instruments, are located close by in dedicated rooms.


How to apply 

To apply for a postgraduate research degree with us, you'll need a good first degree from an internationally-recognised university or a Master’s degree in an appropriate subject. We'll also consider outstanding applicants with exceptional equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications.

We're currently rebuilding our website, so to explore the 3 different routes you can take into a postgrad research degree at Portsmouth, visit our new 'How to Apply' pages.

Self-funded PhD opportunities

Key Facts


MPhil: 2 years full-time, 4 years part-time
PhD: 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time
MD: 2 years full-time, 4 years part-time
By Publication: 1 year part-time
Start date: October/February


A good honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject or a master’s degree in an appropriate subject. Exceptionally, equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications will be considered. All applicants are subject to interview.

English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.  

MPhil/PhD Fees

MPhil full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the Government Postgraduate Loan

PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the Government Doctoral Loan


Home/EU/CI full-time students: £4,260 p/a*
Home/EU/CI part-time students: £2,130 p/a*
International full-time students: £15,100 p/a*
International part-time students: £7,550 p/a*

*All fees are subject to annual increase


MD fees

MD full-time course is not eligible for the Government Doctoral Loan

MD part-time course is eligible for the Government Doctoral Loan


Home/EU/CI full-time students: £4,260 p/a*
Home/EU/CI part-time students: £2,130 p/a*
International full-time students: £15,100 p/a*
International part-time students: £7,550 p/a*

*All fees are subject to annual increase


By Publication Fees


Members of staff: £1,550 p/a*
External candidates: £4,260 p/a*

*All fees are subject to annual increase.

View tuition fee terms and conditions


School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Science

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Light bulb Research Areas

Biomaterials and Drug Delivery

Research areas include:

  • Controlled and targeted drug delivery
  • Bioadhesion/mucoadhesion
  • Biomolecular recognition
  • Bioadhesion control

Pharmacy Practice

Research areas include:

  • Investigation of the role of pharmacy in health and wellbeing support (e.g. Healthy Living Pharmacy)
  • Development and evaluation of new approaches to pharmacy education
  • Risk management and pharmacovigilance

Cell Biology and Pharmacology

Research areas include:

  • Investigating mechanisms and biomarkers of lung inflammation in cystic fibrosis
  • Novel strategies to improve inhaled drug delivery and novel inhibitors of neutrophil elastase, glial cells in the brain, including oligodendroglia and their precursors in Multiple Sclerosis
  • Primary brain tumours as well as astrocytic response to various neuropathological conditions
  • Roles of tensins in cancer and in neuronal/glial cell biology
  • Electrophysiology and biochemistry of ion channels, as well as their roles in the cellular physiology of human health and disease
  • The neural and hormonal mechanisms involved in the regulation of food intake and obesity
  • The mechanisms underpinning CNS disorders, such as dementia, depression and anxiety, as well as disorders of the gut, such as colitis and irritable bowl syndrome

Epigenetics and Developmental Biology

Research areas include:

  • Molecular and genetic medicine, e.g. neuromuscular disease and neuronal function in disease, with particular emphasis on the molecular pathology of Duchenne muscular dystrophy and the role of dystrophin and related proteins
  • Control of neuronal identity and axon guidance in the early brain
  • The genetic programming of muscle differentiation
  • Using Xenopus and chicken as model organisms, aimed at establishing the role of genes that are important in developmental processes

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Monitor Facilities & Features

Flexible Learning

You will benefit from access to many of our facilities and services. Our student website will be your one-stop shop for all news, information and links to other services, and 24/7 online access to the University Library’s vast electronic book, journal and database collections will help you find the right resources for your research.


Facilities include a microscope suite, cell culture facilities, molecular biology laboratories and radioisotope facility. Software programmes for the complete range of microscopes give you extensive flexibility for biomedical research programmes.

The European Xenopus Resource Centre is funded by the Wellcome Trust, BBSRC and NC3Rs to support researchers using Xenopus models. Researchers are encouraged to deposit Xenopus transgenic and mutant lines, Xenopus in situ hybridization probes, Xenopus specific antibodies and Xenopus expression clones with the Centre.


Graduate School

From the moment you join us, you will be supported by the University's Graduate School, alongside your assigned supervisory team. You will be invited to a two-day induction, helping you to get the most from our facilities and be part of our thriving research community. You can also extend your skills as a researcher through the Graduate School Development Programme, which offers training, workshops and events.

University Library

Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.

Mortarboard Careers & Opportunities

Career Planning

One of the benefits of studying at Portsmouth is the comprehensive support we provide in career planning. Our careers and recruitment service - Purple Door - can assist you in career research and finding employment opportunities. 

The Graduate School Development Programme offers a series of dedicated workshops on career planning, specifically for research degree students. You will also have access to consultations with careers advisers or online support. This service is available for five years after graduation.


Doctoral graduates are highly-skilled researchers that make an impact in a range of sectors. They benefit from high employment rates and, on average, earn more than holders of undergraduate and Masters degrees. A doctorate demonstrates to employers that you are intelligent, capable and motivated, and that you have advanced technical and research skills.

In addition to supervision from experts in the field, you will be supported to become an internationally employable doctoral graduate. You will also develop skills that are desirable to employers including critical thinking, problem-solving, project management, communication, leadership and creativity.

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