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PhD/MPhil Cell Biology / Programme details

Year of entry: 2020

Programme description

Our PhD/MPhil Cell Biology programme enables you to undertake a research project that will improve understanding of Cell Biology.

Advances in cell biology are at the cutting edge of biological research. The Faculty has considerable breadth and expertise underpinned by state-of-the-art facilities in confocal, electron and light microscopy.

Research is focused on understanding the molecular basis of cell division, signal transduction, organelle biogenesis and protein targeting, differentiation, adhesion and secretion. These investigations are carried out using a diversity of model animal, plant and microbial systems such as Drosophila, Caenorhabditis elegans, Xenopus, Arabidopsis thaliana, E. coli and yeasts, along with mammals, parasites and crops.

Examples of research topics include:

  • cytoskeleton and control of the cell cycle;
  • molecular mechanisms of chromosome segregation;
  • mechanisms of transcription and DNA repair;
  • animal and plant apoptosis;
  • tissue development;
  • protein targeting;
  • protein translation, translocation and secretion;
  • adhesion and the extracellular matrix;
  • cellular responses to stress:
  • vascular development in plants;
  • ultrastructure of eukaryotic microbes and fungi;
  • host immune responses.

Special features

Training and development

All of our postgraduate research students attend the Doctoral Academy Training Programme delivered by the Centre for Academic and Researcher Development (CARD).

The programme provides key transferable skills in areas such as commercial awareness, academic writing and public engagement. This training equips our postgraduates with the tools to progress beyond their research degree into influential positions within academia, industry and consultancy.

The emphasis is on enhancing skills critical to developing early-stage researchers and professionals, whether they relate to effective communication, disseminating research findings and project management skills.

See the  training and development  page for more information.

Teaching and learning

PhD/MPhil programmes are based on individual research projects that last three to four years (PhD) or one year (MPhil), working with a specific Primary Supervisor and Co-Supervisor(s).

Applicants are specifically matched with a Primary Supervisor and individual project based on their research interests and background.

International applicants interested in this research area can also consider the our PhD programme with integrated teaching certificate .

This unique programme will enable you to gain a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning, whilst also carrying out independent research on your chosen project.

Scholarships and bursaries

Funded programmes and projects are promoted throughout the year. Funding is available through UK Research Councils, charities and industry. We also have other internal awards and scholarships for the most outstanding applicants from within the UK, EU and overseas.

For more information on available the types of funding we have available, please visit the  funded programmes  and  funding opportunities  pages.

What our students say

Find out more about what it's like to study at Manchester on the   Doctoral Academy Blog .


You will have access to a range of  research and learning facilities  across the University and at some of our partner organisations.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: