PhD/MPhil Dermatological Sciences / Programme details

Year of entry: 2021

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Programme description

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

Research in The Dermatology Centre is undertaken by established groups and independent researchers investigating a wide array of skin conditions ranging from psoriasis, skin cancer, photodermatoses, inflammatory hair disease, wound healing and skin ageing to the psychological morbidity of living with skin disease.

Specific researchers have varying interests within each of these conditions such as genetics, genomics and immunological basis of disease, epidemiology, the brain skin axis and psychological investigations of disease burden, which adds to the wide array of available postgraduate research study options.

We have a strong track record of training postgraduate research students and all our staff have a hands on approach to supervision.

Training and mentorship is a strength of the supervisors in the centre and is specifically directed at all levels of career development. You will gain training in skill sets relevant to your studies and are encouraged to take part in patient/public engagement and involvement activities (PPE/I) to discuss your research with members of the general public and patients.

The Dermatology Centre has a high success rate of securing funding from research councils such as the Medical Research Council, National Institute for Health Research, British Skin Foundation and Psoriasis Association.

Examples of recent PhDs are below.


  • Defining the key biological and genetic mechanisms involved in psoriasis.
  • The role of mast cell tryptase in psoriatic itch.
  • Statistical approaches to the integration of electronic health records and genetics for understanding disease risk and its application to psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
  • Risk and predictors of infections in psoriasis patients exposed to biologic therapy: a prospective observational cohort study in the British Association of Dermatologists' Biologic Interventions Register (BADBIR)
  • The role of exercise on cardiovascular disease risk in psoriasis.

Photodermatoses and ultraviolet radiation

  • Identification and characterisation of photosensitivity in the connective tissue disorders
  • Prevalence of drug-induced photosensitivity
  • Vitamin D synthesis in ageing skin
  • Characterisation of the effects of ultraviolet radiation on tight junction proteins.
  • Epigenetic determinants of optimal skin response to UV radiation
  • Prevention and treatment of basal cell carcinoma and other keratinocyte cancers
  • The interaction of UV, the microbiome and the skin

Hair follicle biology and pathology

  • Examining mechanisms underlying anagen associated acceleration of wound repair.
  • Role of adipocytes in human hair follicle cycling.
  • Localisation and characterisation of stem cells in the ageing human hair follicle.
  • Role of immunocytes in human hair follicle growth and disease.
  • Role of clock genes in the control of human hair growth and pigmentation.

Skin immunology and ageing

  • Skin immune cell interactions in health and disease with emphasis on mast cells.
  • Ageing: Cutaneous consequences of fibrillin microfibril remodelling.
  • Ageing: The role of oxidation and UV sensitive proteins.
  • A study of fibrillin microfibril degradation on ECM remodelling in ageing.

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 and overseas (including EU nationals).

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: