PhD/MPhil Medical Virology / Programme details

Year of entry: 2024

Programme description

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

Medical Virology is an important and rapidly expanding field with sensitive molecular techniques leading to the discovery of many new viruses. Dramatic outbreaks of zoonotic virus infections (e.g. Ebola, MERS, SARS, Nipah, etc.,) are regularly seen and changes in climate, society habits, and medical practice have allowed newly emerging and re-emerging viral diseases to spread.

Control of viral disease is challenging; there are currently no antiviral compounds that have truly broad-spectrum activity so preventing and controlling infection is vital. Modern, rapid methods of diagnosis help us to understand the pathogenesis of virus infections, and more and more vaccines and antivirals are being developed and utilized. 

Current research interests include congenital infections, particularly human cytomegalovirus disease, and blood-borne virus infections such as hepatitis C virus, HIV and human polyomaviruses although these areas are not restrictive and a wide range of viral infections are of interest.

During your PhD you will gain practical laboratory experience in molecular virology, cell culture and serology techniques, and learn how these can be applied to both basic science questions and to solve clinical problems.  We work with collaborators within the University, the local hospital Trusts and with a wide ranging European network of clinical virologists.

Our position at the interface between basic research and clinical medicine allows our PhD programme to:

  • Enable students to learn how to conduct world-leading research in infection and immunity
  • Prepare our students to become independent researchers
  • Foster interdisciplinary research

Special features

Training and development

All of our postgraduate researchers attend the Doctoral Academy Training Programme delivered by the Researcher Development team . The programme provides key transferable skills and equips our postgraduate researchers 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.

Teaching and learning

PhD/MPhil programmes are based on individual research projects that last three to four years (PhD) or one to two years (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 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.  

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 undertake a postgraduate research degree at Manchester on the Doctoral Academy Blog and the support available through our Faculty Doctoral Academy.


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: