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PhD (School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences)

Duration: 3-4 years
Attendance mode: Full-time
Award: Doctorate
Suitable for international students
Start date: October, February
Faculty of Life Sciences
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Apply to study your PhD at the Bradford School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, which encompasses multidisciplinary research in the Centre of Pharmaceutical Engineering Science and is also research active in the following areas:

  • Education Innovation Research & Development
  • Medicines Development and Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Medicines Optimisation
  • Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
  • Institute of Cancer Therapeutics

See our PhD Research page to view a range of funded (research council, charity, industry) and self-funded projects under each theme. You are welcome to contact the listed supervisors before submitting your applications - contact details are listed under each project. 

The most recent Research Excellence Framework (2014) rated 92% of our research as of international quality/world-leading.

We welcome applications for postgraduate research degrees all year round, and will consider alternative starting dates when the timing doesn't fit with our two enrolment intake dates: October and February.

Why Bradford?

Bradford is a research-active university supporting high-quality research from its academics and postgraduate students.

We look for opportunities to apply our research to industry by working with employers and organisations world-wide across the private, public, voluntary and community sectors.

We actively encourage and support engagement incentives in research and business development activities.

Entry requirements

Faculty research is very important and recruitment of high quality postgraduate research students is a key part of the Faculty of Life Sciences strategic plan.

Selection of PGR students will be subject to successful interview (either in person or by skype or conference call) by the supervisory team and one independent member of academic staff with significant PGR supervisory experience.

See specific entry requirements on the individual project pages.

English language requirements:

If English is not your first language, we ask for a minimum standard entry requirement of 6.0 IELTS (with sub tests not lower than 5.5).

The certificate must have been gained within two years of the proposed start date.

If you do not meet the IELTS requirement, you can take a University of Bradford pre-sessional English course. See the Language Centre for more details.


The modules for this course can be found in the latest programme specification.

Reading lists

All reading lists can be found here.

Learning activities and assessment

We aim to train multidisciplinary researchers capable of working as independent investigators and/or academics across the public and private sectors. Each individual team member is encouraged to expand their horizons overarching various aspects of pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacy practice.
The Faculty of Life Sciences is the largest in the University with an active PGR community. The University strategy is implemented at Faculty level within an institutional PGR Framework and is in line with QAA/RCUK recommendations. Each PGR student is a member of Bradford School of Pharmacy affiliated to a one of our research groups. PGR students are allocated to the supervisory team comprising of the principal investigator of the project and the second supervisor. 

Students are required to undertake training in scientific writing, producing a critical appraisal of research in their field within their first 6 months and additionally have access to Masters (level 7) modules to enhance skills relevant to their project such as for example: separation techniques (HPLC), spectroscopic methods (FTIR, RAMAN), structural crystallography and others. Throughout the course of study, students are responsible for developing a Personal Development Folder which incorporates monitoring and progression requirements as well as generic and specific training records.
Throughout the programme students have several opportunities to present their work to their peers within the faculty at regular research seminar series, and at a dedicated Symposium aligned with the Faculty Research Open Day.

Career support and prospects

Career support

The University is committed to helping students develop and enhance employability and this is an integral part of many programmes. Specialist support is available throughout the course from Career and Employability Services including help to find part-time work while studying, placements, vacation work and graduate vacancies. Students are encouraged to access this support at an early stage and to use the extensive resources on the Careers website.

Discussing options with specialist advisers helps to clarify plans through exploring options and refining skills of job-hunting. In most of our programmes there is direct input by Career Development Advisers into the curriculum or through specially arranged workshops.

Career prospects

Many of our graduates find employment as post-doctoral research and development scientists, analytical scientists in the chemical, pharmaceutical, and nutraceutical industries, research managers, academics, clinical researchers in the NHS and other managed care organisations, in the UK, the EU and overseas. 

Study Support

When you join the University of Bradford you will take part in both a University wide and a faculty based Induction Programme, which is a requirement for all full-time and part-time research students. This will help you understand the academic and social environment here, and give you an introduction to all the services, support and training available to you.

The University induction provides students with information on student support systems, library services and the availability of central training courses covering areas such as general statistics, referencing, IT and communication skills (abstract and report writing, presentation in local research seminars, attendance and presentation on external conferences as well graduate teaching assistant training).

Following this you would also undertake a comprehensive induction programme organised by the Faculty of Life Sciences.

Postdoctoral Researchers follow a career staff development plan including the “Realising Your Research Potential” cohort training programme. This programme has been developed for early career researchers and academics who have the interest and potential to engage in research activity. Training is aimed to help kick-start their research career by development of the skills needed as well as connecting PDRs to a network of colleagues from across the University including access to the University-wide events currently organised in our annual seminar programme: Costing your Research Grant, Research Ethics Approval Process, European funding - visit by UKRO Representative, Winning Grant Funding, Research Professional Workshop, Knowledge Transfer Partnership Information Session and Yorkshire Innovation Fund Information Session.

Students are supported by Personal Academic Advisors.

We use Training Needs Analysis to determine an individualised programme of generic and discipline specific training.

The institution also subscribes to the Vitae Research Development Framework Planner which all students are encouraged to engage with. Training opportunities are advertised throughout the academic year on the PGR website. The Faculty of Life Sciences offers both scientific generic and specialised training courses in house (ethical considerations, data analysis, personal development and employability) and facilitates attendance at external courses. 


Medicines Development and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Research facilities of MDPS research group are located in state-of-the-art laboratories located in the Norcroft Building.

Research spaces are close to the facilities of the Research Analytical Centre and are shared with the Centre for Pharmaceutical Engineering Science, directed by Professor Anant Paradkar.

Our core processing facilities include: spray driers, freeze dryer, planetary mill, mixer mill, tablet press, high share granulator,fluid bed coater and hot melt extruders.

Analytical equipment comprises inversed gas chromatography, dynamic vapour sorption, spectrometers (FTIR, RAMAN), HPLCs with DAD, UV and spectrofluorometric detectors, UPLC, X-ray powder diffraction and single crystal instruments as well as thermal analyses suit: differential scanning calorimeter, thermogravimetric analysis instruments with autosamplers as well as dynamic mechanical analyser.

Researchers have direct access to scanning electron microscope.


Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics

In addition to capabilities for molecular and cellular biology, the core facility includes shared technological platforms: these include cell culture facilities, and industry standard Flexstation 3 and luminometer technologies for plate-based assays, high-throughput immunoblotting and imaging, an electrophysiology suite and image analysis.

The group also has access to the Bio-imaging suite (live imaging, confocal, light microscopy, laser dissection microscopy, electron microscopy), Biological Services Unit (maintaining mouse breeding colonies, including transgenics) and has access to FACS, proteomics, chemical synthesis, ADME and Analytical Centre facilities.


Fees, Finance and Scholarships

Tuition fees

2017/18 entry:

  • Home/EU full-time: £4,195
  • International full-time: £17,600 (There may be an additional bench fee of £5,000 or £10,000 dependent on the research project. This will be determined by the Faculty at the point of application)

*Fees are per year and increase with inflation.

See the Fees and Financial Support website for more information:

2016/17 entry:

  • Home/EU full-time: £4,120
  • International full-time: £17,000 (dependent on laboratory components involved)

*Fees are per year and increase with inflation.

See the Fees and Financial Support website for more information:

Tuition fees are subject to review for students starting their course in subsequent years. See our Fees and Financial Support website for more details.

Financial support

From time to time we have funded postgraduate study opportunities available for particular projects.

In general, you would organise your own funding. Information about scholarships and bursaries can be found on our University Scholarships and Support website.

How do I find out more?

Contact the Faculty

See the available projects on our PhD Research page. You are welcome to contact supervisors to discuss projects before applying - contact details are on the project pages.

Steps to Postgraduate Study

Find out more about studying at a postgraduate level on the official, independent website Steps to Postgraduate Study (link opens in new window).

How to apply

Faculty research is very important and recruitment of high quality postgraduate research students is a key part of the Faculty of Life Sciences strategic plan. If you are interested in applying please follow the online application process, selecting one of the available projects on this site.

Supporting documents

Along with an application form the following supporting documents are normally required:

  • Degree certificates/transcripts
  • Two references
  • Evidence of English language (if required)
  • A copy of your passport

If you apply online there is a facility to upload these documents at the end of the process. We prefer you to submit your application form and supporting materials electronically. This will help us to process your application more rapidly.

This is the current course information. Modules and course details may change, subject to the University's programme approval, monitoring and review procedures. The University reserves the right to alter or withdraw courses, services and facilities as described on our website without notice and to amend Ordinances, Regulations, fees and charges at any time. Students should enquire as to the up-to-date position when applying for their course of study.