2020 applicants
Postgraduate Research Course

PhD Microbiology

PhD Microbiology

Overview

The details
Microbiology
October 2020
Full-time
4 years
Colchester Campus

Research in our School of Life Sciences covers a wide spectrum of biology from genes to ecosystems, and this broad-based structure provides opportunities for developing novel ideas and inter-disciplinary projects. We offer supervision in a wide range of topics in microbiology, ranging from medical microbiology to environmental microbiology and from biochemical and genomic analysis of single species to whole communities.

As a research student at Essex, you’ll work at the heart of our internationally acknowledged and well-connected research community. We offer world-class supervision and training opportunities, and encourage you to engage with other researchers, professionals, practitioners and research users, where possible for example using the generous funding from Proficio to attend conferences and training courses.

Part-time research study is also available. You can start this degree in October, January or April. An MPhil and MSD are also available.

Why we're great.
  • Collaborate alongside our research groups working on important international and national problems using cutting-edge techniques
  • You will be part of our collaborative Research Groups that work on important international and national problems using cutting-edge techniques, and who have strong links with a range of organisations such as the NHS, Public Health England, the Environment Agency, Cefas, Defra, oil companies and Anglian Water
  • The quality of our work is reflected in the large number of publications in high-profile academic journals our staff feature in
THE Awards 2018 - Winner University of the Year

Our expert staff

Within our School of Life Sciences, you will be allocated a supervisor whose role it is to guide you through the different stages of your research degree. In some cases, you may be jointly supervised.

The support provided by your supervisor is a key feature of your research student experience and you will have regular one-to-one meetings to discuss progress on your research. Initially, your supervisor will help you develop your research topic and plan.

Twice a year, you will have a supervisory board meeting, which provides a more formal opportunity to discuss your progress and agree your plans for the next six months.

Your technical and intellectual development will be enhanced by becoming part of a Research Group, and participating in School Seminars.

Specialist facilities

Our School of Life Sciences provides a comprehensive range of facilities for medical and environmental microbiology research which include fully automated laboratories with robotic liquid-handling systems and facilities for microbial culture, cell culture, molecular biology, gene editing and next-generation sequence analysis and an advanced bioimaging suite to visualise and process analyse images of biological processes in real time.

A dedicated study room allows all our postgraduate research students to have access to a desk and a computer outside of the research laboratories. This provides a focal point for our postgraduates, facilitating reading and writing as well as good communication and a sense of community.

Your future

Many of our postgraduates continue their scientific research by taking up postdoctoral positions in the UK and overseas. Others have embarked on careers in biomedical laboratories and in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, or governmental and non-governmental organisations. We support your career development by a mentoring scheme and employability events.

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

You will need a good honours degree or a Masters degree, or equivalent, in a related subject. A well-developed research proposal is also essential.

You will normally be required to attend an interview/Skype interview for acceptance, and acceptance is subject to research expertise in the department.

International & EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here. Please select your country page where you'll find this information.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, we require IELTS 6.5 overall, or equivalent, with a score of 5.5 in all other components.

Structure

Example structure

A research degree doesn't have a taught structure, giving you the chance to investigate your chosen topic in real depth and reach a profound understanding. In communicating that understanding, through a thesis or other means, you have a rare opportunity to generate knowledge. A research degree allows you to develop new high-level skills, enhance your professional development and build new networks. It can open doors to many careers.

Assessment

The aim of undertaking your PhD within our School of Life Sciences is to train you to become independent researchers who can critically assess research work, and who have a comprehensive understanding of at least one area of biology.

Our PhD programme is usually three to four years duration and all our students are initially registered as MPhil students, then transfer to the PhD in the first half of their second year of study if they have made satisfactory progress.

Dissertation

Within our School of Life Sciences, you attend two formal supervisory board meetings each year, where you submit literature reviews and research reports to the Board members. At these meetings, the documents are discussed with you and your progress is assessed.

We encourage PhD students to submit within three years and certainly expect completion of PhDs within a four-year period.

Fees and funding

Home/EU fee

£5,103

International fee

£17,900

Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

What's next

Open Days

We hold open days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:

  • tour our campus and accommodation
  • find out answers to your questions about our courses, graduate employability, student support and more
  • talk to our Fees and Funding team about scholarship opportunities
  • meet our students and staff

If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing tours@essex.ac.uk and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.

Applying

You can apply for this postgraduate course online. Before you apply, please check our information about necessary documents that we’ll ask you to provide as part of your application.

We encourage you to make a preliminary enquiry directly to a potential supervisor or the Graduate Administrator within your chosen Department or School. We encourage the consideration of a brief research proposal prior to the submission of a full application.

We aim to respond to applications within four weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.

For information on our deadline to apply for this course, please see our ‘how to apply’ information.

Colchester Campus

Visit Colchester Campus

Home to 15,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.

The Campus is set within 200 acres of beautiful parkland, located two miles from the historic town centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded town. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.

 

Virtual tours

If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.

Exhibitions

Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.

At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.


Find out more

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

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