Plant Sciences at University of Cambridge - UCAS

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Course summary

The Department of Plant Sciences is an outstanding University Centre for research in plant and microbial sciences. It offers unrivalled research and training opportunities in the following areas of plant and microbial science:

  • Cell function & responses to the environment
  • Developmental biology & signalling
  • Genetics and epigenetics
  • Ecosystem function and conservation
  • Evolution and diversity
  • Microbiology & biotic interactions
  • Plant pathology and epidemiology
  • Systems and mathematical biology
  • Enhancing photosynthesis
  • Biotechnology and engineering
The Crop Science Centre is an alliance between the University of Cambridge’s Department of Plant Sciences and the crop research organisation NIAB. The Centre will serve as a global hub for crop science research and a base for collaborations with research partners around the world. The degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is the University's principal research degree. A PhD in Plant Sciences takes three to four years of full-time study to complete and consists of research and courses as required under academic supervision. Applicants should contact a potential supervisor before proceeding with their PhD application. You can browse the personal/group pages of the Research Group Leaders to check details of their research. The aim of PhD training is to develop both a deep theoretical and practical understanding through research into aspects of Plant Sciences, augmented by appropriate lecture courses delivered within the Department, or more generally across the Postgraduate School of Life Sciences. The course provides training in a wide range of disciplines, which can include plant genetic engineering, plant development, plant molecular biology, plant biophysics, plant biochemistry, plant-microbe interactions, algal microbiology, plant ecology, crop biology, plant virology, plant epigenetics, epidemiology, plant taxonomy, plant physiology, eco-physiology and bioinformatics. Having identified a research area of interest and contacted the appropriate supervisor, the first stage in developing an application should be to draft an appropriate research summary of the training to be undertaken. Full-time PhD students must submit a thesis for examination by the end of their fourth year of study, although we encourage students and their supervisors to complete the thesis and submit within the period of funding support which, depending on the programme, may range from three to four years. All postgraduate students attend induction and safety training courses in the Department. As well as undertaking their research, students will attend courses and lectures on some of the following: instrumentation, sequencing and database use, statistics, experimental design, analysing data, writing reports and a thesis, and how to give effective scientific presentations. Students are expected to take part in the Postgraduate School of Life Sciences' Researcher Development Programme. Students receive termly reports on their work.

Assessment method

Research project.

Entry requirements

Applicants for this course should have achieved a UK Good II.i Honours Degree. If your degree is not from the UK, please check International Qualifications to find the equivalent in your country.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

International £25104 Year 1
England £7626 Year 1
Scotland £7626 Year 1
Wales £7626 Year 1
Northern Ireland £7626 Year 1

Tuition fee status depends on a number of criteria and varies according to where in the UK you will study. For further guidance on the criteria for home or overseas tuition fees, please refer to the UKCISA website .

Additional fee information

No additional fees or cost information has been supplied for this course, please contact the provider directly.

Sponsorship information

Students are welcome to apply through research council funding schemes, such as the Cambridge NERC DTP. In some years students may be eligible to apply for the Lewin-Fritsch Studentship for algal research or the A.J. Keith Studentship. For details please see the Department website. Individual supervisors may hold grant-linked or CASE studentships. Please contact supervisors directly to inquire into availability.

Plant Sciences at University of Cambridge - UCAS