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Postgraduate Study

Biosciences is a vibrant, research-led department with a focus on the science underpinning global challenges. 

We support a broad-based, sustainability-centred research strategy, informed by scientific advances and national and international priorities. We focus on the science underpinning global challenges in climate change, food security, global health, sustainable bio-manufacturing, biodiversity and replacing animal models in research. In this time of change the study of the biosciences has never been more important.

We have a dynamic community of over one-hundred postgraduate students, who come from all over the world to conduct their research and develop their skills. Research covers the breadth of the biological sciences, and is supported by outstanding research infrastructure in genomics, bioimaging and mass spectrometry, and plant and animal growth facilities. We encourage prospective PhD students to make informal contact with potential supervisors to discuss their interests at an early stage.

We offer two research degrees, PhD (by research) and MSc (by research), and the new taught MSc in Plant Biotechnology and Enterprise.

Nerve cells derived from human stem cells

At Durham, we provide an outstanding environment for research and education in animal, plant and bacterial biology encompassing expertise from the atomic to whole ecosystem scale. Trained by Durham Biosciences in the skills and knowledge required, our students are able to succeed in a wide range of careers or training environments and help society tackle the challenges for the future.

Professor Martin Cann
Head of Department

Study options

We offer two postgraduate study options:

  • Taught MSc degree
  • Research degrees; both PhD and Masters by Research
  • Taught Degree

    Join the next generation of scientists and entrepreneurs on our new MSc in Plant Biotechnology and Enterprise
    Cellular and molecular biology
  • Research Degrees

    Pursue your research interest on either our PhD or Masters by Research

Taught Degree

Join the next generation of scientists and entrepreneurs on our new MSc in Plant Biotechnology and Enterprise
Cellular and molecular biology

Research Degrees

Pursue your research interest on either our PhD or Masters by Research
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Our seminar series

Our Students and Staff enjoy attending and participating in our Departmental Seminar series, covering a wide range of biological topics. The seminars give us more opportunities to share, discover, and join in with lively discussions.

Find out more

What's new?

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Natal origin of Namibian grey whale implies new distance record for in-water migration

Congratulations to Professor Rus Hoelzel on his recent research published in Biology Letters which also features in several news articles!

Climate variability may delay post-fire recovery of boreal forest in southern Siberia, Russia.

Prolonged dry periods and increased temperatures that result from anthropogenic climate change have been shown to increase the frequency and severity of wildfires in the boreal region. There is growing evidence that such changes in fire regime can reduce forest resilience and drive shifts in post-fire plant successional trajectories.

Natal origin of Namibian grey whale implies new distance record for in-water migration

Congratulations to Professor Rus Hoelzel on his recent research published in Biology Letters which also features in several news articles!

Climate variability may delay post-fire recovery of boreal forest in southern Siberia, Russia.

Prolonged dry periods and increased temperatures that result from anthropogenic climate change have been shown to increase the frequency and severity of wildfires in the boreal region. There is growing evidence that such changes in fire regime can reduce forest resilience and drive shifts in post-fire plant successional trajectories.