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Courses starting in 2023


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Course options

  • Qualification

    PhD/DPhil - Doctor of Philosophy

  • Location

    Royal Holloway, University of London

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date


  • Duration

    3 years

Course summary

About us

Internationally recognised for the quality of teaching and world-leading research, the Department of Biological Sciences at Royal Holloway is a dynamic and friendly place to study. We currently admit around 180 undergraduate students each year and about 50-60 postgraduate research students across a wide variety of laboratory and field-based research training courses.

As a vibrant scientific community, our research is grouped into three major areas: Biomedical Sciences, Plant Molecular Sciences, and Ecology Evolution and Behaviour. The department is also host to the Institute of Cardiovascular Research and Centre for Systems and Synthetic Biology and the Centre of Gene and Cell Therapy.

Our research is funded by Research Councils, charities, government agencies, a wide range of other commercial, environmental and research organisations. Research collaborations take place through projects right across the department. Our widely published research teams are well known for pioneering work in molecular genetics, gene and cell therapy, our research into bipolar disorder, evolutionary and conservation ecology, biodiversity, mathematical epidemiology, plant biotechnology and seed biology. Our postgraduate research students regularly report their research findings, both nationally and internationally in symposia and publications.

Research facilities and environment

The research centre for Biomedical Sciences focuses on fundamental and applied research into the molecular mechanisms of disease and addresses biological hypotheses that are relevant for a wide range of human and animal diseases. The research centre for Plant Molecular Sciences focuses on fundamental research related to plant development, stress to the environment and pathogens, seed biology to address major issues for producing healthy seeds and food for the world, using innovative yet simple solutions, making an impact on what people eat; while exploring new state of the art molecular and analytical approaches. In the Ecology Evolution and Behaviour we study the way that organisms react, adapt and interact. We work with a range of living systems, from microbes to mammals, addressing long-standing and emergent biological problems. The department has established a reputation for fundamental field-based research. Our research is supported with the state-of-the-art molecular and mathematical techniques.

Research groups in the department have active interdisciplinary collaborations with numerous industrial partners in NHS, pharmaceutical and agrochemical companies and with many academic institutions and universities in UK and worldwide.


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) involves between two and three calendar years of full-time period study or the part-time equivalent. Assessment for the award is on the basis of a written thesis consisting of the candidate's own account of his/her investigations and an oral examination. The length of the Thesis shall not exceed 100,000 words.

Your future career

Our graduates have entered into a wide range of interesting careers, within academia and beyond, including Post-Doctoral and Lecturer positions in Academia in the UK and abroad, staff scientist positions in pharmaceutical and other private sector companies, biopharmaceutical consultancy, a range of managerial and marketing positions, Clinical trials coordinators, Editorial positions with science publishers to name a few.

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 24,200per year

Tuition fees shown are for indicative purposes and may vary. Please check with the institution for most up to date details.

University information

University image

Royal Holloway, University of London

  • University League Table


  • Campus address

    Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, Surrey, TW20 0EX, England

Learn from top experts: Royal Holloway is in the UK’s top 25 universities for research (Complete University Guide).
International collaborations: successful partnerships and sponsorship from industry and governments, leading to first-class career opportunities.
Close-knit community with specific support for international students as well as financial support through a generous package of scholarships and bursaries.

Subject rankings

  • Subject ranking

    31st out of 100 12

  • Entry standards

    / Max 240
    121 54%


  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    78.0 78%


  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5
    3.93 79%



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