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Cellular Structural Biology DPhil

University of Oxford

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Course options

  • Qualification

    PhD/DPhil - Doctor of Philosophy

  • Location

    University of Oxford

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date


  • Duration

    4 years

Course summary

About the course

The DPhil in Cellular Structural Biology is jointly organised by the University of Oxford, Diamond Light Source and the Rosalind Franklin Institute. It provides outstanding training in structural biology methodology, allowing students to apply their knowledge to methods development or to the study of important molecular and cellular systems.

Students spend the first year learning a range of structural biology techniques, undertaking two five-month projects in different laboratories and following taught courses. We encourage students to learn two of the major structural biology techniques during these two projects.

Students then spend years two to four of the programme primarily engaged in their research projects. They have the opportunity to work with outstanding structural biologists, continuing to develop structural methods, or to investigate the molecular basis for cellular processes, including in infection or membrane biology. Collaborative projects are highly encouraged, with students building supervisory teams, which contain their primary structural biology supervisor as well as others with expertise in complementary methods or particular biological questions.

Training in key research techniques should include.

  • X-ray crystallography
  • nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy
  • electron cryo-microscopy and electron tomography
  • synchrotron radiation and integrative structural biology
  • high-resolution light microscopy
  • computational biochemistry and molecular simulations.


All students will be initially admitted to the status of Probationer Research Student (PRS). Within a maximum of six terms as a PRS student you will be expected to apply for transfer of status from Probationer Research Student to DPhil status.

A successful transfer of status from PRS to DPhil status will require the submission of a report on progress to date on research and future plans. Students who are successful at transfer will also be expected to apply for and gain confirmation of DPhil status within ten terms of admission, to show that your work continues to be on track.

Graduate destinations

Our programme prepares students for a wide range of future careers, providing project management experience, programming skills, and the experience of working in a precise and numerically rigorous scientific field. We equip and support our students to transition to careers in academia, industry and beyond, while ensuring that we train a cohort to continue to apply and to develop structural biology into the future.

Many graduates from this programme continue in research in prestigious laboratories worldwide and are now world-leading researchers, either as senior group leaders or in established academic posts. Many are leaders in research and development in industrial settings. Other graduates are in a wide range of different careers, including medicine, scientific administration, health management, consultancy, patent law and the civil service.

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 27,460per 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 of Oxford

  • University League Table


  • Campus address

    University of Oxford, University Offices, Wellington Square, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1 2JD, England

Subject rankings

  • Subject ranking

    2nd out of 100

  • Entry standards

    / Max 240
    199 90%


  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    88.0 88%


  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5

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