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Course options

  • Qualification

    PhD/DPhil - Doctor of Philosophy

  • Location

    Aberystwyth University

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date


  • Duration

    3 years

Course summary

The Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS), Aberystwyth University is an internationally recognised centre of research and teaching excellence.

Providing a unique base for research in response to global challenges such as food security, bioenergy and sustainability, and the impacts of climate change, IBERS' scientists conduct research on genes and molecules, whole organisms and the environment. Approximately 300 research, teaching and support staff provide high level research and skills training. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework assessment, IBERS was placed in the top 10 universities in the UK for research intensity.

There is formal collaboration with the College of Natural Sciences in Bangor University which links the processes and results of our scientific investigations to the work of social scientists in both locations. This enables us to inform policy on the rural economy and on rural communities.

The Institute offers numerous research opportunities in many areas of biological, environmental and rural sciences.


Postgraduate students are assigned a supervisory team that have overall responsibility for their day-to-day welfare and provide guidance for research activities. In particular, the supervisory team includes a dedicated Assessor who provides additional support and has a role in providing an objective opinion on research progress to the Faculty and the Board of Postgraduate Studies as required by the University-wide integrated Postgraduate Monitoring Scheme. Although successful postgraduate research depends on the effort and application of the individual student, the researcher also needs a wide range of skills and access to specialist techniques and databases. Research is a collaborative exercise and postgraduate students typically interact with other academic staff and postgraduates in other fields. Indeed, students are encouraged to take an interest in the full breadth of research at the Institute, to join scientific societies relevant to their research interests and to participate in national and international meetings.

Our Staff

The majority of teaching staff at the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences are qualified to PhD level and are research active. Vocational courses also have staff whose background lies within industry. The Institute has a large number of research only staff with whom students may have contact.


Formal training is given to all postgraduates in Aberystwyth. In addition, modules are made available within IBERS that are designed to maximise research experience and to develop transferable, professional and interpersonal skills. These modules help students improve competence in written, oral and visual communication skills, as well as help develop a broader understanding of the spectrum of skills required to be truly effective as a researcher, including experimental design and data analysis. These modules are designed to meet the training requirements of the UK Research Councils and other funding bodies.

Tuition fees

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University information

Aberystwyth University

  • University League Table


  • Campus address

    Aberystwyth University, Penglais, Aberystwyth, United Kingdom, SY23 3FL, Wales

Over 100 nationalities are represented on campus, creating a truly multicultural and cosmopolitan learning environment.
The university’s research is internationally recognised. Some departments work with global organisation such as NASA and the UN.
Aberystwyth University has been welcoming students from all over the world since 1872, drawn by its reputation for teaching excellence.

Subject rankings

  • Subject ranking

    37th out of 103 8

  • Entry standards

    / Max 240
    119 52%


  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    76 76%


  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5
    4.31 86%



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