MPhil/PhD Life Sciences

Many of our academics publish their findings widely, contribute to policy advisory bodies and regularly communicate science to the general public.

The Course

Our MPhil/PhD in Life Sciences is a cross-disciplinary research programme designed to enable you to develop your research skills by focusing on a specialist set of research questions. Research expertise within the School encompasses a wide range of areas including animal behaviour, cognition and welfare, biomedical science, biochemistry, evolution and ecology.

You can benefit from training courses provided by the University to develop key skills in research. Under the guidance and advice from your PhD supervisors you will be encouraged to present talks and seminars on your work both at the University of Lincoln as well at national and international meetings and conferences. Under the guidance of your PhD supervisors you will also be expected to produce progress reports, develop your ability to write up your work for publication in peer-reviewed journals, and ultimately to effectively communicate your research and thesis.

This MPhil/PhD programme is designed to teach you more than just how to conduct scientific research, it also aims to develop your ability to communicate your findings effectively.

Beyond learning how do conduct solid research science, and the specialist skills that you are expected to develop due to your subject discipline (e.g. how to work in a molecular laboratory or conduct animal cognition experiments) the process of studying for a research degree can provide transferable skills in problem solving, time management, independent and team work, and communication.

This research programme relies on your independent study and research, supervised by an advisory panel of academic staff. The nature of this research will be specific to the subject. A PhD programme is expected to investigate a novel question and provide a novel contribution to science.

Most students are initially enrolled on an MPhil programme. After one year, if sufficient progress can be demonstrated, students have the option to transfer to a PhD programme.

Due to the nature of postgraduate research programmes, the vast majority of your time will be spent in independent study and research. You will have meetings with your academic supervisors, however the regularity of these may vary depending on your own individual requirements, subject area, staff availability and the stage of your programme.

Each student will have at least one monthly formal meeting with their supervisors where progress will be discussed. After three months you are expected to provide an outline of your research proposal, which will be evaluated. After the first year you may apply for transfer to a PhD programme via a written report and you will be orally examined.

Both the MPhil and PhD are awarded based on the quality of your thesis and your ability in an oral examination (viva voce) to present and successfully defend your chosen research topic. You are also expected to demonstrate how your research findings have contributed to knowledge or developed existing theory or understanding.

The key to a successful MPhil/PhD programme is to find a research subject that you are passionate about, and a supervisory team that have the expertise in this area. The first thing that all students interested in studying toward this MPhil/PhD in Life Sciences should do is directly contact a member of staff who works in an area that you are interested in.

We have wide areas of expertise in the School spanning animal behaviour and welfare, drug design and delivery, evolution and ecology, forensic anthropology, the molecular basis of disease, and more.

Please visit the Research pages of the School to find the areas you are interested in, and then identify potential academic supervisors:

You are invited to contact the supervisors that you feel are best suited to your research area to discuss the process further.

Enrolment Dates

To support your experience within the postgraduate research community, new students are encouraged to enrol in October, February or May.

In addition to meeting peers across the University who are starting their research programme at the same time, there is access to a central training programme designed around the first three months of study, and targeted support aligned to each stage of the postgraduate research journey. Alternative enrolment dates may be agreed with your supervisor on an individual basis.

Academic Contact:

Dr Anna Wilkinson

Postgraduate Research Lead

+44(0)1522 835465

2018/19 Entry*Full-timePart-time
Home/EU £4,260 £2,130
(including Alumni Scholarship** 25% reduction)
£3,195 £1,598
International £15,300 £7,650
(Including International Alumni / Global Postgraduate Scholarship £2,000 reduction)***
£13,300 £6,650
Thesis Pending Home/EU (MPhil/PhD only) £682 £682
Thesis Pending International (MPhil/PhD only) £2,219 £2,219

* Academic year August - July
** UoL Alumni students only enrolling on to a Postgraduate Research programme. 25% Offset against the tuition fee payable for each year of study.
*** All International students holding a UoL degree when enrolling on a PG programme. First year’s fees only.

Research students may be required to pay additional fees in addition to cover the cost of specialist resources, equipment and access to any specialist collections that may be required to support their research project. These will be informed by the research proposal submitted and will be calculated on an individual basis. Any additional fees will be outlined in your offer letter, prior to accepting your place at the University of Lincoln.

Guidance for Postgraduate Fees

Postgraduate Research

Full time and part time postgraduate research students will be invoiced the published set fee each academic year enrolled, up to the point of thesis submission.

Upon first enrolment, the full set fee is payable.

All continuing students are required to re-enrol on their anniversary of their first enrolment. The relevant set full time or part time fee is payable by all continuing students on re-enrolment.

A reduced ‘writing-up’ fee in the 12 month period prior to thesis submission may be applicable subject to your progress. After your Viva Voce examination, additional fees will be payable if a second Viva Voce examination is required.

For further information and for details about funding your study, scholarships and bursaries, please see our Postgraduate Fees & Funding pages [].

First or upper second class honours degree in a relevant subject.

International Students will require English Language at IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in each element, or equivalent.

Learn from Experts

Throughout this degree, students may receive tuition from professors, senior lecturers, lecturers, researchers, practitioners, visiting experts or technicians, and they may also be supported in their learning by other students.

Academic Contact

Dr Anna Wilkinson, Postgraduate Research Lead Contact: +44(0)1522 835465

Your Future Career


At Lincoln, we constantly invest in our campus as we aim to provide the best learning environment for our students. Whatever the area of study, the University strives to ensure students have access to specialist equipment and resources, to develop the skills, which they may need in their future career.

Minster House, adjacent to the laboratories, provides specialist facilities for the study of animal behaviour. Our links with local, national and international partners may provide postgraduate students with opportunities for further collaboration with scientists in industry, government and academia.

Our School of Life Sciences' courses are based in The Joseph Banks Laboratories and Minster House, the first buildings of the Lincoln Science and Innovation Park. These are in addition to our fantastic purpose-built Science Building, and is a direct example of our growth as a School over recent years.

The University intends to provide its courses as outlined in these pages, although the University may make changes in accordance with the Student Admissions Terms and Conditions.