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Research degrees in Science and Technology PhD

  • Level(s) of Study: Postgraduate research
  • Start Date(s): All year round depending on project.
  • Duration: 2 - 4 years full-time, 4 - 8 years part-time
  • Study Mode(s): Full-time / Part-time
  • Campus: Clifton Campus
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information


The School of Science and Technology at Nottingham Trent University offers opportunities to study for a PhD by research. Supervision is available by full-time or part-time study, and can sometimes be provided by distance learning.

Undertaking a PhD

Nottingham Trent University offers opportunities to study for a PhD by research in all its academic schools. Supervision is available by full-time or part-time study, and can sometimes be provided by distance learning.

Research in the School of Science and Technology is rich and diverse, with staff conducting internationally recognised and world-leading research. Research is clustered in Research Centres and units, providing a focus for different themes with their underpinning platforms:

  • Biomedical Sciences and the John Van Geest Cancer Research Centre -

Internationally excellent research environment - Our Biomedical Research is world-leading and involves staff with broad academic backgrounds, including Biochemistry, Bioinformatics and Biomathematics, Analytical/Synthetic Medicinal Chemistry, Immunology, Microbiology and Pharmacology.

  • Computing and Informatics -

Internationally excellent research impact - The multi-disciplinary research is directed to address important questions and is clustered under three themes: Interactive Systems for cognitive and physical rehabilitation and mental wellbeing; Computational Intelligence and Applications for computationally intelligent methods and techniques; and Intelligent simulation, modelling and networking.

  • Materials and Engineering -

Internationally excellent research environment - Our multidisciplinary Materials and Engineering Research is extremely strong in terms of high-quality outputs, income generation, and international impact.

  • Sport, Health and Performance Enhancement (SHAPE) Research Centre -

Internationally excellent research outputs - Our Sports Science research is multi-disciplinary and is clustered under a number of themes, driven by the Musculoskeletal Physiology, Sports Performance, Exercise and Health and Sport in Society Research Groups.

These research units promote the research excellence and facilities within the School, and stimulate knowledge transfer, innovation and exploitation. They provide strategic direction in research planning and portfolio development, and ensure that mechanisms are in place to nurture research.

Supporting your studies

Carrying out research for a PhD or ProfD requires different skills from undergraduate or taught postgraduate study. You will mostly work on your own research project, but we also emphasise the importance of regular meetings with your supervisory team.

The team consists of a director of studies (who will usually have expertise in your subject area) and at least one other supervisor selected for their complementary expertise such as relevant research methods.

The Doctoral School team will support you from your initial enquiry, through the application process and the various stages of your degree, until your viva voce examination and subsequent graduation. Once you begin your studies, you will have induction sessions to introduce you to the University, help you settle in and meet other researchers.

Researcher training

In addition to studying for a research degree, students undertaking traditional-route PhDs will participate in researcher training. This combines general research training with specific topics associated with your discipline. The training focuses on the requirements of external research funding bodies and government requirements.

We also provide a structured programme of transferable skills training and career development. This is informed by the work of Vitae, the national organisation which supports researchers throughout their careers.

What you’ll study

We offer opportunities for postgraduate research leading to PhD qualifications, by both full and part-time research routes, across the broad subject disciplines within our portfolio. Major areas of research in School of Science and Technology are:

Biomedical and Biological Sciences

  • Bioinformatics and Biomathematics
  • Biotechnology
  • Cancer biology, immunology and vaccines
  • Cell biology
  • Disease mechanisms and age-related diseases
  • Environmental quality
  • Epigenetics
  • Neurobiology and Neurosciences
  • Pharmacology and Toxicology
  • Pathogen Research
  • Personalised Medicine
  • Proteomics and Genomics

Chemistry and Forensic Sciences

  • Chemical Education
  • Analytical and Forensic Science
  • Organic and Medicinal Chemistry
  • Bioinorganic and Materials Chemistry
  • Crystallography of Organic Compounds and Molecular Interaction
  • Drug Delivery and Imaging
  • Supramolecular Chemistry
  • Green Chemistry
  • Catalysis
  • Nano-materials and Nano-chemistry
  • Polymer Chemistry, Composites and Organic Materials
  • Chemometrics and Metabonomics

Computing and Technology

  • Ambient Intelligence
  • Assistive Technologies
  • Computational Intelligence
  • Communication Systems
  • Intelligent Recognition
  • Intelligent Simulation and Modelling
  • Interactive Systems
  • Pervasive Computing
  • Robotics and Cognitive Systems
  • Serious Games

Physics and Mathematics

  • Archeometry and Imaging for Art Conservation
  • Biomedical Mathematics
  • Computational Materials Physics and Modelling
  • Functional and Smart materials (bio, nano, photonic)
  • Graph Theory and Combinatorics
  • Medical and Materials Imaging
  • Optoelectronics, Displays and Flexible Electronics
  • Quantum Information Science
  • Scientific Computing and Computational Statistics
  • Sensors, Acoustics and Vibrometry
  • Surface and Interfacial Science

Sport Science

  • Biomechanics and Neuromechanics
  • Exercise for Health across the Lifespan
  • Impact of Exercise and Diet on Bone and Muscle
  • Nutrition
  • Respiratory Physiology
  • Sports performance of Individuals and Teams
  • Sport and its Role in Society

Don’t just take our word for it, hear from our students themselves

Student Profiles

Kinana Habra

NTU provides specialist support to ensure everybody gets the most out of student life, whether that be health and wellbeing support or opportunities to interact with a diverse set of people.

Staff Profiles

Ahmad Lotfi

Professor and Head of Department

Computer Science

Ahmad Lotfi - Professor of Computational Intelligence and Head of Department of Computer Science

Careers and employability

Your career development

Nottingham Trent University prides itself on the real-world relevance of its courses, and places particular emphasis on helping students to develop the academic and practical know-how that encourages initiative, innovation and academic excellence.

All our research degrees incorporate a programme of supporting studies designed to develop knowledge and skills of all aspects of the research process, including the funding and dissemination of research. This will ensure that you have the necessary expertise to successfully complete your doctoral programme and lay sound foundations for your future career.

Participation in academic conferences, seminars and external networks will cultivate contacts, skills and knowledge essential for successful research practice. These abilities are also transferable to a wide range of other careers. Researchers are also invited to take part in our own research conferences giving you the opportunity to present your work and discuss with other researchers at NTU.

There are some opportunities for research students to prepare for an academic career by teaching undergraduate students or supervising laboratory work, and students may take part in the Introduction to Learning and Teaching in Higher Education training programme.

Although formal placements are not a requirement of PhDs, the University has strong links with professionals in business and industry.

There are opportunities to participate in ERASMUS overseas exchanges in some subject areas. The University has links with many other institutions such as:

  • Sapienza Università di Roma
  • Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
  • l'Université d'Angers
  • Universitat Ramon Llull (Barcelona).

Campus and facilities

Fees and funding

Please visit the Doctoral School website

How to apply

Entry requirements

  • A minimum of a first or second-class degree or a Masters degree in a relevant discipline
  • A period of pre-PhD study is required for some subjects before entry to a PhD
  • And / or evidence of motivation and ability to conduct research at higher degree level
  • English language requirements – IELTS 6.5 (with minimum sub-scores of 6.0)

Applicants who have taken a higher degree at a UK university are normally exempt from the English language requirements. Applicants who do not meet the English language proficiency requirement will normally be asked to complete an English Language course.

As you’re applying for a Research degree, you may also like to have a look around our Research pages. This may help you to spot academic staff, research areas or projects that interest you.

How to apply

Visit the Doctoral School’s step by step guide to make an application.

Please read our notes on the University’s commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.