- Learn from some of Europe’s leading researchers while undertaking your own project.
- Access some of the best research facilities in the world at both the University and in hospitals around Greater Northampton.
- Undergo training in transferable skills critical to developing early-stage researchers and professionals through the Doctoral Academy’s training programme.
Academic entry qualification overview
For applicants whose first language is not English, or if you have not studied recently in the USA, you must supply an official IELTS or TOEFL transcript to support your application, or provide a date on which you will be taking a test.
If your IELTS or TOEFL expires before the start of your programme, you will need to take another official English test before we can issue you with a CAS for your visa application. This is a requirement of USAVI.
We require a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 overall or TOEFL (iBT) 90.
Each component of the English test should meet the minimum requirement of IELTS 5.5 in all components or 22 in TOEFL (iBT). For the writing component in IELTS we expect that you have achieved a minimum of 6.0.
English language test validity
Advice to applicants
In addition to the formal online application, candidates should send all supporting documents (CV, transcripts, certificates, confirmation of funding, English language ability (if applicable), references and a personal statement).
About the personal statement
We recommend that your personal statement summarises:
- any research experience and your interests;
- your motivation for postgraduate research study;
- why you want to do a postgraduate research degree in Northampton;
- your career development to date;
- your future career plans;
- other supporting information: recent publications if any or other research training and experience.
If you have completed a research project during your undergraduate/master’s study, please give a short description of the work you undertook, including the following details:
- the research problem
- your key findings
- techniques acquired and skills learned.
This information is especially important for applicants from overseas, so we can fully assess your practical background and experience alongside your academic qualifications. Failure to include this information may delay the processing of your application.
Disclosure and Barring Service check
3-4 years PhD, 1-2 years MPhil
We require applicants to hold, or be about to obtain, an Upper Second class Honours degree (or overseas equivalent) in a related subject area for entry to a PhD programme. A Lower Second class Honours degree may be considered if applicants also hold a Master’s degree with a Merit classification.
Our PhD/MPhil Pharmacology programme enables you to undertake a research project that will improve understanding of Pharmacology.
Our pharmacology research focuses on a range of topics. These include:
- the pharmacology of drug efflux transporters, particularly ABCB1 P-glycoprotein, ABCG2 breast cancer resistance protein and ABCC multidrug resistance-associated transporters;
- developing complex, physiologically-relevant in vitro cell systems to investigate transport, metabolism and delivery of therapeutic drugs;
- understanding the pharmacological and molecular mechanisms that regulate expression and function of drug efflux transporters, particularly in the blood-brain barrier;
- the role of blood-brain barrier drug efflux transporters in drug delivery to the central nervous system and the effects of inflammatory and degenerative conditions, eg Alzheimer’s disease, on efflux transporter function;
- the biological role of lipid networks in health and disease, particularly their roles in inflammation, cellular communications and tissue responses;
- employing mass spectrometry-based lipidomic technology, in conjunction with functional, metabolic and signaling approaches to characterise lipid profiles in physiological and pathophysiological conditions;
- investigating the role of lipids in skin homeostasis and in response to inflammation, injury and wound healing;
- studying role of local hormones in diseases and conditions associated with the female reproductive tract (eg dysmenorrhoea, endometriosis and the detection and prevention of preterm labour);
- molecularly identifying and pharmacologically characterising receptors expressed in the female reproductive system;
- understanding the physiological and pharmacological characteristics of the placenta. These studies include the development of placental homing peptide-microRNA inhibitor conjugates for targeted enhancement of placental growth signaling.
Training and development
All of our postgraduate research students attend the Doctoral Academy Training Programme delivered by the Centre for Academic and Researcher Development (CARD).
The programme provides key transferable skills in areas such as commercial awareness, academic writing and public engagement. This training equips our postgraduates with the tools to progress beyond their research degree into influential positions within academia, industry and consultancy.
The emphasis is on enhancing skills critical to developing early-stage researchers and professionals, whether they relate to effective communication, disseminating research findings and project management skills.
See the training and development page for more information.
Teaching and learning
PhD/MPhil programmes are based on individual research projects that last three to four years (PhD) or one year (MPhil), working with a specific Primary Supervisor and Co-Supervisor(s).
Applicants are specifically matched with a Primary Supervisor and individual project based on their research interests and background.
International applicants interested in this research area can also consider the our PhD programme with integrated teaching certificate .
This unique programme will enable you to gain a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning, whilst also carrying out independent research on your chosen project.
Scholarships and bursaries
Funded programmes and projects are promoted throughout the year. Funding is available through UK Research Councils, charities and industry. We also have other internal awards and scholarships for the most outstanding applicants from within the UK, EU and overseas.
For more information on available the types of funding we have available, please visit the funded programmes and funding opportunities pages.
What our students say
Your postgraduate research degree will open up a range of career opportunities after you graduate.