The first year of the programme will consist of 80 credits of compulsory taught modules and 100 credits of research. The first year will focus on research training with an emphasis on gaining research skills.
Subject specific module (20 credits)
You will undertake one Life Science subject specific module, and can chose from the list below. Please select two modules and rank them in order of preference on the module selection form. This needs to be uploaded alongside your application.
Applied Health Research and Healthcare Management
Cancer and Genomics
Immunology and Infection
You will be asked to inform us of your top two choices of optional modules as part of your application.
Academic English and Communicating in Science (20 credits)
The aim of this module is to equip students with the academic English language and study skills to function effectively on a pre-doctoral programme of study. Specifically this module will cover:
Critical analysis of longer, subject specific research texts and sources
Production and processing of a longer piece of academic writing for example the production of research abstracts and the writing up of practical work in the style of published journals
Communication in technical, laboratory environments
Presentation of research to a wider audience
Research Techniques in Molecular Biotechnology (20 credits)
This module is intended to provide in-depth research training. Students will be able to adapt the content of this module to their own particular research interests by choosing from a range of technique-based sessions. These sessions are designed to give students an appreciation, and enhance their knowledge, of modern techniques in molecular and cellular biology.
Experimental Design and Developing Research Proposal (20 credits)
You will draft a PhD proposal with your chosen supervisor and the members of the iDTP scheme. This project will be your main focus in years two–four and culminate in your PhD thesis. The student is required to deepen and advance their understanding; becoming familiar with the major directions of current research in each of these major disciplines. They will also become familiar with calculating the finances associated with research projects.
Student selected research projects – 2x 10/12 week research rotation (50 credits each rotation)
You will chose 2 mini research rotations from a list provided at the start of the course. During the research rotation you will join one of the research laboratories at University of Birmingham. You will be responsible for undertaking a mini research project over approximately 3 months under the guidance of the host lab and their team. This will provide you with hands on research experience in your chosen field of interest, enhancing your knowledge, scientific techniques and core analytical skills.
Following the successful completion of Year 1, you are eligible to be awarded a Masters of Research (MRes) qualification subject to funder’s requirements.
Upon successful completion of Year 1, you will undertake the PhD proposal you drafted in the Experimental Design and Developing Research Proposal Module, fully integrate into your supervisor’s research team. During this time you will continue to attend bespoke training sessions designed to provide you with core transferable skills to establish yourself as a leading international scientist or clinician.
You are free to develop your research interest with any of our broad or focussed research areas within the College of Medical and Dental Sciences or the College of Life and Environmental Sciences;
Throughout your PhD years you will have full access to a range of support and academic development programmes run by the University's Graduate School. You are also able to receive further support and guidance with your academic English with the Birmingham International Academy's range of sessions designed to improve your English skills.