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Postgraduate research


Medicine research student

Join our community of academics discovering solutions to some of today’s key global healthcare challenges. Our research is having an impact in areas as diverse as asthma, osteoporosis, antibiotic resistance, developmental origins of adult disease, liver disease and diabetes. We also host the UK's first Centre for Cancer Immunology.



Our interdisciplinary links across the university, the NHS and industry have allowed us to push the boundaries of medical research, bringing new drugs to market and improved treatments for patients. Our commitment to the pursuit of excellence in biomedical sciences and clinical research means we are ranked in the top 100 institutions worldwide for medicine.

You'll be supported by a small team of supervisors who'll be experts in your chosen field. Your supervisors will help you choose your research project and make sure it provides scope for originality of thought and the development of research skills. 

You'll receive comprehensive training in statistics, critical appraisal and laboratory techniques. You'll also receive training in transferable skills such as communication, presentation skills, teaching and supervision, academic writing and entrepreneurship.

In addition to your supervisory team, you'll have access to further support through:

  • student and staff representatives
  • a team of pastoral advisers
  • the Life Sciences Postgraduate Society, which is a student-run society
  • the Medicine Postdoctoral Association which runs expert seminars providing insight into the practical experience
  • the Graduate School which provides the administrative framework for your research programme from initial application to the final award of your degree

PhD programmes

We offer 3 doctoral routes. Choosing the one that is right for you depends on your previous study and the area you want to specialise in. The fixed entry start dates for our programmes are:

  • 29 January 2024
  • 6 May 2024
  • 1 July 2024
  • 23 September 2024


Our standard PhDs are aimed at students who want to develop careers in scientific or clinical research.

You'll be based at University Hospital Southampton where you'll carry out laboratory-based research and undertake community-based projects in a variety of settings, including general practice, hospitals, community and outpatient clinics, and patients’ homes.

Integrated PhD (iPhD) Biomedical Science

Our integrated programme is aimed at students who want to become independent researchers in biomedical sciences. You'll develop the advanced research, quantitative and bioinformatics skills, you'll need.

This PhD includes a taught first year. You'll take modules in research skills, biomedical sciences and quantitative cells, as well as some themed optional modules. You'll also carry out 3 research projects to develop your laboratory skills and experience working in different research environments.

Find out more about the iPhD in Biomedical Science.

Doctor of Medicine (DM)

Our part-time Doctor of Medicine degree route is aimed at students with a clinical background, who are employed in a hospital or institution associated with medicine at Southampton. You will need a medical qualification that is recognised by the UK General Medical Council (GMC).

As part of your degree, you'll study a project that is relevant to your clinical discipline whilst working with a wide variety of both clinical and non-clinical researchers. You'll be based at University Hospital Southampton.

You also have the option of transferring to a PhD programme at a later stage.

Main areas of research

We have a broad range of specialist areas including biomedicine, research in clinical environments and population-based statistical studies. Our research areas include:

  • cancer sciences
  • clinical ethics and law
  • clinical neuroscience
  • developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD)
  • genomics, epigenetics and bioinformatics
  • human development, stem cells and regeneration
  • immunology
  • infection
  • medical education
  • nutrition, metabolism, endocrinology and cardiovascular
  • population health
  • primary care
  • respiratory, allergy and critical care

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