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MPhil/PhD Research Degrees – Biomolecular Sciences Research Centre

Study for a higher degree by research in our well-respected Biomolecular Sciences Research Centre. During your studies, you are trained in research methods and complete a high level research project. We encourage and support you to present your findings at national and international conferences to help launch your academic career.

Course description

A higher degree by research involves training in research methods and a laboratory based high level scientific investigation. The nature of the work and the time it takes to finish the research means a research degree is demanding and needs great commitment.

Your research takes place with the Biomolecular Sciences Research Centre (BMRC). The BMRC has been established for over 15 years. We have over 40 postgraduate students enrolled on MPhil/PhD programmes, as well as a number of postdoctoral research assistants. This provides an active and stimulating research environment.

Whilst studying, postgraduate students are encouraged and supported to present their latest research findings at national and international conferences as part of the BMRC. You must present your results in a thesis, explain the methods used in your research and defend them in a viva voce examination.

To get an MPhil you must critically investigate and evaluate an approved topic and display an understanding of suitable research methods. For a PhD you must also make an independent and original contribution to knowledge.

BMRC staff work in collaboration with UK and international scientists as well as clinical colleagues at a number of UK hospitals.

We have a broad range of facilities including
• Q-TOF-MS with electrospray and imaging MALDI options along with LC and associated equipment for proteomic analysis
• synaption mobility mass spectrometer
• single cell recording electrophysiology laboratory
• real time PCR
• flow cytometer with cell sorter
• cell culture facilities for bacterial and mammalian cells
• confocal microscopy suite
• DNA microarray scanner
• biacore facility
• NMR

In the 2008 RAE Assessment, the BMRC was submitted under Unit of Assessment 12 - Allied Health Professions and Studies - which included 21 staff from BMRC and eight from the Centre for Health and Social Care. 65 per cent of the research in the joint submission was considered to be internationally recognised. When measured by the quality of its research and weighted by the number of staff submitted in this unit of assessment, Sheffield Hallam University was rated 16th out of the 42 post-92 universities who submitted (figure obtained from Research Professional). In terms of the publications submitted for consideration by the RAE panel, 75 per cent of these were of an international standard.

Evidence of the growth in research activity in the BMRC between RAE 2001 and RAE 2008 is the doubling of the number of staff returned in 2008 compared with 2001 and a three-fold increase in income. We currently have six postdoctoral researchers and 40 PhD students in BMRC, with 30 successful PhD awards being made during the period 2008-13.

Split MPhil or PhD options for international students
A split MPhil or PhD is a research degree programme for international students wishing to study from their home country university. You register for a Sheffield Hallam University PhD or MPhil degree and spend some time studying in Sheffield but are substantially based in your home country.

The balance of study between Sheffield Hallam and the overseas university is agreed between you and your supervisors, depending on the needs of your research programme, but will not exceed three months per annum in UK.

The benefits for students studying on the split PhD scheme include
• you can complete fieldwork or laboratory work in your home country, in an area directly linked to your professional or career development interests
• access to local facilities and supervisory support in your home country combined with the expert supervisory guidance of our academic staff
• short, intensive periods of face-to-face working with a dedicated supervisory team in Sheffield, while enjoying the educational, social and cultural benefits of studying in the UK

Entry requirements

2017 entry requirements

Typically you need
• an appropriate masters degree or an honours degree 2.1 or above, from a UK higher education institution
or
• a qualification the University considers as being equivalent. Other qualifications and experience are considered on their merits.

You must also complete an interview in person or by phone with the prospective director of studies, the postgraduate tutor and one other member of the BMRC academic staff and provide two satisfactory references.

International students
Overseas applicants from countries whose first language is not English must normally produce evidence of competence in English. An IELTS score of 6.5 with 6.0 in all skills (or equivalent) is the standard for non-native speakers of English.

If your English language skill is currently below an IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in all skills we recommend you consider a Sheffield Hallam University Pre-sessional English course which will enable you to achieve an equivalent English level. An offer of a research degree place may be made subject to a completing our Pre-sessional English for Academic Purposes course.

2018 entry requirements

Typically you need
• an appropriate masters degree or an honours degree 2.1 or above, from a UK higher education institution
or
• a qualification the University considers as being equivalent. Other qualifications and experience are considered on their merits.

You must also complete an interview in person or by phone with the prospective director of studies, the postgraduate tutor and one other member of the BMRC academic staff and provide two satisfactory references.

International students
Overseas applicants from countries whose first language is not English must normally produce evidence of competence in English. An IELTS score of 6.5 with 6.0 in all skills (or equivalent) is the standard for non-native speakers of English.

If your English language skill is currently below an IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in all skills we recommend you consider a Sheffield Hallam University Pre-sessional English course which will enable you to achieve an equivalent English level. An offer of a research degree place may be made subject to a completing our Pre-sessional English for Academic Purposes course.

International and European entry qualifications

If you are an International or non-UK European student, you can find out more about the country specific qualifications we accept on our international qualifications page.

Course structure

Full-time – three years research, plus an optional year for writing up
Part-time – five years research, plus an optional year for writing up

PhD direct
Full-time – maximum three years research
Part-time – maximum five years research

MPhil
Full-time – two years research
Part-time – three years research

Split PhD/MPhil for international students
Students normally spend most of their time in their home country but come to the University for a minimum of two weeks and a maximum of three months a year.

Typical modules may include

Research training

When you begin your research, we allocate you a director of studies and a supervisor. Regular meetings between you and your supervisors are scheduled, with targets set for written and oral presentation of research progress.

The research courses include

University student induction
We designed this to give you the information you need to successfully begin your research at the University.

Research methods module
This module develops generic research skills including
• critical analysis and evaluation of technical written material
• information retrieval and storage
• research presentation, report writing and refereeing
• quantitative methods and appropriate IT skills
• project planning and management
• research ethics, including online epigeum training

Bioscience Forum
You have to attend relevant seminars from the Bioscience Forum series.

Assessment Thesis followed by viva voce examination.

Employability

Research degrees are a vital qualification for most academic careers, and for professional specialisation and development in an existing or planned career.

Fees

Home / EU student

Please note tuition fees may increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, subject to government regulations on fee increases and in line with inflation. More information can be found in the ‘Tuition Fee Increases’ section of our Fees Regulations (PDF, 2.10 MB)

2017/18 academic year

Full-time – typically £4,195 a year, plus a final writing up fee of £500
Part-time – typically £2,098 a year, plus a final writing up fee of £250

Note: Bench fees for use of Biosciences facilities on average are £12,000pa (the range for this is £8,000 - £12,000pa depending on the type of research)

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,000 are available across the majority of subject areas.

International student

2017/18 academic year

Full-time — Typically £20,400 for Chemistry Projects or typically £24,400 for Biomedical Projects.
Write-up fees TBC.

Part-time — Typically £20,750 for Chemistry Projects or typically £24,750 for Biomedical Projects.
Write-up fees TBC.

Additional course costs

This link allows you to view estimated costs associated with the main activities on specific courses. These are estimates and, as such, are only an indication of additional course costs. Actual costs can vary greatly depending on the choices you make during your course.

Additional costs information

How to apply

Complete the application form available on our research pages.

Any offer of a place to study is subject to your acceptance of the University’s Terms and Conditions and student Regulations.

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