Why study with us?

The SWBio DTP offers:

The SWBio DTP focuses on multi-disciplinary research, bringing together the research excellence and strengths of the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter and Rothamsted Research. Strong collaborations already exist between these institutions including the Great Western Four (GW4) alliance and the South West Food Security and Land Research Alliance. As well as a number of other Doctoral Training Partnerships and Centres including the South, West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership (SWWDTP), the NERC Great Western Four+ Doctoral Training Partnership (NERC GW4+ DTP) and the Water informatics: Science and Engineering Centre for Doctoral Training (WISE).

In addition, a number of our PhD projects are cross-institutional, building further on the expertise and resources of each partner. Significant recent investment within each institution has provided outstanding facilities and an excellent training environment for our students. These include:

Some doctoral training programmes require you to complete multiple lab rotations before selecting your thesis project, which can leave you with less than three years to complete your research and write your thesis. Others provide more time but no project flexibility. The SWBio DTP offers the best of both systems:

  • You will be recruited directly to a broad PhD project rather than to a programme.
  • You will have two rotations in the first year, in which you will gain experience in different research groups and techniques relating to your project. Towards the end of the first year this experience may be used to refine the direction of your project which continues through the remaining three years.

This system retains maximal time for your research studies while also allowing your developing research interests to steer the direction of your project.

Some doctoral training programmes require you to complete multiple lab rotations before selecting your thesis project, which can leave you with less than three years to complete your research and write your thesis. Others provide more time but no project flexibility. The SWBio DTP offers the best of both systems:

  • You will be recruited directly to a broad PhD project rather than to a programme.
  • You will have two laboratory rotations in the first year, in which you will gain experience in different laboratories and techniques relating to your project. Towards the end of the first year this experience may be used to refine the direction of your project which continues through the remaining three years.

This system retains maximal time for your research studies while also allowing your developing research interests to steer the direction of your project.

All SWBio DTP students undertake a three-month PIPS (Professional Internships for PhD Students) outside of academia as part of their studies. This is a fantastic opportunity to deploy your doctoral training skills in a range of trial career opportunities, either in the UK or abroad. We have access to an impressive portfolio of high quality internship opportunities to provide you with a valuable and informative career development experience.

Our network is based in the beautiful South West of the UK, a region consistently identified as one of the most pleasant parts of the UK to live. Enjoy the nightlife of Bristol, Bath, Cardiff or Exeter, with the beaches of Devon and Cornwall right at your doorstep. These are student cities with friendly people, vibrant music scenes, green spaces and buzzing centres. They are the perfect size, offering all the excitement of big cities packed into areas you can easily explore on foot or by bike.

Our programme endeavours to develop a strong cohort feel between students ensuring a great life both in and out of the lab.

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Hear what some of our students say.


Our Director tells you more about the programme.