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 together with the Marine Biological Association (MBA), Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML), Swansea University, UCB Pharma, University of the West of England (UWE) and SETsquared Bristol.

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.

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.

The first taught year includes both taught elements and two research projects. It is a recognised MRes, providing an exit award should students need to leave the course.

Our taught units aim to provide you with outstanding training in bioinformatics, statistics and understanding the impact of your research in society, business and industry. We also provide generic skills training units to prepare you for a better professional career in both a research and non-research environment.

The two rotation projects provide you with the opportunity to gain more in-depth knowledge and experience in your research area and experimental techniques. These will contribute to your main PhD project and will help you gain confidence and accelerate your development to an accomplished researcher.

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 placement 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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Our Director tells you more about the programme.