4 years full time, 6 years part time
Choose to start in September 2017, January 2018 or May 2018
Situated in the Brighton and Lewes Downs UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, surrounded by the South Downs National Park, and close to Brighton and the coast, you’ll find yourself in the perfect location for a research project in biology.
From animal behaviour to molecular evolution, you work in field and laboratory settings, guided and supervised by our expert faculty.
Areas of study
PhD or MPhil?
You can choose to study for a PhD or an MPhil. PhD and MPhil degrees differ in the length of the course and therefore in the extent of the research work you can undertake and incorporate in your thesis.
- An MPhil typically takes three years full time and four years part time. You’ll conduct an independent piece of research but in less depth than for a PhD. You will graduate with the degree title Master of Philosophy.
- A PhD typically takes four years full time and six years part time. You will undertake a piece of research that makes a substantial original contribution to knowledge or understanding in your chosen field.
If you choose an MPhil, you might be able to change to a PhD during the course of your studies.
How to apply
If you’d like to join us as a research student, there are two main routes:
- browse scholarships and funded projects in this subject area
- find a potential supervisor and propose your own research project.
Full-time and part-time study
Choose to work on your research full time or part time, to fit around your work and family life. For details about part-time study, contact us at email@example.com
Explore our research interests and find a potential supervisor.
- Evolution, Behaviour and Environment faculty
Prof Jonathan Bacon
Professor of Neuroscience
Research interests: ant navigation, Drosophila, neural circuits, social arthropods
Prof Daniel Colaco Osorio
Professor of Neuroscience
Research interests: bird, cephalopod, colour, cuttlefish, evolution, neuroethology, physiology, Vision
Prof Adam Eyre-Walker
Professor of Biology
Research interests: Mitochondria, Mutation, Population genetics, Transposable elements
Prof Jeremy Field
Research interests: Behavioural Ecology, cooperative breeding, evolution of sociality, Evolutionary biology, parental care, primitively eusocial wasps and bees, social dominance hierarchies
Prof Tim Flowers
Professor of Plant Physiology
Research interests: halophytes, ion transport, Plant physiology, salinity, salt-tolerant plants
Dr Bonnie Fraser
Lecturer in Biology
Research interests: Adaptation, Evolutionary biology, fish, Genomics, Population genetics
Prof Dave Goulson
Professor Of Biology
Research interests: Animal behaviour, Animal ecology, Behavioural Ecology, Biodiversity, Conservation Ecology, Insecticides, Pollination
Dr Paul Graham
Research interests: Animal behaviour, Learning, Memory, navigation, neuroethology, social insect biology, Vision
Prof Elizabeth Hill
Research interests: chemical contaminants, fish, human health, Metabolomics, Pollution, urinary biomarkers of disease
Prof William Hughes
Professor of Evolutionary Biology
Research interests: Animal behaviour, Behavioural Ecology, biology and conservation of apex predators, causes and consequences of 'animal personalities', conservation biology, disease ecology and evolution, evolution of sociality and symbiosis, Evolutionary biology, host-symbiont interactions and evolution, lions, pollinator conservation, social insect biology, white sharks
Dr Ted Morrow
Senior Research Fellow
Research interests: Drosophila, Evolutionary biology, Evolutionary genetics, Evolutionary Medicine, Gene expression, Sexual antagonism, Sexual conflict, Sexual selection
Dr Jeremy Niven
Senior Lecturer in Zoology
Research interests: Animal behaviour, Behaviour and Energy Efficiency, Behavioural choice, Behavioural Neuroscience, Computational Neuroscience, Evolutionary biology, neuroethology, Sensor Integration, Sensory receptors, Systems neuroscience
Dr Mika Peck
Senior Lecturer in Biology
Research interests: ecology and conservation of biodiversity hotspots, impacts of global change, primate behaviour, primate conservation, REDD++, spider monkeys, tropical rainforest ecology
Prof Francis Ratnieks
Professor of Apiculture
Research interests: Animal behaviour, beekeeping, Behavioural Ecology, honey bee, Insects, Social evolution, social insects
Dr Christopher Sandom
Lecturer in Biology
Research interests: Applied ecology, Community Ecology, conservation biology, Ecoinformatics, Ecological assessment, Ecosystem Services, Palaeoecology and palaeozoology, Rewilding
Prof Jorn Scharlemann
Professor of Conservation Science
Research interests: agriculture and conservation, Applied ecology, Biodiversity, Conservation, Conservation Science, Environmental modelling, Environmental policy, Environmental Statistics, GIS Mapping, Remote Sensing & Earth Observation, Sustainability: Environmental
A first- or upper second-class undergraduate honours degree in a subject relevant to your chosen area of research.
If you are a non-EEA or Swiss national you must obtain clearance by the UK Government Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) for this degree. Please ensure you allow sufficient time for your University application to be processed in time for you to apply for ATAS clearance (and a Tier 4 Student Visa if appropriate). Find out more about ATAS.
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each section.
English language support
Don’t have the English language level for your course? Find out more about our pre-sessional courses.
Additional information for international students
We welcome applications from all over the world. Find out about international qualifications suitable for our PhD degrees.
Visas and immigration
Scholarships and fees
How can I fund my course?
Postgraduate Masters Loan
MPhil students might be eligible for a Postgraduate Masters Loan. This is not available for students registering for a PhD.
Our aim is to ensure that every student who wants to study with us is able to despite financial barriers, so that we continue to attract talented and unique individuals.
We advertise around 2,500 part-time jobs a year so you can make money and gain work experience. We have a special scheme to employ students on campus, wherever possible.
How much does it cost?
Fees for self-funding students
Home: £4,195 per year
EU: £4,195 per year
Channel Islands and Isle of Man: £4,195 per year
Overseas: £18,750 per year
Our fees follow the indicative fee level set nationally by Research Council UK and may be subject to change.