Postgraduate Factfile: Postgraduate Research Opportunities - Faculty of Science MPhil or PhD
Modes of study: Full Time & Part Time
Start date: Options throughout year
Supervision Arrangements and Progression Monitoring
All registered research students are allocated an appropriately experienced supervision team of either 2 or 3 supervisors who work as a team with the student. One of these supervisors is appointed as Director of Studies with responsibility to supervise the student on a regular and frequent basis.
Progression monitoring is undertaken both formally and informally by the supervision team on an ongoing basis. Each Faculty has procedures in place to monitor the progress of their research students. On an annual basis the University Research Degrees Committee will ask Faculties to monitor progress of all eligible postgraduate research students and provide a summative report to the Research Degrees Committee.
Registration Periods and Programme Routes
MPhil and PhD awards are offered on either a full-time or part-time basis. The minimum and maximum registration periods for each programme route are as follows:
MPhil Minimum Maximum
Full Time 12 months 24 months
Part Time 24 months 48 months
PhD (via progression from MPhil registration and including the period of MPhil registration)
Full Time 33 months 48 months
Part Time 45 months 84 months
PhD (direct route not via MPhil)
Full Time 24 months 36 months
Part Time 36 months 72 months
The programme route you are enrolled upon will depend upon your qualifications and experience. The majority of LJMU students initially register for MPhil/PhD and go on to complete their PhD via successful progression from MPhil.
The University offers a comprehensive Research Student Induction programme, together with a varied programme of generic skills training opportunities. Attendance at Research Student Induction is a compulsory condition of research degree registration. Examples of other current generic skills training opportunities are as follows:
- Advanced Presentation Skills
- Applying for Ethical Approval
- How to be an Effective Researcher
- Poster Presentation/Design
- Postgraduate Employability Skills
- Project Management
- Writing Skills in Creative Planning for Writing your Thesis
- Surviving the Viva
- Speed Reading
In addition to this individual Faculties offer subject-specific research training depending on individual students’ needs.
Information for postgraduate research students can also be found on the Research Support Office web site.
Staff research interests
Supervision for the degrees of Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is available in the following subject areas:
Astrophysics Research Institute
Astrophysics including studies in Star Formation; Stellar Evolution and Stellar Populations; Time-Domain Astrophysics (particularly novae, supernovae and gamma-ray bursts); Galaxy Formation, Dynamics and Evolution (including AGN) and Galaxy Clusters. A list of specific projects currently on offer can be found here.
Research Institute for Sport & Exercise Sciences
Sport and Exercise Sciences including Biomechanics; Brain and Behaviour; Cardiovascular Science; Chronobiology; Muscle Metabolism and Nutrition; Physical Activity Exercise and Health; Psychology and Development; Science of Football.
Research in Sport and Exercise Science covers broad and multi-disciplinary topics that range from the cell to the whole body, from the athlete to the patient and from the very young to the very old. Researchers seek to understand and generate new information related to both the impact of exercise on health and well-being as well as the way scientific knowledge can help optimise sports performance.
School of Natural Sciences and Psychology
Evolutionary Anthropology and Paleoecology including Fossil Mammal Research; Palaeoanthropology; Bioarchaeology; Forensic Anthropology; Primate Behaviour and Conservation; Ecology, Evolution and the Environment.
Psychology and Applied Psychology; including Cognition, Developmental and Educational Psychology, Health Psychology, Substance Abuse and Consciousness and Transpersonal Psychology
The School specialises in a variety of research areas and information regarding research currently being conducted within the School is available from here . The research interests of academic staff are also detailed on the school website. For research programmes in Psychology applicants must hold a qualification approved by the BPS for Graduate Basis for Registration.
School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences
The School conducts research in a diverse range of areas, from social science in Pharmacy Practice; through laboratory work in Drug Delivery and Materials Science; Biochemistry; Cell Biology; Genetics and Forensic Science; Microbiology; Toxicology; Medicinal Chemistry (for which the School houses specialised equipment) to QSAR and Modelling, using sophisticated computer programmes.
Much of the research conducted in the School is multi-disciplinary and there are strong links with industry and the NHS. Further information about current research can be found here.
How will I be assessed?
If you are studying for MPhil there is the possibility of progression to PhD, via a written and oral assessment in year 2 for full-time students and in year 3 for part-time students (the transfer stage).
The MPhil differs from the PhD in terms of the depth of study required and the extent of the personal contribution to knowledge. It requires competence in conducting an independent enquiry as well as in the use of appropriate research methods and techniques, and examiners will expect you to display satisfactory background knowledge of the subject.
To gain a PhD you are expected to show mastery of a special field and to have made an original personal contribution to the understanding of a problem, or to the advancement of knowledge, or to the generation of new ideas. Examiners will expect you to be at the forefront of understanding in your chosen topic.
Final examination for the awards of MPhil and PhD is by thesis and oral examination, following research on an approved topic.
Applicants for MPhil or MPhil/PhD should normally hold, or be expecting to obtain, a first or upper second-class Bachelor’s honours degree in a relevant subject; those applying for PhD direct must hold a Master’s degree with a research dissertation in a relevant subject, and have had research training directly related to the PhD project.
Some Faculties may require applicants who do not hold a relevant Master’s degree to complete an MRes programme before going on to register for PhD direct. Applicants are advised to check this with the relevant Faculty before applying.
Applicants holding qualifications other than those above will be considered on their merits. Appropriate research and previous experience will be taken into account.
International students must also hold an IELTS qualification of at least 6.5 or equivalent. Please note that some Faculties may require higher scores in individual parts of the test. Applicants are advised to check this with the relevant Faculty before applying.
All research degree registrations are subject to approval by the Faculty and University’s Research Degrees Committee.
Will I be interviewed?Yes
Fees for the 2013/14 academic year are as follows:Full-time Home/EU Students: £3723
Part-time Home/EU Students: £1886
Full-time International Students: £12040 (Band 2)
Part-time International Students: £6020 (Band 2)
Note 1: students from the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands will pay the same fees as International students.
Note 2: in exceptional circumstances some Faculties may charge bench fees and applicants are advised to check this with the relevant Faculty when applying.
Securing funding is one of the main hurdles you may have to face when considering postgraduate research. However, there is help available and information about sources of funding is available from the Research Support Office website. Please click here for details.
In addition to this the Faculty you are applying to may have information about locally available funding opportunities.
Advice and Support at LJMU
LJMU employs a team of staff that are experts in fees and funding who can offer advice based upon your personal circumstances. You can contact them on 0151 904 6056/6057 or via firstname.lastname@example.org for guidance and support.
Click here for further information relating to funding and support
How to apply
Please apply via the online application form
LJMU's Admissions policy is in line with the University's Equal Opportunities Policy and applications are welcome from all candidates who fulfil the entry criteria.
Please note that because of UK visa restrictions, ‘International’ students wishing to come to the UK to study may only do so on a full-time basis. However, if you are interested in doing a part-time research degree programme under some circumstances you may be able to do this from your own country and come to LJMU for short periods of approximately 6 weeks each year.
International students wishing to apply for research degree programmes in the following subjects will require ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) clearance:
• Molecular Biology, Biophysics & Biochemistry
• Pharmacology, Toxicology & Pharmacy
Please click here for guidance on how to apply.
For further information please visit the International Students website.
Application and Selection
What happens next?
Your application will be sent automatically to the Faculty Admissions Hub for processing. You will receive an acknowledgement of receipt of your application and it will be considered by the relevant Postgraduate Research Admissions Tutor. We will ask your academic referees for a reference and you may be asked to provide further information or be invited to interview. If you are successful a formal offer letter will be sent to you that will explain any conditions of acceptance. If your application is unsuccessful you will be notified of this.
Initial enquiries should be addressed to the Faculty Admissions Hub where they will be logged and forwarded to the relevant research contact for further information at the academic department where you wish to undertake the research.
Sarah Lightfoot - Information Officer
0151 231 2153 or S.J.Lightfoot@ljmu.ac.uk
Faculty Admissions Hub
Tel: +44(0) 151 231 2888
If you have any queries relating to LJMU or university life in general please contact:
Tel: +44(0)151 231 5090
LJMU offers a superb environment for postgraduate study and top level research.
Whether you are studying on a taught master's course or embarking on a research degree, LJMU offers you a supportive, flexible academic environment, well-structured programmes and round-the-clock access to extensive resources.
Our research environment is rated as 'world-leading' in a majority of our subjects and all of our postgraduate programmes are taught by academics actively involved in research or consultancy projects with business and industry.
It is this combination of academic expertise and 'real world' experience that ensures LJMU's courses have real currency with potential employers and why over 95% of our postgraduates are in work or further study six months after they graduate (HESA 2010).
We believe this expertise – coupled with world-class academic standards – 75% of LJMU's research is rated as internationally important – puts us in a league of our own.
To find out more about our postgraduate courses and research opportunities plus the range of facilities and support we offer, click on the links opposite.
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