Postgraduate Research Opportunities - Faculty of Science

Postgraduate Research Opportunities - Faculty of Science MPhil or PhD

Course fees

Option / fee Value
Home full time annual tuition fee: £3845
International full time annual tuition fee: £12,000

More about course fees »

Course type


Doctor of Philosophy


Master of Philosophy


Faculty of Science

Study mode

Full Time & Part Time

About your course

Fascinating postgraduate research opportunities await at the Faculty of Science in Liverpool John Moores University, where you can work alongside leading experts and have access to state-of-the-art facilities and resources.

  • Minimum study of 1 year full time, maximum 6 years part time
  • Complete a research degree (MPhil / PhD) in a Faculty known for internationally-acclaimed research
  • Scholarships are available - eligibility criteria apply
  • Benefit from expert supervision and researcher training
  • Enjoy excellent facilities and great employment connections

Generous scholarships available for both home/EU and international students.

We offer research students expert supervision, excellent facilities plus a comprehensive research students induction and generic skills training programmes.

Introduction to the School

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. 

Research Institute for Sport and 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 research interests of academic staff are 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.

Programme outline and structure

Supervision Arrangements and Progression Monitoring

As a research student, you will be allocated two or three appropriately experienced supervisors who will work with you as a team. One of these supervisors will be appointed your Director of Studies and will have responsibility for supervising you on a regular and frequent basis.

Progression monitoring is undertaken 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: 

  • Full Time: minimum 12 months, maximum 24 months 
  • Part Time: minimum 24 months, maximum 48 months 

PhD (via progression from MPhil registration and including the period of MPhil registration) 

  • Full Time: minimum 33 months, maximum 48 months 
  • Part Time: minimum 45 months, maximum 84 months 

PhD (direct route not via MPhil)

  • Full Time: minimum 24 months, maximum 36 months 
  • Part Time: minimum 36 months, maximum 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.

Training opportunities

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. Other current generic skills training opportunities include:

  • 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 specific student needs.

Information for postgraduate research students can also be found on the Graduate School web site.

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. 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.

Entry requirements (Home)

If you are applying for an MPhil or MPhil/PhD you should normally hold, or be expecting to obtain, a first or upper second-class Honours degree in a relevant subject. If you are applying for PhD direct you must hold a Masters degree with a research dissertation in a relevant subject, and have had research training directly related to the PhD project.

If you have qualifications other than those above, your application will be considered on merit. 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: some Faculties may require higher scores in individual parts of the test. Please check this with the relevant Faculty before applying.

Due to UK Visa restrictions, international students wishing to come to the UK to study may only do so on a full time basis. However, you may be able to undertake a part time research degree in your own country and travel to LJMU for short periods (approximately six weeks each year).

International students wishing to apply for research degree programmes in the following subjects will require ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) clearance:

  • Astrophysics
  • Biology
  • Molecular Biology, Biophysics and Biochemistry
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmacy

Please click here for guidance on how to apply.

All research degree registrations are subject to approval by the Faculty and University’s Research Degrees Committee.

Entry requirements (International)

LJMU welcomes applications from international students. In addition to normal entry requirements, you will be expected to demonstrate a very good level of English language competence, for example an IELTS score of 6.0-6.5 or equivalent. Please note: specific courses may require higher levels of English language competence.

If you have applied to study a full-time taught Masters, Masters by Research, MPhil/PhD at LJMU, you should check if you require an Academic Technology Approval Scheme or ATAS certificate. It can take four to six weeks to receive an ATAS certificate, so please make sure you apply as early as possible. You can find out more on the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website. Alternatively, contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team for guidance.

Please note: international students entering on a Tier 4 visa cannot study part time. Students entering the UK on alternate types of visa may be in a position to study part time. Please contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team for further details before making your application. 

In order to obtain a visa you will also need to show evidence that the money required to cover your tuition fees and living expenses has been in your bank account for at least 28 days prior to submitting your visa application. So please make sure that your finances are in place before applying. For more details, go to our international website

For advice on any aspect of the application process, please contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team.

Application and selection

What happens next?

Your application will be sent to the Faculty Admissions Hub for processing. You will receive an acknowledgement of receipt and it will be considered by the relevant Postgraduate Research Admissions Tutor. We will request references from your academic referees 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 explaining 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.

Contact Information

Sarah Lightfoot - Information Officer

0151 231 2153 or


Faculty Admissions Hub

Tel: +44(0) 151 231 2888

Will I be interviewed?



6.5 (Minimum of 5.5 in each component)

Is RPL accepted on this programme?


Financial support

Securing funding is one of the main hurdles you may have to face when considering postgraduate research. However, help is available and information about sources of funding can be obtained from the Graduate School website. Please click here for details. In addition to this, the Faculty you are applying to may have information about locally available funding opportunities.

LJMU employs a team of experts in fees and funding who can offer advice based on your personal circumstances. You can contact them on 0151 904 6056/6057 or via for guidance and support.

Click here for information relating to Funding and Support.

International Study

International applicants are required to demonstrate equivalent qualifications to the standard requirements for entry when applying for courses at LJMU.

Students must also demonstrate a proficiency in communicating through English, for example via an IELTS tests or equivalent.

Please note: UK visa restrictions mean that international students are only permitted to study on a full-time basis.

Please contact LJMU’s International Team by visiting for more information and advice.


LJMU has launched a range of generous international scholarships for students enrolling at the University.

These prestigious scholarships take the form of tuition fee waivers and are available for outstanding international students applying for taught postgraduate programmes and research degrees.

You will need to complete an additional application form in order to be considered for these scholarships. Full eligibility criteria and the online application form are available here:

Applications for these scholarships are welcomed from:

  • new international applicants
  • current LJMU international students hoping to progress onto postgraduate study at the University
  • LJMU international alumni

English for Postgraduate courses bursary

A bursary will be available for students who must complete the six week English for Postgraduate Studies course to improve their IELTS score by 0.5 prior to enrolling on their postgraduate taught or research degree at LJMU.

This bursary take the form of a tuition fee waiver, which will be deducted from your tuition fee when you enrol on your degree programme. You do not need to complete the online scholarship form in order to receive this bursary. Please note: If you are awarded this bursary you are not eligible to apply for an international scholarship.

The University may make changes to a programme of study or module where such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University.
Further guidance on programme changes

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