Structural Biology (MPhil)

The University of Manchester

Ph.D. On Campus
36 months
24500 GBP/year
9000 GBP/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


Structural Biology (MPhil) offered by The University of Manchester is a rapidly developing area of biology that is aimed at determining the beautiful three-dimensional structures of biologically-important molecules such as proteins, DNA and RNA.


Structural Biology (MPhil) at The University of Manchester developed as a field alongside molecular biology in the 1950s and 1960s and almost everyone knows some of the pioneers in this field - Hodgkin, Wilkins Watson, Crick who determined the structure of DNA. 

Less widely known are the pioneers of protein structure determination - Kendrew and Perutz.

Developments in computer software and instrumentation mean that structural biology is rapidly expanding and soon structure determination for some proteins will be a routine operation.

The spectacular recent advances in cryo-electron microscopy of biological macromolecules mean that structures of large complexes can be obtained in days rather than the years that were previously needed.

Structural biology is crucial for the drug industry for identifying drug binding sites in target proteins. It is also used for drug optimisation where the structure of the protein/drug complex is studied.

Structural biology is also vital in biotechnology where the knowing the structure of enzymes allows their mechanism of action to be determined and their activity to be optimised or even changed to produce a novel product.

At The University of Manchester, infrastructure for structural biology is superb and includes state-of-the-art facilities for cryo-electron microscopy, crystallisation robots, X-ray generators, NMR and computation.

Structural biology is a multidisciplinary area and pursuing a postgraduate research degree in this subject will allow you to develop skills in biology, biochemistry, biophysics and computer science, as well as the opportunity to undergo rigorous multidisciplinary training.

If you are fortunate, just like Kendrew and Perutz, you will have the unique experience of being the first person on the planet to visualise the structure of a protein or macromolecule and to have the first insights into its mechanism of action.

Alternatively, your project may generate the structural information needed to design a new drug that will be used to treat human disease or to design a new protein to optimise a process in biotechnology.

About our PhD and MPhil degrees

PhD/MPhil programmes are based on individual research projects that last three to four years (PhD) or one to two years (MPhil), working with a specific Primary Supervisor and Co-Supervisor(s).

Applicants are specifically matched with a Primary Supervisor and individual project based on their research interests and background.

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Training and development

All of our postgraduate research students attend the Doctoral Academy Training Programme delivered by the Centre for Academic and Researcher Development (CARD).

The programme provides key transferable skills in areas such as commercial awareness, academic writing and public engagement. This training equips our postgraduates with the tools to progress beyond their research degree into influential positions within academia, industry and consultancy.

The emphasis is on enhancing skills critical to developing early-stage researchers and professionals, whether they relate to effective communication, disseminating research findings and project management skills.

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 36 months

Start dates & application deadlines




On Campus

Academic requirements

We are not aware of any academic requirements for this programme.

English requirements

TOEFL admission requirements TOEFL® IBT The TOEFL iBT® is given online through the internet at designated testing site. The test measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The score refers to the total score of 4 subjects (writing, listening, speaking, and reading), each subject has a range of 0 - 30.
IELTS admission requirements IELTS The International English Language Test System (IELTS) tests your English-language proficiency on a scale of 1 – 9. The score refers to the combined average score of 4 subjects (writing, listening, speaking, and reading).

Other requirements

General requirements

  • Academic entry qualification overview

Applicants are expected to hold, or about to obtain, an Upper Second class Honours degree (or equivalent) in a related subject area. A Lower Second class Honours degree may be considered if applicants also hold a Masters degree with a Merit classification.

  • English language

Tuition Fee

  • International

    24500 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 24500 GBP per year and a duration of 36 months.
  • National

    9000 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 9000 GBP per year and a duration of 36 months.
  • UK students: Standard TBC, Low £9,000, Medium £16,000, High £21,000
  • Internationa, students: Standard £24,500, Low £25,500, Medium £32,500, High £37,500


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

Fresh content

Updated in the last 3 months

Check the official programme website for potential updates.

Structural Biology (MPhil)
The University of Manchester


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