Ph.D. On Campus

Visual Neuroscience

Cardiff University

36 months
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


Visual Neuroscience degree from Cardiff University is a research area in which you can focus your studies within our PhD programme in Vision Sciences.


A PhD by research in Visual Neuroscience  from Cardiff University at the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences is based around a specific, well-defined research topic. 

All students have regular meetings with their supervisory team, as well as an advisor who is not directly involved with the project, and is able to objectively monitor the progress of the research, and to provide independent guidance.

In addition to the core research topic, the School provides a diverse programme of transferrable skills training, which complements the Doctoral Academy Programme.

Distinctive features

  • International centre of excellence
  • Laboratory suites equipped with state-of-the-art facilities for cell and organ culture, histology, neuroscience, protein analysis, molecular biology, gene transfection, molecular genetics, absorption/emission spectroscopy, and microscopic imaging
  • Has made a number of novel discoveries in the context of this theme:
  • Identification of the gene responsible for the major form of optic atrophy
  • Lipofuscin is a photoinducible free radical generator that causes cell dysfunction
  • Matrix metalloproteinases are upregulated in the development of myopia in mammals and identification of a new member of the MMP family
  • Damage to the centrifugal visual system alters eye development and its retractive state, suggesting that the brain influences emmetropisation
  • Developed innovative experimental or genetic models for studying corneal transplantation, ocular development, glaucoma and optic atrophy, neural tracing, oxidative damage to the retina and a variety of eye diseases
  • Supported by grants from the MRC, BBSRC, Wellcome Trust, NIHR/NISCHR, EU, Medical Charities, Health Service and the private sector

Programme Structure

Research themes

  • Genetic models of eye disease
  • Understanding and preventing corneal dystrophies
  • Gene transfer
  • Structure of the optic nerve head in the healthy and glaucomatous eye
  • Pupillary, accommodative and eye movement disorders
  • Impact of neural plasticity on eye disease
  • Ageing and cell dysfunction
  • Oxidative damage and retinal dysfunction
  • Stem cell biology
  • Light damage to the eye
  • Mechanisms and prevention of neural cell death

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 36 months

Start dates & application deadlines


On Campus

Academic requirements

GPA admission requirements GPA
First Class

Other requirements

General requirements

  • Exam results (copies of original certificates or transcripts and English translations, if necessary, to prove you have the qualifications listed on your application form)
  • References: some programmes require one or two references (usually at least one from a recent lecturer or professor) – you can ask your referee to download and fill out our Referee report form or obtain a signed and dated reference on headed paper
  • Personal statement (some programmes require a specific personal statement, so check the entry requirements for your programme)
  • Research proposal (for research students who are not applying for listed projects)
  • English Language certificates (for applicants whose first language is not English) 
  • Suitable for graduates in optometry, medicine, psychology, social science, physics, biology, biochemistry, mathematics or any relevant scientific discipline.
  • A First or Upper Second class UK Honours degree, master's degree, or equivalent is required.

Tuition Fee

Tuition fees status is determined during the processing of applications, so we are unable to confirm this in advance or advise on fees status decisions.

Living costs for Cardiff

628 - 1066 GBP /month
Living costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


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.

Our partners

Visual Neuroscience
Cardiff University


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