Ph.D. On Campus

Quantum Biology

University of Surrey

48 months
22700 GBP/year
4500 GBP/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


University of Surrey is uniquely placed to offer a PhD in the Quantum Biology programme. We’re home to the Leverhulme Doctoral Training Centre for Quantum Biology (QB-DTC) – the first centre of its kind in the world.


Why choose this programme

Recent research suggests that quantum mechanics appears to play an important role in many biological processes, such as photosynthesis, enzyme action and mutation. This emerging and exciting discipline – known as quantum biology – could hold the key to new approaches in solar energy, drugs and diagnostics. It might even improve our understanding of how the brain works. It’s also shedding light on the conceptual foundations of quantum theory.

As well as standard biological and physics resources, the students in the Quantum Biology programme of the University of Surrey have access to advanced spectroscopy, ion beam proton irradiation, nanotechnology and mass spectrometry facilities within our Advanced Technology Institute (ATI), plus additional facilities at our partner institute, the National Physical Laboratory (NPL).

The University has a strong reputation for PhD training and we’re currently home to more than 1,000 postgraduate researchers and nearly 450 supervisors, working together across over 170 research areas. The most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF) in 2014 rated 84 per cent of our research output as world-leading or internationally excellent.

We also have an excellent graduate employability record, and the collaborative, interdisciplinary and industry-relevant nature of our research means you’ll make contacts, gain skills and get practical experience that will give you an edge with employers.

What you will study

Our PhD in Quantum Biology gives you the opportunity to undertake an interdisciplinary research programme in a theoretical or experimental area of the discipline. Depending on the availability of studentships, you could explore a topic such as photosynthesis, molecular mechanisms of mutation, enzymes, olfaction, nanobiotechnology or synthetic biology.

As a PhD student, you’ll become part of Surrey’s QB-DTC, putting you at the heart of a community of academics, postdoctoral researchers and guest scientists. In the first year, you’ll embark on a training programme of interdisciplinary seminars. These workshops are designed to ‘fill in the gaps’ in physics for biologists and in biology for students from a physical science or mathematics background.

You’ll be co-supervised by academics who are experts in their areas of research and they’ll guide you through your PhD. These academics are from a range of University departments, including Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Computing and Biosciences, as well as the ATI. They’ll help you define the objectives and scope of your research, and help you learn the experimental, theoretical and computing skills you’ll need to complete your research. You’ll normally meet with your supervisors every week or every other week. 

After your first 12 months, you’ll complete a confirmation report, which will be assessed by independent examiners. Your PhD will be assessed overall by a written thesis after you’ve studied for at least three years.

Throughout your studies, you’ll have regular opportunities to meet other PhD students, academics and staff at our informal postgraduate research forum meetings, and to get involved in socials and other events.

Programme Structure

Research themes
  • Photosynthesis
  • Molecular mechanisms of mutation
  • Enzymes
  • Olfaction
  • Nanobiotechnology
  • Synthetic biology

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 48 months

Start dates & application deadlines


On Campus

Academic requirements

GPA admission requirements GPA
Upper Second Class

Other requirements

General requirements

  • Applicants are expected to hold a first or upper-second class degree in a relevant discipline (or equivalent overseas qualification), or a lower second plus a good Masters degree (distinction normally required).
  • IELTS Academic: 6.5 or above (or equivalent) with 6 in each individual category.

Tuition Fee

To alway see correct tuition fees
  • International

    22700 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 22700 GBP per year during 48 months.
  • National

    4500 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 4500 GBP per year during 48 months.

Living costs for Guildford

660 - 1140 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.

Fresh content

Updated in the last 3 months

Check the official programme website for potential updates.

Our partners

Quantum Biology
University of Surrey


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