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Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences, Ph.D.

  • Application Deadline
  • 36 months
University rank #485 (QS) Aberystwyth, United Kingdom
The Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) is a world class research and education centre at Aberystwyth University. IBERS is an internationally recognised centre of excellence and students' choice for the study of biological, environmental and rural sciences. The Aberystwyth University offers the Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences research programme.
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Postgraduate students are assigned a supervisory team that have overall responsibility for their day-to-day welfare and provide guidance for research activities. In particular, the supervisory team includes a dedicated Assessor who provides additional support and has a role in providing an objective opinion on research progress to the Faculty and the Board of Postgraduate Studies as required by the University-wide integrated Postgraduate Monitoring Scheme.

Although successful postgraduate research depends on the effort and application of the individual student, the researcher also needs a wide range of skills and access to specialist techniques and databases. Research is a collaborative exercise and postgraduate students typically interact with other academic staff and postgraduates in other fields. Indeed, students are encouraged to take an interest in the full breadth of research at the Institute, to join scientific societies relevant to their research interests and to participate in national and internatinal meetings.

Students undertaking PhD and MPhil research are an integral part of the IBERS research culture and community. Our students contribute to research with Economic and Social Impact, to high quality published work, and achieve the highest rates for completed theses and success in the job market. Our commitment to research excellence is supported by unparalleled support and the best supervision practices.


Formal training is given to all postgraduates in Aberystwyth. In addition, modules are made available within IBERS that are designed to maximise research experience and to develop transferable, professional and interpersonal skills. These modules help students improve competence in written, oral and visual communication skills, as well as help develop a broader understanding of the spectrum of skills required to be truly effective as a researcher, including experimental design and data analysis. These modules are designed to meet the training requirements of the UK Research Councils and other funding bodies.

Where specialist skills are required, or where there is a need for additional formal studies in a particular area, further training may involve attending selected undergraduate or postgraduate courses within the Institute or training courses at other institutions. In addition, the Institute runs an extensive seminar programme in which students are expected to participate.

Formal induction in research methodology includes: information usage and retrieval, personal computers for presentation skills, careers awareness, conduct of meetings, interviewing techniques and oral presentations. This module is taught through lectures, videos, seminars and group exercises.

The PhD in Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences programme is offered by Aberystwyth University.


Aberystwyth wins award for Outstanding Contribution to Innovation and Technology at the 2013 Times Higher Education Awards.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 36 months
  • Credits
    40 alternative credits
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus, Blended

Programme Structure

Topics for Research Degrees

  • Animal Science and Production (with special emphasis on sheep, beef and dairy cattle)
  • Equine Science (with special emphasis on behaviour, nutrition and reproduction)
  • Crop, Science and Production (including arable, grassland and forage crops)
  • Ecology
  • Rural Business Management and Economics
  • Rural, Environmental and Agricultural Policy (relevant to developed or developing countries)
  • Regional and Rural Economics
  • Environmental Economics and Valuation
  • Rural Resource and Countryside Management
  • Rural Tourism and Recreation
  • Organic Agriculture
  • Landscape Systems and Policy
  • Crop Genetics, Genomics and Breeding
  • Bio-renewables and Environmental Change
  • Evolution, Co-evolution and Adaptation
  • Animal and Microbial Sciences

Topics for research degrees can be selected from any of the areas of research within the Institute, of which a small selection is shown below.

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120.

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

  • Minimum required score:


    PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English Academic) is a language test that enables students to demonstrate their writing, listening, speaking, and reading skills when applying to study in English. Delivered and marked by computer, it reports on a scale between 10 and 90.

General Requirements

  • References must be supplied for each application. 
  • Copies of University transcripts
  • Copies of Degree certificates 
  • Personal statement within 1-2 A4 pages
  • Research proposal (for MPhil/ PhD applicants only)
  • Curriculum Vitae (for Courses that require professional work experience)
  • English language certificates (EU/International applicants only)

Tuition Fee

  • International

    14500 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 14500 GBP per year and a duration of 36 months.
  • EU/EEA

    4195 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 4195 GBP per year and a duration of 36 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for Aberystwyth

  • 700 - 1300 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.


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