Brunel University London

Course Introduction

About the course

Research students are welcomed to Brunel as valued members of our thriving, research-intensive community. A research degree provides the opportunity to investigate a topic in depth, and contribute new knowledge to your discipline. A PhD involves demonstrating through original research or other advanced scholarship the creation and interpretation of new knowledge, a systematic acquisition and understanding of a substantial body of knowledge at the forefront of an academic discipline or professional practice, the ability to conceptualise, design and implement a project for the general of new knowledge, applications or understanding at the forefront of the discipline. Both full-time (3 years) and part-time (6 years) study routes are available.

Research profile

Our research aims to increase understanding of the links between the environment and human and wildlife health. We also strive to improve human and ecosystem health through applied research that improves the quality of our natural environments; providing cleaner water, air and safer and healthier foods and medicines. We have considerable expertise in chemicals, health and the environment, winning a Queen?s Anniversary Prize for research revealing the link between chemicals in rivers and reproductive health. Our researchers have world-leading track records in environmental chemistry, toxicology and ecotoxicology, and our facilities include state-of-the-art equipment for the chemical analysis of samples and molecular and cell biology.

Within Environmental Sciences, we have four main research areas:

Environmental Change

We conduct research to improve the forecasting and response to environmental change. Expertise and track records of members are in the complementary areas of predictive environmental and health modelling and disaster management.

Environmental Health and Ecosystems

Our work aims to increase the knowledge of environmental exposures, as well as the biological responses to these exposures and the implications for human and wildlife health through mechanism-based risk assessment. We study chemicals, health and the environment (particularly endocrine-disrupting chemicals, pharmaceuticals and environmental carcinogens) and we develop model systems and assays for screening chemicals. We have expertise in environmental chemistry, toxicology, and ecotoxicology.

Biological Pathways and Systems

Our research in this area aims to provide a strong fundamental biological foundation for prevention science for environmental health. We investigate basic biological processes associated with health and illness, focusing on signalling pathways and systems that are susceptible to the effects of environmental stressors. Particular foci include pathways exploited during the induction of malignant transformation by environmental carcinogens and those exploited by endocrine disrupting chemicals. Our research addresses various levels of biological organization including molecular, cellular, model organism and population, utilising new tools, techniques and model systems both in vitro and in vivo.

Environmental Solutions

The environment must be protected to preserve essential ecosystem functions and to provide for the wellbeing of future generations. We aim to improve environmental quality through a variety of engineering and management approaches aimed at promoting clean and healthy environments and safe and healthy food and medicines. We have particular expertise in the monitoring and improvement of the quality of air and water and in extracting natural products using countercurrent chromatography pioneered at Brunel.

Start Date:

Postgraduate research students are recruited throughout an academic year.. Postgraduate research students are recruited throughout an academic year..

Duration & Attendance Qualification Tuition fees Fee type
3 years
Full Time
Doctor of Philosophy - PhD £4,407 Home Fees
3 years
Full Time
Doctor of Philosophy - PhD £4,407 European Fees
3 years
Full Time
Doctor of Philosophy - PhD £19,280 Overseas Fees
6 years
Part Time
Doctor of Philosophy - PhD £2,203 Home Fees
6 years
Part Time
Doctor of Philosophy - PhD £2,203 European Fees
6 years
Part Time
Doctor of Philosophy - PhD £9,640 Overseas Fees

Qualifications required:

  • Domestic entry requirements: The general University entrance requirement for registration for a research degree is normally a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree. All international students must show evidence that they meet the English requirement for their course of study. The Senate reserves the right to assess the eligibility of applicants on an individual basis. Research statement As part of our application process for entry on our research degree (MPhil and PhD) programmes, we ask you to provide a 500-1,000 word research statement, excluding any references/bibliography you may include, setting out your research motivation, ideas and aspirations.
  • International entry requirements: The general University entrance requirement for registration for a research degree is normally a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree. All international students must show evidence that they meet the English requirement for their course of study. The Senate reserves the right to assess the eligibility of applicants on an individual basis. Research statement As part of our application process for entry on our research degree (MPhil and PhD) programmes, we ask you to provide a 500-1,000 word research statement, excluding any references/bibliography you may include, setting out your research motivation, ideas and aspirations. English language requirements IELTS: 7 (min 6 in all areas) Pearson: 64 (51 in all subscores) BrunELT: 70% (min 60% in all areas)
  • IELTS score: 7