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Brighton & Sussex Medical School

Research degrees

BSMS > Postgraduate > Research degrees

Research degrees

PhD and MD students at BSMS are awarded a joint degree from the University of Sussex and the University of Brighton. Research at BSMS spans basic science through to clinical projects, medical ethics and social science, offering a wide and exciting range of possibilities for postgraduate students.

Postgraduate research at BSMS aims to develop your skills to work as a researcher in cutting edge technologies in subjects related to health and biomedical science. Our PhD and MD graduates have progressed into clinical academic careers, are working in biomedical science companies or have continued in academic science as postdoctoral researchers.

Interdisciplinary study is one of our strengths, and you will be able to work alongside both academic staff with a background in fundamental science and practising clinicians. Our postgraduate students are usually supervised by members of BSMS, the University of Brighton or University of Sussex academic staff, or by clinicians in the NHS.

You will be able to take advantage of the University Researcher Development Frameworks training at both universities, as well as the facilities and equipment at both and in NHS research laboratories.

To find out more, please email:

Find out about fees for research degrees >


Opportunities for collaboration

The neighbouring Schools of Life Science at the University of Sussex and the School of Applied Sciences at the University of Brighton ensure a rich collaborative environment. Students may also take part in our exciting collaborative work with research centres including:

  • the Centre for Regenerative Medicine and Devices (University of Brighton)
  • the Sussex Centre for Consciousness Science (University of Sussex)
  • Sussex Neuroscience (University of Sussex)
  • The Blond McIndoe Research Foundation, East Grinstead, which specialises in research into tissue regeneration.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Duration: 36 months full-time or 72 months part-time

Entry requirements

At BSMS, our usual entry requirements for UK and international students are:

  • at least an upper second-class (2:1) undergraduate honours degree from a UK university or comparable qualifications from another recognised university
  • and desirably hold or expect to achieve excellent grades in a masters degree, in a relevant subject from a UK university or comparable qualifications from another recognised university.

Making an application

We will only consider complete applications which include the following:

  • Your research proposal (maximum 1,000 words). If you are applying for an advertised research project, please copy and paste the advertised project description in this section of the form.
  • Copies of your bachelors and master certificates, including transcripts.
  • Copy of your IELTS (or equivalent) certificate (if applicable).
  • Copy of your passport.
  • Two references uploaded or requested - one must be an academic reference from your most recent period of study.

Make your application here >

Doctor of Medicine (MD)

Duration: 24 months full-time or 48 months part-time

Entry requirements

(i) the BMBS degree of the Brighton and Sussex Medical School or a registrable professional or other medical qualification
(ii) eligibility for full or limited registration with the General Medical Council.

English language requirements

Applicants from outside the UK need to meet specific English language requirements in order to study for a PhD or MD at Brighton and Sussex Medical School. 

The UK Visa and Immigration Authority (UKVI) has a defined list of Majority English-Speaking Countries. (N.B. this list is not generated by Brighton and Sussex Medical School and we are not able to adjust or deviate from its definitions.)

You may not need to prove your knowledge of English language if:

  • You are a national of one of the countries listed on the Government’s UKVI webpage
  • You have completed a Bachelor’s degree or higher in the last three years from one of the countries listed on the Government’s UKVI webpage*

*If you have a qualification from one of the listed countries but it was completed more than three years ago, it is a University of Brighton requirement that you provide further evidence of your English Language in the form of one of our accepted English tests.

For more information on the accepted tests, please see our English language requirements

Please note that the results from the tests are valid for two years from the test date. The results must be valid on your course start date.

The minimum standard of English competence accepted is equivalent to the International English Languages Testing System (IELTS) scores:

7.0 overall, 7.0 for writing and no component below 6.5.

Eligibility for funding

For projects funded by BSMS, eligibility will be specified within the individual project advertisement. Please note that fees are usually only paid at the UK/EU rate, and international students would be liable for top up fees so would be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Projects funded by research councils (eg MRC) have strict guidelines on eligibility. Research councils rarely fund non-UK citizens. For details on eligibility please check with the research councils themselves.

International funding options

The UK offers several scholarship schemes for international postgraduate students. For more information visit the British Council website.


Contact us

If you would like to find out more about doing a research degree at BSMS, please email us at