Haematology and Leukaemia PhD / MPhil / MD

The University has invested over £20million in cancer research which has been used for the creation of several new posts in the Department, and in the establishment of the University of Liverpool Cancer Research Centre (ULCRC) building.

Why study with us?

I choose to specialise in Haematology and Leukaemia to learn the most cutting edge techniques used in the field but namely, the integration between clinical and research methods together to aim for more accurate prognosis and higher rates of prevention.

Faten Yasin - Haematology and Leukaemia PhD student
  • 309

    academic members of staff.

  • 359

    registered postgraduate research students.


Our commitment to cancer research has resulted in the launch of Liverpool Cancer Research UK Centre – an organisation that brings together scientists, clinicians and local stakeholders to lead and deliver cancer research of the highest quality and importance.

Haemato-oncology is one of Liverpool’s recognised strengths with scientific expertise in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) and lymphoproliferative disorders and strong clinical leadership that includes chairmanship of the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Haematological Oncology CSG and CML Subgroup and membership of the Lymphoma CSG and Subgroups for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL), Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), High Grade Non-Hodgkin's Lymphomas (HG-NHL) and Low Grade Non-Hodgkin's Lymphomas (LG-NHL).

Professor Andrew Pettitt leads a large programme of clinical and translational research focussed on lymphoid malignancy with strong links with industry and national collaborative groups in lymphoma and haematological oncology.

Our research interests

  • Clinical studies conducted with the intent to advance therapies to the clinic or develop principles for application of therapeutics to human disease
  • Non-human or non-clinical studies conducted with the intent to advance therapies to the clinic or develop principles for application of therapeutics to human disease
  • Investigations in humans which define the biology of disease and provide the scientific foundation for the development of new or improved therapies for human disease
  • Any clinical trial of a therapy that was initiated based on the above.

Research themes

Our research themes include:

  • In Chronic Lymphocyte Leukeamia (CLL) Protein Kinase C (PKC) and c-abl in B-cell receptor signalling have been found to be important in the selection and perpetuation of the malignant clone
  • In hairy cells constitutive PKC-dependent ERK activation has been identified as central to malignant cell survival and oxidant production by NOX-5 has been shown to be of importance in constitutive activation
  • Current work is focused on defining CLL subgroups on the basis of signalling profiles, on the control of adhesion-receptor expression in CLL and on the oncogenic origin of the constitutive signals of hairy cells
  • Translational work has identified Akt and Hsp90 as worthy molecular targets for novel therapy
  • The Clinical Trials Advisory and Awards Committee (CTAAC) -funded PACIFIC [RiChFlo] phase III trial will compare two different induction regimens for follicular lymphoma. Currently available biomarkers do not identify all patients with aggressive, chemoresistant disease
  • To address this problem, a novel prognostic test has been developed that probes the functional integrity of the ATM-p53-p21 pathway
  • The Liverpool Leukaemia Bank houses >27,000 vials of viable CLL cells obtained from >400 patients. The group also hosts the Leukaemia Research Fund-funded UK CLL Trials Biobank
  • The Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML) research group is investigating how TKIs are transported into and out of cells and the immune response to BCR-ABL linked to phase I/II/III trials Comparative digital transcriptional profiling of canine and human uveal melanomas.


PhD students can take taught modules - on either a formal basis with exams taken and a record of completion generated or less formally. Commonly, students use the opportunity to upskill in areas like bioinformatics and statistics, but modules on defined areas of biology are also available. A wide variety of further development opportunities are available from the PGR Development Hub


The Institutes research infrastructure is designed to give researchers access to world class facilities in the best possible environment.

Our facilities give us the ability to drive biomedical research from patient samples to the laboratory bench and vice versa from newly generated drug compounds into clinical trials. The departments of the Institute have the following facilities and resources:

  • Biomedical Imaging
  • Centre for Antimicrobial Pharmacodynamics
  • Centre for Drug Safety Science
  • Health Data Science Network
  • Centre for Preclinical Imaging
  • Clinical Trials Research Centre
  • Harris-Wellbeing Preterm Birth Research Centre
  • Liverpool Bio-Innovation Hub (LBIH) Biobank
  • Liverpool Cancer Trials Unit
  • MRC North West Hub for Trials Methodology Research
  • North West Cancer Research Centre – University of Liverpool
  • Pancreas Biomedical Research Unit
  • UK Experimental Arthritis Treatment Centre for Children
  • Wolfson Centre for Personalised Medicine.

Postgraduate researchers also benefit from flexible access to world-class equipment and expertise through the Shared Research Facilities.

Study options and fees

The fees below reflect one year of study during the 2024/25 academic year

MPhil / PhD / MD Duration UK students International Students
Full time 2-4 years £4,786
  • Faculty of Health and Life Sciences £29,750 (Band A)^
  • Faculty of Science and Engineering* £29,750 (Band A)^ or £23,400 (Band B)
  • Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences £23,400 (Band B)
Part time 4-6 years £2,393
  • Faculty of Health and Life Sciences £14,900 (Band A)^
  • Faculty of Science and Engineering* £14,900 (Band A)^ or £11,700 (Band B)
  • Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences £11,700 (Band B)

The fees stated in the table above exclude potential research support fees also known as ‘bench fees’. You will be notified of any fee which may apply in your offer letter.

* Please note that if you are undertaking a PhD within the Faculty of Science and Engineering the fee you pay, Band A or Band B, will reflect the nature of your research project. Some research projects incur a higher fee than others e.g. if you are required to undertake laboratory work. You will be informed of the fee for your programme in your offer letter.

^ Self-funded, full-time international students studying a PhD programme classified as Band A will receive a £2,000 reduction in their fees for the first year only.

Entry requirements

Applicants for postgraduate research study at Liverpool are normally expected to hold a UK first degree with a First Class or Upper Second Class degree classification, or a Second Class degree plus a Master’s degree. Equivalent international qualifications are also accepted, and their equivalence will be evaluated on the basis of the information provided by the National Academic Recognition and Information Centre (NARIC) as well as internal guidance based on our experience of a qualification’s suitability as a preparation for our programmes.

English language requirements

IELTS Academic requirement - SELT and non-SELT Overall 6.5 no band below 5.5
TOEFL iBT requirement Minimum 88 overall with L 17 W 17 R 17 and S 19
C1 Advanced CAE requirement Overall 176 with no less than 162 in any paper
Trinity College London, Integrated Skills in English (ISE II)ISE II with an overall pass with merit in components
Cambridge IGCSE as a First LanguageGrade C
Cambridge IGCSE as a Second LanguageGrade B
Cambridge English Level 3 Certificate in ESOL International (Proficiency)Overall 176 with 162 in components
Cambridge English Level 3 Certificate in ESOL International (Advanced)Overall 176 with 162 in components
Cambridge English Level 2 Certificate in ESOL International (Advanced)Overall 176 with 162 in components

How to apply

Research degree applications can be made online.  You'll also need to ensure that you have funding to cover all fees.

Applications are open all year round.

More about applying for research degrees

Apply online

Before you apply, we recommend that you identify a supervisor and develop a research proposal

Find a supervisor

View supervisors in this area

View staff list

Need help finding a supervisor? Contact us

Related studentships: self-funded and funded PhD projects

Find a scholarship

We offer a range of scholarships to help you meet the costs of studying a research degree.

See scholarships