MPhil / PhD / MD

We have established a Centre for Global Vaccine Research to integrate world-leading multidisciplinary research and training in laboratory science, clinical trials and epidemiology within the Institute of Infection and Global Health, and reaching across the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences and partners around the world.

Leading international reputation in infection research, tropical medicine and global health for more than 150 years.

The University of Liverpool’s Institute of Infection and Global Health was established to bring together leading medical, veterinary and basic science researchers from across the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences.

I joined an amazing community of internationally known researchers in the most relevant areas of infectious diseases. During my PhD at the Institute I had many opportunities to develop both my scientific knowledge and skills as well as my personal capacities such as communication and networking.

Raquel Medialdea-Carrera, Vaccinology PhD student
  • 150

    years of leading international reputation.

  • 156

    research students.

  • £9.5m

    annual research income.

Research at Liverpool

The Centre for Global Vaccine Research currently works across Europe, Asia, Africa and more recently South America. Our research spans the breadth of vaccine research from development to implementation and evaluation.

The key aims of this research are to:

  • Develop and evaluate novel vaccines against major global causes of illness and death
  • Better understand and improve the performance of existing vaccines
  • Generate evidence to inform vaccine policy nationally and internationally
  • Share pre-clinical expertise amongst human and veterinary vaccinologists
  • Train and educate a new generation of vaccine scientists

 See more here

Research themes

The Centre for Global Vaccine Research has six research themes covering key methodological disciplines within vaccinology and areas of strength shared by the Centre partners. These disciplines can be applied to both medical and veterinary vaccines.  The themes are:

  • Disease epidemiology & Clinical trials
  • Vaccine adjuvants
  • Microbial ecology
  • Antigen discovery & vaccine development
  • Pre-clinical assessment models
  • Immune correlates of protection

Research interests

We particularly welcome research proposals that match those of our researchers, including:

  • Flavivirus Vaccine Development (including Zika virus) 
  • Rotavirus Vaccines 
  • Pneumococcal Vaccines 
  • Universal Influenza Vaccines 
  • Onchocerciasis Vaccines  
  • Streptococcal vaccines
  • Enteric vaccines (including norovirus and enteric bacteria)
  • Veterinary vaccines (including Fasciola, Trypanosomiasis and avian respiratory viruses) 
  • Herpesviruses 



Within IGH there is access to a wide array of facilities for conducting vaccine research including  immunology, in vivo animal models, tissue culture and microbial propogation (including category 3 pathogens). In the wider university there is the technology directorate which gives access to various imaging and omics platforms. There is a clinical trials unit and phase 1 trial facility in the neighbouring Royal Liverpool hospital. There are established links with local primary care and public health England. The vaccine centre has strong links to overseas sites in Africa, Asia and more recently South America. We have a particularly strong connection to Malawi where many former clinical and non-clinical PhDs have spent time in the Wellcome Trust Major Overseas program Laboratories.

Research groups

Details of research groups undertaking research in vaccinology include:

  • Flavivirus Vaccine Development             
  • Rotavirus and Enteric Vaccines               
  • Pneumococcal Vaccines                       
  • Universal Influenza Vaccines              
  • Onchocerciasis Vaccines                       
  • Streptococcal vaccines                                
  • Veterinary vaccines                                    
  • Herpesviruses                                               

Study options and fees


The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) can be thought of as a shorter version of the PhD. It requires the same research skills, training, planning, and project management. It can be a way to assess whether you wish to undertake doctoral research - or it can be taken for its own sake.

Duration Fees: Home and EU Students Fees: International Students
Full time 2-4 years £4,260 £19,850 (Lab based programmes) £16,150 (Non Lab based programmes)
Part time 4-6 years £2,130 £9,925 (Lab based programmes) £8,075 (Non Lab based programmes)

A doctoral degree is awarded to students that have demonstrated the ability to conceptualise, design, and implement a substantial research project that results in new knowledge, applications, or understanding in their field of study. During your research, you can expect to draw on direct clinical and observational experience to produce an original thesis of 80,000-100,000 words. You'll be part of a research group which matches your research interests. Research groups offer opportunities for cross-disciplinary research collaboration, as well as support and expertise for your research.

Duration Fees: Home and EU Students Fees: International Students
Full time 2-4 years £4,260 £19,850 (Lab based programmes) £16,150 (Non Lab based programmes)
Part time 4-6 years £2,130 £9,925 (Lab based programmes) £8,075 (Non Lab based programmes)

The Doctor of Medicine (MD) is a doctoral degree open to medical practitioners (technically, anyone holding a medical qualification registrable with the General Medical Council). It is equivalent in requirements and format to the PhD.

Duration Fees: Home and EU Students Fees: International Students
Full time 2-4 years £4,260 £19,850 (Lab based programmes) £16,150 (Non Lab based programmes)
Part time 2-6 years £2,130 £9,925 (Lab based programmes) £8,075 (Non Lab based programmes)

Entry requirements

Eligibility and entry qualifications

Students will normally have a minimum of a 2.1 class honours degree in a relevant biological science subject, or an equivalent medical, veterinary or dental qualification. Applicants are selected on the basis of their curriculum vitae, qualifications and referees’ reports, together with their perceived ability to complete the programme successfully.

English language requirements

To apply for this research degree, you must have reached a minimum standard of English. You need to be able to provide evidence of this.  See our English language requirements for international students for guidance on the different English language qualifications and evidence that you can provide. 

International qualifications

We welcome applications from within the EU and from around the world. You should ensure that your qualifications are equivalent to those which are required to study for this research degree.  See our guidance on international qualifications.

Additional requirements

How to apply

Research degree applications can be made online.  Before you apply, we recommend that you identify a supervisor and develop a research proposal.  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

Find a supervisor

Your supervisor is your main source of academic support and mentoring. You'll need to find a supervisor before you start your research degree. It's helpful to identify a supervisor and discuss your research proposal before you apply.

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