Veterinary Virology

Virology is the study of the viral agents responsible for causing disease in humans or animals. This includes the study of underlying mechanisms of virulence, virus epidemiology and immune responses to viruses.

Leading international reputation in infection research 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.

Working on Chikungunya virus has given me an insight into how a world-leading research institute is tackling some of the biggest health issues of the 21st century.

Naomi Coombes - Veterinary Virology PhD student
  • 150

    years of leading international reputation.

  • 120+

    academic members of staff.

  • £9.5m

    annual research income.

Research at Liverpool

Research in Veterinary Virology is based in new laboratories at two main sites, the ic2 Building on the main University city centre campus, and at our Leahurst campus on the Wirral (20 mins from Liverpool).

Our research encompasses studies of the pathogenicity, diagnostics, identification, epidemiology and immune responses to a range of viral pathogens including: avian metapneumovirus; infectious bronchitis virus, feline calicivirus, Mosquito-borne arboviruses, Bluetongue virus and Schmallenberg virus. Techniques used include: diagnostic identification methods, flow cytometry, ELISA, epidemiology, transcriptomic and genomic technologies, proteomics and infection models.

The aims of the research are to investigate the transmission routes and behaviour of pathogens during infections and use this knowledge to design better therapeutic strategies or vaccines in order to improve the health of animals.

Research themes

Our research in veterinary virology spans a range of different virus families, which are linked to a broad spectrum of clinical diseases.  These include the following areas:

  • Molecular immunopathogenesis of avian respiratory pathogens
  • Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus.
  • Diversity, evolution and transmission of important veterinary viral pathogens
  • Malignant catarrhal fever of domestic cattle 
  • Mosquito-borne arboviruses.

Research interests

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

  • Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus – Prof Julian Hiscox
  • Avian respiratory pathogens – Dr Kannan Ganapathy
  • Using modern sequencing technologies to understand the diversity, evolution and transmission of important viral infections within their natural host populations – Prof Alan Radford
  • Pathogenesis of ovine herpesvirus 2 (OvHV-2) – Prof James Stewart.

Facilities

The University and Institute has state of the art facilities for undertaking research in veterinary virology, including a Containment Level 3 (CL3) Suite, Flow cytometry, Genomics and Proteomics facilities.

Research groups

Veterinary virology research can be undertaken with a range of supervisors and research groups in the Institute, including:

Study options and fees

MPhil

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 £4,195 £15,350
Part time 4-6 years £2,098 £7,675
PhD

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 £4,195 £15,350
Part time 4-6 years £2,098 £7,675
MD

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 £4,195 £15,350
Part time 2-6 years £2,098 £7,675

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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Need help finding a supervisor? Contact us

Related studentships

Funding

LDC module

Your training and development

Join us and you'll also join the Liverpool Doctoral College, our home for doctoral support, training and development. You'll join a vibrant and collaborative community of researchers, get tailored support for your development and have the opportunity to undertake a work placement.

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