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.

Why study with us?

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.

Overview

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. 

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.

Our 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.

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.

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


Duration Home/EU Students International Students
Full time 2-4 years £4,407* (2020) £23,650* ^ (lab based programmes)
£18,000* (non Lab based programmes) (2020).
Part time 4-6 years £2,204* (2020) £11,825* (lab based programmes) £9,000* (non Lab based programmes) (2020)

*This fees excludes potential research support fees also known as ‘bench fees. You will be notified of any fee which may apply in your offer letter.

^Self funded full time international students studying a lab based programme will receive a £2,000 reduction in their fees for the first year only.


Entry requirements

Applications are welcomed from well qualified graduates who would typically hold a UK first degree or equivalent in the first or 2:1 class, or a 2:2 class degree plus a Masters degree, in a relevant subject.

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.

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

You must also have reached a minimum standard of English and be able to provide evidence of this. See our English language requirements for international students.


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

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