Virology PhD / MPhil / MD

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?

My PhD at the Institute of Infection and Global Health 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.The Institute of Infection and Global Health has provided me with both the scientific and transferable skills required for my future career.

Naomi Coombes, Virology PhD student.
  • 150

    years of leading international reputation.

  • 156

    research students.

  • £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. We also enjoy close and active collaboration with NHS colleagues through the Liverpool Health Partners Academic Health Science System.

Research in Virology is based in new laboratories in the Ronald Ross Building and ic2 Building on the main University city centre campus.  Our research encompasses studies of the pathogenicity, diagnostics, identification, epidemiology and immune responses to a range of viral pathogens including: flaviviruses such as Japanese encephalitis virus and Zika virus; Ebola virus; Chikungunya virus; HIV; respiratory syncytial virus; cytomegalovirus and other herpesviruses. 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 humans.

Our research interests

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

  • Emerging and Zoonotic infections – Prof Julian Hiscox, Prof Tom Solomon, Prof Lisa Ng, Dr Lance Turtle, Dr Geogios Pollakis
  • Gastrointestinal infections – Prof Nigel Cunliffe, Prof Miren Iturizza-Gomara
  • Respiratory infections – Prof Julian Hiscox , Prof James Stewart, Dr Qibo Zhang
  • Neurological infections – Prof Tom Solomon, Dr Mike Griffiths
  • Developing novel tools for studying HIV-1 vaccine efficacy and viral reservoir sized. (Prof Bill Paxton, Dr Georgios Pollakis

Research themes

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

  • Emerging and Zoonotic infections – Zika virus, Japanese encephalitis virus, Chikungunya virus, Ebola virus
  • Gastrointestinal infections – Rotavirus, Noravirus
  • Respiratory infections – Influenza virus, Respiratory syncytial virus
  • Blood borne viruses – Human Immunodeficiency virus, Hepatitis C virus
  • Neurological infections – Herpes Simplex virus, Japanese encephalitis virus

Facilities

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

Research groups

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


Study options and fees


MPhil / PhD / MD Duration UK students International Students
Full time 2-4 years £4,500* (2021) £24,250* ^ (lab based programmes)
£18,450* (non Lab based programmes) (2021)
Part time 4-6 years £2,250* (2021) £12,125* (lab based programmes)
£9,225* (non Lab based programmes) (2021)

* This 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.

If an EU student starts their studies in 2020-21, before 1 August 2021, they will have a fee classification of EU and pay UK fee rates for the duration of this registration. The exception being ROI students, who will continue to be charged fees at the UK fee rate, post 1 August 2021.


Entry requirements

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 and on the value of the training offered to their subsequent career plans.

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
PTE Academic requirement61 with minimum scores of 46 in each component
Trinity College London, Intergrated 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

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