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Biotechnology (Sustainable Technologies) PhD

Most students complete this programme in 4 years full-time

Study the rapidly developing field of biotechnology and get ready for a career delivering sustainable agricultural, industrial or clinical systems.

This course will give you an understanding of how the cellular and molecular mechanisms of biological systems can be utilised and manipulated to solve real-world biological problems. You'll gain the skills and expertise required for future developments in biotechnology, along with specialist knowledge in sustainable biotechnology.

With the successful completion of the programme, you will graduate with the specialist knowledge and employability skills required for a career in academic, clinical, industrial or commercial sectors anywhere in the world. Recent examples of graduate roles include a Healthcare Scientist, Pharmaceutical and Agri-tech R&D Scientist, Academic Researcher, Research Council Portfolio Manager.

Find out about the department's research subgroup activities

Programme structure

Most students complete this programme in 4 years. You cannot take less than 3 years to finish your research and the maximum time you are allowed is normally 5 years.

You will start this programme in September.

Occasionally we make changes to our programmes in response to, for example, feedback from students, developments in research and the field of studies, and the requirements of accrediting bodies. You will be advised of any significant changes to the advertised programme, in accordance with our Terms and Conditions.

Your academic progress and general welfare will be monitored by your supervisor.

Academic milestones

  1. Registration
  2. Induction
  3. Taught phase
  4. Candidature
  5. Confirmation
  6. Research
  7. Writing up
  8. Give notice of intention to submit a thesis / portfolio
  9. Submission for examination
  10. Examination (Viva Voce)
  11. Examiners report
  12. Final submission of thesis / portfolio
  13. Graduation

Programme content


  • Doctoral skills online
  • Doctoral skills workshop
  • Interaction and networking
  • Laboratory sessions
  • Lectures
  • Online resources
  • Practical sessions
  • Research project
  • Seminars
  • Supervisory team
  • Tutorials
  • Video materials
  • Workshops

Taught content

For the Integrated PhD in Biotechnology (Sustainable Technologies) programme you will be enrolled on the MSc Biotechnology (Sustainable Technologies) in your first year. Your MSc will be awarded upon successful completion of both the MSc and doctoral research stage of the programme. In the event you successfully complete the MSc but do not transfer to the research stage, your MSc will be awarded at the end of year 1.


In addition to the units studied during the course, you'll have access to online study materials two weeks before the start of semester 1, to help you prepare for study at Bath.

Compulsory course units

These compulsory units are currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new units.

All compulsory units

Year 1

Optional course units

These are examples of current modules available on the Sustainable Biotechnologies stream.

  • Beer and biofuels
  • Food security and the environment
  • Bioprocess and water engineering

Research content

Progression to your research stage in year 2 will be subject to successful completion of the MSc (with a minimum overall programme average of 50%, including 50% in the dissertation), and acceptance by a lead supervisor for the research project. Your thesis proposal and interdisciplinary supervisory team will be decided by the end of the first year. In years 2 through 4 you will conduct your PhD thesis research.

Although the registration period for an integrated PhD programme at the University of Bath is 5 years it is expected that you will submit your PhD thesis within 4 years of commencing your studies.

Professional Development

Professional development is a crucial element of doctoral study, not only in supporting your research but also as part of your longer term career development. Our DoctoralSkills workshops and courses will help you build your skills and help you succeed in your doctorate.

Read more about professional development support


Assessment methods

  • Coursework
  • Data analysis practical
  • Dissertation (MSc route only)
  • End point assessment
  • Essay
  • Multiple choice examination
  • Online assessment
  • Practical work
  • Presentations
  • Seminar
  • Thesis
  • Viva Voce
  • Written examination

Assessment description

Most of our research students register as probationers for the PhD programme to begin with. Your PhD registration is confirmed subject to your passing an assessment process. This normally involves submitting written work and an oral examination.

Candidates are expected to carry out supervised research at the leading edge of their chosen subject, which must then be written up as a substantial thesis.

The final stage of the PhD programme is the oral or viva voce examination, in which students are required to defend the thesis to a Board of Examiners.

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

At least an upper second-class honours degree, or equivalent.

English Language requirements

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall with no less than 6.0 in all components
  • The Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic): 62 with no less than 59 in any element
  • TOEFL IBT: 90 overall with a minimum 21 in all 4 components

You will need to get your English language qualification within 24 months prior to starting your course.

If you need to improve your English language skills before starting your studies, you may be able to take a pre-sessional course to reach the required level.


Two references are required. At least one of these should be an academic reference from the most recent place of study.

Fees and funding

Fees and funding information for Biotechnology (Sustainable Technologies) PhD


Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on whether you are a Home or Overseas student.

Learn how we decide fee status

Tuition fees are liable to increase annually for all University of Bath students. If you aren't paying your fees in British pounds, you should also budget for possible fluctuations in your own currency.

Find out more about student fees

Extra costs

A training support fee of £5,000 per annum is required in addition to the tuition fees - this applies from the second year of the programme onwards (this fee does not apply to your first year).

How to pay

Funding options

Find funding for doctoral research

Payment options

You can pay your tuition fees by Direct Debit, debit card, credit card or bank transfer.

Paying your tuition fees

Application information

  • Programme title
    Biotechnology (Sustainable Technologies) PhD
  • Final awards
    MSc and PhD
  • Mode of study
  • Department
  • Location
    University of Bath
    Claverton Down, Bath BA2 7AY
  • Application deadline

    3 months prior to the intended start date (for international applicants) or 2 months prior to the intended start date (for home applicants). For example, for an end of September start, the deadline is 30 June (international) and 31 July (home).

  • Regulator

Applicant profile

See our guide about how to apply for doctoral study

Selection process

All applicants need to take part in an interview and decision making process before being accepted onto this programme.

Immigration requirements

This PhD is covered by the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS). If you are an international student, you may require an ATAS certificate to join this course and you can find out more about the visa requirements for studying in the UK.

For additional support please contact the Student Immigration Service for matters related to student visas and immigration.

Programme enquiries

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