Doctor of Philosophy in Biology

The Environmental and Life Sciences Graduate Programme offers Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Biology. It provides a broad laboratory and/or field training, and a comprehensive educational experience in environmental and life sciences, which can lead to a variety of careers in the government agencies and private sectors. Fields of study include cell and molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry and biotechnology, developmental and reproductive biology, ecology (terrestrial, marine and aquatic) and conservation biology, behavioural ecology, invasive ecology, marine and aquatic biology, plant and animal sciences, microbiology, botany, plant taxonomy and systematics, ethnobotany and medicinal plants, environment and climate change. The excellent laboratory and outdoor field facilities, and a field studies centre in the tropical rainforest (under Institute for Biodiversity and Environmental Research, IBER) strengthen both teaching and research in the broad field of Biology. Candidates will perform a research project under the supervision of staff from the Environmental and Life Sciences Programme and frequently in collaboration with staff members from other disciplines.

Aims and Scope

The PhD Programme in Biology aims to make scientists with high level specialised training, in order to cover the increased needs of Industry in related aspects. The scope of the Programme is to provide students the necessary specific scientific information, as well as to train them to develop their skills and analytical capabilities.


Students conduct an approved, original research project, with the supervision of one or more staff members. Upon completion of their research, they submit a Thesis, which normally does not exceed 100,000 words.


  • Compulsory modules SR-5101. These are modules that all postgraduate students must read and pass to satisfy their graduation requirement.

  • Assessment includes examination of the thesis by internal and external examiners. As stipulated in the relevant UBD regulations the examiners may subject a candidate to an oral examination or any other test they think necessary to assess the acceptability of the thesis. Periodic assessment of the progress of the candidate is carried out as stipulated in the relevant UBD regulations.

Areas of Research

  • Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Biochemistry
  • Biotechnology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Reproductive Biology
  • Ecology
  • Conservation Biology
  • Plant and Animal Sciences
  • Microbiology, Botany
  • Plant Taxonomy and Systematics
  • Behavioural Ecology
  • Marine and Aquatic Biology
  • Invasive Ecology
  • Ethnobotany and Medicinal Plants
  • Environment and Climate Change