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Cell Matrix Research (PhD)

Cell Matrix Overview

Year of entry: 2017

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Degree awarded
3-4 years PhD, 1-2 years MPhil
Entry requirements
Applicants are expected to hold, or about to obtain, an Upper Second class Honours degree (or equivalent) in a related subject area. A Lower Second class Honours degree may be considered if applicants also hold a Masters degree with a Merit classification.

Full entry requirements

Contact email
Contact telephone
+44 (0)161 275 5608
How to apply

Apply online

On the online application form, select PhD or MPhil for this programme and follow the instructions on our How to Apply page.

Applications must be submitted online well in advance of your anticipated start date (6 weeks for home/EU, 12 weeks for overseas). We cannot accept late applications without prior agreement via the Doctoral Academy.

Home/EU applicants:

April 2017 - submission no later than 15 February 2017

September 2017 - submission no later than 15 July 2017

Overseas applicants:

April 2017 - submission in January 2017

September 2017 - submission no later than 1st June 2017

Programme options

Full-timePart-timeFull-time distance learningPart-time distance learning

Programme description

Cells continuously sense and produce their surrounding extracellular matrix (ECM) environment. The ECM is essential for multicellular life and cell-ECM communication is important throughout the life of an organism.

Cellular responses to the chemical and biomechanical structure of the ECM include changes in the motile behaviour of cells, cell proliferation, differentiation and survival.

Cells also continuously actively remodel their ECM to form new functional tissue (eg for regeneration purposes) and any aberration in signals affecting cell-matrix communication can result in disease (eg cancer, fibrosis, cardiovascular disease, inflammation).

Therefore, understanding how cells sense and produce their ECM environment is critically important for maintaining organism health.

Our Cell Matrix postgraduate research programme comprises projects that study:

  • the biochemistry and biophysical properties of the ECM - the mechanisms of how cells interact with the ECM and how they translate the extracellular information into a cellular response, as well as how cell-matrix interactions affect cell fate and tissue function;
  • the mechanisms of how cells remodel their ECM environment, including how aberrant signals affect health and can result in disease;
  • how ECM signalling can be used for tissue regeneration.

See the Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell-Matrix Research website for further information.

About our PhD and MPhil degrees

PhD/MPhil programmes are based on individual research projects that last three to four years (PhD) or one to two years (MPhil), working with a specific Primary Supervisor and Co-Supervisor(s).

Applicants are specifically matched with a Primary Supervisor and individual project based on their research interests and background.

Training and development

All of our postgraduate research students attend the Doctoral Academy Training Programme delivered by the Centre for Academic and Researcher Development (CARD).

The programme provides key transferable skills in areas such as commercial awareness, academic writing and public engagement. This training equips our postgraduates with the tools to progress beyond their research degree into influential positions within academia, industry and consultancy.

The emphasis is on enhancing skills critical to developing early-stage researchers and professionals, whether they relate to effective communication, disseminating research findings and project management skills.

See the training and development page for more information.


For entry in the academic year beginning September 2017, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • PhD (full-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): Standard £4,195, Low £8,250, Medium £14,500, High £19,500
    International students (per annum): Standard £21,000, Low £23,000, Medium £28,500, High £33,500