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Musculoskeletal (PhD)

Musculoskeletal Overview

Year of entry: 2017

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Overview

Degree awarded
PhD/MPhil
Duration
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
PhDYYNN
MPhilYYNN

Programme description

Research in the Centre for Musculoskeletal Research (CfMR) is undertaken by established groups and independent researchers investigating genetic and epidemiological aspects of musculoskeletal conditions.

These include:

  • rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
  • osteoarthritis (OA)
  • psoriatic arthritis (PsA)
  • juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA)
  • systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
  • myositis and scleroderma (Sc).

We have a strong track record of training students, and all of our senior staff have a hands-on approach to supervision.

We have a comprehensive programme of training and mentorship directed at all levels of career development. For postgraduate research students, we provide in-house training in generic lab skills, biostatistics and epidemiology.

Postgraduate research students are encouraged to take part in patient/public engagement and involvement activities (PPE/I) to discuss their research with members of the general public and patients.

Examples of research in genetics and genomics include the following.

  • Identification and characterisation of genetic variants that influence susceptibility to rheumatological conditions including RA, JIA and PsA.
  • Identification and characterisation of genetic and epigenetic variants that influence treatment response to methotrexate and/or biological therapy in rheumatological conditions including RA, JIA and PsA.
  • Identification and characterisation of genetic/genomic variants that influence severity of rheumatological conditions.  Investigating the function of genetic variants to refine the associated regions, and highlight likely causal variants, in loci with large, genetically intractable associations.
  • Identifying key pathways involved in inflammation to identify novel targets to develop new drugs.
  • Using stratified medicine and systems biology approaches to develop predictive and pharmacodynamics markers of treatment response.
  • Characterising regulatory elements and causal mechanisms by which genetic variation contributes to phenotype.
  • Applying gene expression profiling to predict treatment response in patients with RA.
Examples of research programmes in epidemiology include the following.
  • Undertaking longitudinal observational studies, case control studies and intervention studies.
  • Investigating the co-morbidities associated with inflammatory musculoskeletal disorders and their impact on quality of life and mortality.
  • Investigating environmental and genetic risk factor for developing RA, JIA and PsA.
  • Hosting national databases and monitoring drug safety (i.e. pharmacoepidemiology) in RA, JIA and SLE.
  • Using of big data (eg CPRD) to address relevant epidemiological questions.
  • Intervention studies of devices and the development of new models of outcome in osteoarthritis.
  • Investigating and predicting long-term outcomes in patients with JIA and RA including pain, quality of life, and worker-productivity loss.
  • Investigating the pathophysiology, epidemiology, measurement and treatment of systemic sclerosis and primary Raynaud's phenomenon.
  • Using e-health data to investigate changes in disease activity over time.
  • Investigating adherence to treatment in patients with RA.

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.

Fees

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
  • PhD (part-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): Standard £2,098, Low £4,125, Medium £7,250, High £9,750
    International students (per annum): Standard £10,500, Low £11,500, Medium £14,250, High £16,750