Pharmaceutical Sciences (PhD)

2019-20 (also available for 2020-21)

This course is eligible for Doctoral loan funding. Find out more.

Start date

23 September 2019

13 January 2020

20 April 2020

Duration

The maximum duration for a part-time PhD is 6 years (72 months) with an optional submission pending (writing up period) of 12 months.

If studying on a part-time basis, you must establish close links with the University and spend normally not less than an average of 10 working days per year in the university, excluding participation in activities associated with enrolment, re-registration and progression monitoring. You are also expected to dedicate 17.5 hours per week to the research.

Sometimes it may be possible to mix periods of both full-time and part-time study.

Application deadlines

For PGR start date January 2020

29 November 2019

For PGR start date April 2020

11 February 2020

For PGR start date September 2020

02 July 2020

About the research degree

A PhD is the highest academic award for which a student can be registered.This programme allows you to explore and pursue a research project built around a substantial piece of work, which has to show evidence of original contribution to knowledge.

A part time PhD is a six year part-time programme of research and culminates in the production of a large-scale piece of written work in the form of a research thesis that should not normally exceed 40,000 words

Completing a PhD can give you a great sense of personal achievement and help you develop a high level of transferable skills which will be useful in your subsequent career, as well as contributing to the development of knowledge in your chosen field.

You are expected to work to an approved programme of work including appropriate programmes of postgraduate study (which may be drawn from parts of existing postgraduate courses, final year degree programmes, conferences, seminars, masterclasses, guided reading or a combination of study methods).

You will be appointed a main supervisor who will normally be part of a supervisory team, comprising up to three members to advise and support you on your project.

Entry requirements

The normal level of attainment required for entry is:

  • a Master's degree from a UK University or equivalent, in a discipline appropriate to the proposed programme to be followed, or
  • an upper second class honours degree (2:1) from a UK university in a discipline appropriate to that of the proposed programme to be followed, or
  • appropriate research or professional experience at postgraduate level, which has resulted in published work, written reports or other appropriate evidence of accomplishment.

If your first language is not English, you will need to meet the minimum requirements of an English Language qualification. The minimum for IELTS is 6.0 overall with the written element at least 6.0 with no element lower than 5.5, or equivalent will be considered acceptable. Read more about the University’s entry requirements for students outside of the UK on our Where are you from information pages.

What can I research?

There are several research topics available for this degree. See below examples of research areas including an outline of the topics, the supervisor, funding information and eligibility criteria:

Outline

Eczema in babies is common in UK. The general perception is that “babies usually grow out of the condition”. Therefore, many doctors do not use the term eczema at this early age. Despite, not being a health priority for the NHS, it is a major cause of distress in babies and young children and their parents, and significantly affects their quality of life. The usual approach in managing eczema is to protect the baby from possible triggers and offering emollients to soothe the skin. In severe flare-ups, steroidal creams are most commonly prescribed on NHS. Despite a variety of emollients available in the market for soothing eczema, there is none available with strong anti-inflammatory and antipruritic properties except topical steroidal products. This project shall aim to formulate creams and other suitable topical products for eczema (atopic dermatitis) incorporating natural ingredients with anti-inflammatory and antipruritic properties. The project will include a systematic screening of various natural ingredients and their combinations to assess their ability to reduce atopic dermatitis. This includes developing a series of formulations and testing their efficacy in a suitable cell culture model.

Funding

The project is for self-funding students from home or overseas. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £8000 per annum are also required.

Deadline

Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

Drug delivery via the mucosal routes such as the oral cavity, gastrointestinal tract, urinary bladder, vagina and rectum offer several advantages such as drug targeting, enhanced drug delivery etc. This research is focused on design and evaluation of novel dosage forms and materials for mucosal delivery of drugs and macromolecules. This project will involve the use of polymers modified for enhance mucosal interactions and the design of dosage forms such as wafers, gels, films, patches etc.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of between £3-£15,000 per annum are required depending on the nature of the project.

Deadline

Home/EU – for September- June 30th, for January-October 31st and Overseas for September- May 31st, for January- September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

Drug delivery into, and through, the skin is an attractive route of delivery for local and systemic delivery, however penetration and permeation into, and across, deeper skin layers are restricted due to barrier functions of stratum corneum, the outermost protective layer of the skin. This project will explore formulation strategies to improve delivery of drugs into the skin for more effective treatment of infections. For example, healthcare associated infections (HAIs) are a major concern for health service providers due to poor delivery of antimicrobials to target sites within the skin.

Funding

The project is for self-funding students from home or overseas. in addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £5,000 per annum are also required.

Deadline

Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

Diabetes is one of the major healthcare concerns in UK and is a significant cost to NHS. According to the NHS, there are 3.9 million people living with diabetes in UK, which is twice as many than in 1996.According to Diabetes UK, another half a million people living in UK with diabetes are not aware of it, and a further group of people in the UK have prediabetes. It is estimated that in 10 years from now, there will be five million people living with diabetes in UK. Like other diseases, an early diagnosis is very important for diabetes to avoid disease progression and risk for cardiovascular disease. Identification of high risk groups who may develop diabetes in next five years, therefore, is a key strategy to prevent developing disease and hence the national diabetes prevention program (NDPP) was launched in 2016 by the NHS and Public Health in England. The program significantly depends on the risk scoring system, taking inputs from age, sex, ethnicity, blood pressure, family history of diabetes, body mass index and waist measurements. The over-reliance of current risk-scoring strategies on waist circumference and BMI can potentially miss a huge population at a high risk of developing diabetes in UK. This project, therefore, is aimed to improve the current risk-scoring system in UK by developing a holistic approach to include visceral obesity into a robust risk scoring system to identify individuals at high risk of developing diabetes in UK, such as South Asians.

Funding

The project is for self-funding students from home or overseas. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £4000 per annum will be required

Deadline

Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

Obesity is a major health concerns. Weight loss surgery is the gold standard but is expensive and irreversible. Fitting a gastric balloon could be another alternative to weight loss surgery. This is endoscopically administered in a capsule and inflated once in the stomach. This reduces the stomach volume and therefore improves patient’s satiety threshold, and subsequently leads to significant weight loss. The approach is cost effective compared to other surgical interventions but still expensive as it cannot be offered outside hospital settings. The balloon needs endoscopic removal under anaesthesia after 4 months of its insertion; it is subject to spontaneous deflation if not removed. A repeated course of three balloons can be very expensive. This project aims to redesign the gastric balloon to improve its limitations. The project will include developing a series of formulations, their detailed characterisation, for example; swelling, gastric-stability, rheology, buoyancy, stability, degradation etc. The project will potentially lead to industrial/clinical collaborations to further the technology in preclinical and clinical trials.

Funding

The project is for self-funding students from home/EU or overseas, as there is no funding available for the project. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £5000 are also required.

Deadline

Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

We are looking to identifying biomarkers to help diagnose and predict Multiple Sclerosis and related disorders. These includes breath and blood analysis to pinpoint indicators of how the disease progresses.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of between £3-£15,000 per annum are required depending on the nature of the project.

Deadline

Home/EU – for September- June 30th, for January-October 31st and Overseas for September- May 31st, for January- September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

The aim of this project is to investigate the mechanism of action of anti-tumour activity of potent omega-3 fatty acids and cannabinoids in gynaecological cancer. We propose to define the pharmacological activity of these compounds with regard to their mode of action, cytotoxicity profile and effect on the cell cycle with a view to understanding the therapeutic potential of such compounds in the treatment of cancers.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £10,000 per annum are required.

Deadline

Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

Antibiotic resistance is a major threat to public health worldwide. Studies showed that infection with resistant bacteria is associated with an increased rate of morbidity and mortality, longer hospital stay and, increased antibiotic consumption. The aim of this research is to optimise antibiotic use by identifying inappropriate antibiotic prescribing practices, inform current antibiotic guidelines, and measure its impact on reducing healthcare acquired infections. The research will involve creating a data-set that include information on antibiotic use, infection control practices, and healthcare acquired infections. A comprehensive assessment of current antibiotic prescribing practices will be undertaken aiming at identifying inappropriate antibiotic use and optimal antibiotic prescribing practices. This will be followed by developing an intervention to reduce current antibiotic use through informing and amending current antibiotic guidelines with identified appropriate antibiotic prescribing practices. The developed intervention will be implemented across the study site hospital, and its impact will be measured.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of between £3-£15,000 per annum are required depending on the nature of the project.

Deadline

Home/EU – for September- June 30th, for January-October 31st and Overseas for September- May 31st, for January- September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

With a lot of new chemical entities (NCE) being classed according to the Biopharmaceutical Classification System (BCS) as Class II, there is a growing need to improve their solubility. Belonging to class II means they have low solubility but high permeability and therefore high peroral dose. Enhancement of their dissolution due to the poor solubility is therefore key in ensuring a suitable plasma concentration for therapeutic effect. Techniques such as particle size reduction, prodrug derivatisation, use of surfactants, salt formation, cocrystallisation and solid dispersions to name a few are used to improve solubility. This projects aims at using novel techniques in engineering the particle sizes of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) in the quest of achieving improved solubility in these systems and characterising them.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of between £3-£15,000 per annum are required depending on the nature of the project.

Deadline

Home/EU – for September- June 30th, for January-October 31st and Overseas for September- May 31st, for January- September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

Magnesium aluminum silicate is a sheet-type clay mineral and a saponite in the smectite group. Smectites have a basic three-layered structure (tetrahedral– octahedral–tetrahedral layers) in which an octahedral layer with an Mg atom in the centre and six apical oxygen atoms are present between regular tetrahedral layers with an Si atom in the centre and four apical oxygen atoms. Clays have many different applications as reviewed in literature. The objectives of this study is to fully understand and determine pharmaceutically relevant properties of clays with regards to its suitability in solid dosage forms using compression analysis, small angle x-ray scattering (SAXS), isothermal calorimetry (ITC) and x-ray microtomography (XµT)

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of between £3-£15,000 per annum are required depending on the nature of the project.

Deadline

Home/EU – for September- June 30th, for January-October 31st and Overseas for September- May 31st, for January- September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

Natural materials are playing an increasing role as alternatives to synthetic pharmaceutical excipients. This is due to their biocompatibility, low cost, and relative abundance. These natural polymers are now being widely used in the pharmaceutical industry as polymers in various drug delivery systems. Examples of such polymers include sodium alginate, guar gum, chitosan, gum karaya etc. This project involves the extraction and characterization of different plant based polymers. In addition, these polymers will be assessed against commercially available polymers in their native form or with some modification to tailor their use for various pharmaceutical applications.

Funding

The project is for self-funding students from home or overseas. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £4,000 per annum are also required.

Deadline

Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

Accumulating evidence links activation of oestrogen receptors (ERβ) to suppression of neuroinflammation in the microglia, with the resulting neuroprotective effect. Estradiol has been shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects in the brain. However, clinical use of this hormone is controversial because of its peripheral actions related to risks of endometrial and breast cancers. Consequently, PhD research in this topic will investigate potential selective oestrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) from natural products (phytoestrogens) for anti neuroinflammatory and neuroprotective effects. The project will also determine whether these compounds induce proliferation of cultured endometrial and breast cancer cell lines. The project will involve biochemical techniques, cell culture, live cell imaging, western blotting, ELISAs, immunofluorescence, RNAi, miRNA analysis, and epigenetics.

Funding

Self-funding applications are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £8,000 per annum are required.

Deadline

Home/EU-June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

We are looking to repurpose known drugs for the use in inflammatory conditions, including neuropathic pain. Repurposing allows for a more rapid drug development, as previously approved drugs will not require the stringency of clinical trials.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of between £3-£15,000 per annum are required depending on the nature of the project.

Deadline

Home/EU – for September- June 30th, for January-October 31st and Overseas for September- May 31st, for January- September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

UV imaging has been used as a platform for observing the behaviour of pharmaceutical compounds. The surface dissolution imaging instrument (SDI) has been used in determining the intrinsic dissolution rates (IDR) of compounds due to its compound sparing approach and has been used to observe phenomena such as the swelling behaviour of hydrophilic matrices, capsule dissolution and drug precipitation. We have also developed a Franz cell prototype (patented) at allows imaging through biological and synthetic skin membranes. This project aims to utilise this imaging platform in providing further insights into the behaviour of pharmaceuticals with the prospect of speeding up the preformulation stage thereby reducing costs

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of between £3-£15,000 per annum are required depending on the nature of the project.

Deadline

Home/EU – for September- June 30th, for January-October 31st and Overseas for September- May 31st, for January- September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

Conventional nail formulations are not fully effective due to limited drug permeation across the compact keratinized structure of the nail plate. Drug permeation through the nail plate is important for treating nail diseases and infections. Therefore, there is currently a need for more effective formulations in the treatment of nail diseases. This project will explore the use of novel combination of approaches in the design of ungunal and transungunal formulations in order to enhance to drug delivery to the nail.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of between £3-£15,000 per annum are required depending on the nature of the project.

Deadline

Home/EU – for September- June 30th, for January-October 31st and Overseas for September- May 31st, for January- September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

As we age the incidence of CNS disease increases including neurodegenerative, neurological and psychiatric disorders. CeBioR at the University of Huddersfield looks to address some of these issues by exploring the underlying aetiology of the aforementioned diseases. By understanding these diseases we can develop tools to not only improve diagnosis, but also develop new therapeutics to improve disease treatment. We anticipate that the centre’s research will improve the quality of life of many people suffering with these highly debilitating diseases, providing a smooth and rapid translation from proof of concept to a tangible availability in the clinic. Students will look to explore a number of candidate CNS disease biomarkers developed within the research centre and determine their use as disease indicators or their potential as drug targets. The project will involve a wide range of techniques/methods and may include biochemical techniques, advanced cell culture e.g. stem cells, live cell imaging, Quantitative PCR, western blotting, ELISAs, proteomics, immunofluorescence, bioinformatic analysis, immunohistochemistry, RNA sequencing, array analysis, GWAS and epigenetics

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £10,000 per annum are required.

Deadline

Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

We undertake world class research across a range of disciplines - from identifying targets for new drugs to combat important diseases like depression through to developing and improving drug delivery methods by inhalation and other routes. Research within the Pharmaceutical Sciences can be split into themes:

• Pharmaceutics • Material Sciences • Pharmacology and Pharmacogenomics.

To find out more about the research we conduct, take a look at our Research, Innovation and Skills webpages, where you will find information on each research area. To find out about our staff visit ‘Our experts’ which features profiles of all our academic staff.

You will need to complete a research proposal outlining your areas of interest and when this is submitted along with your research degree application form we will look for the academics within the University who have the expertise and knowledge to supervise you and guide you through your research degree.

Researcher Enviroment

The University of Huddersfield has a thriving research community made up of over 1,350 postgraduate research students. We have students studying on a part-time and full-time basis from all over the world with around 43% from overseas and 57% from the UK.

Research plays an important role in informing all our teaching and learning activities. Through undertaking research our staff remain up-to-date with the latest developments in their field, which means you develop knowledge and skills which are current and relevant to your specialist area.

Find out more about our research staff and centres

Student support

Tuition fees

At the University of Huddersfield, you'll find support networks and services to help you get ahead in your studies and social life. Whether you study at undergraduate or postgraduate level, you'll soon discover that you're never far away from our dedicated staff and resources to help you to navigate through your personal student journey. Find out more about all our support services.

Important information

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