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Postgraduate research

Our goal is to improve patient health outcomes through research. Why not join us?

If you’re interested in embarking on a research degree that gives you the freedom to investigate a cutting-edge topic related to the science of medicines, you’ve come to the right place. Postgraduate research at Cardiff's School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences focuses on the discovery, development and optimised use of medicines and therapeutics to tackle some of the world’s most debilitating and life-threatening diseases.

Discover current PhD opportunities with us by selecting ‘Cardiff School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences’ under 'Department' on the PhD studentships and projects page.

Two female students in a lab with test tubes

Where world-leading research is waiting for you

When you join us to undertake a PhD or MPhil, you’ll work alongside world-leading researchers in a welcoming, supportive, school with access to first-class facilities.

We are proud of our heritage which spans over 100 years of teaching and research excellence and our School has a strong reputation for the quality of the research we conduct. We attract large research grants from a variety of sources and, at any one time, we have approximately 60 students studying for PhD qualification.

Our extensive range of research covers all areas of pharmacy related science – from drug discovery and medicinal chemistry right through to pharmacy practice and clinical pharmacy. Our aim is to give you the opportunity to conduct research in an area that most suits your interests and career aspirations.

Find out more about our opportunities for postgraduate research

'The postgraduate research community was incredibly friendly and inviting. It was great to get involved in activities and I had a brilliant time being on the student-staff panel which I chaired for 18 months. I had brilliant support from my supervisory team at the School, especially with regards to writing my thesis in the last nine months of my PhD and the viva process.'

Dr Alex Voisey

Our research themes

Research within our School is interdisciplinary and falls within two overlapping and overarching themes:

  1. Drug Discovery, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Experimental Therapeutics (DDPSET)
  2. Medicines Optimisation and Healthcare Outcomes (MOHO)

A wide variety of postgraduate research projects are available for students wishing to investigate these themes.

Our discipline areas for PhD and MPhil degrees

We welcome applications from students who are passionate about the science of medicines. We have a diverse research portfolio for you to consider when applying for a PhD or MPhil degree at our School. Our research areas include:

Drug Delivery and Microbiology (PhD/MPhil)

Within this area of research, we conduct projects that involve understanding the nature of biological barriers and developing advanced systems to improve the delivery of therapeutics. We also explore microbial survival strategies, microbial contamination of pharmaceutical products and control of microbial infection in healthcare environments.

Discover more about our postgraduate research opportunities for Drug Delivery and Microbiology (PhD/MPhil)

Medicinal Chemistry (PhD/MPhil)

Through this discipline, we can offer knowledge and expertise for a career in the pharmaceutical industry, academia or in primary/secondary care. Our research projects include molecular modelling and nucleotide prodrugs (“Protides”) especially as anticancer and antiviral agents.

Discover more about our postgraduate research opportunities for Medicinal Chemistry (PhD/MPhil)

Pharmacology and Physiology (PhD/MPhil)

Research study in this area involves furthering your understanding of physiological regulation and disease processes, identifying and validating novel drug targets and exploring mechanisms of drug action.

Discover more about our postgraduate research opportunities for Pharmacology and Physiology (PhD/MPhil)

Pharmacy Practice and Clinical Pharmacy (PhD/MPhil)

If you are looking to further your career in the pharmaceutical industry, academia or in primary/secondary care, this discipline of postgraduate research offers a wealth of projects to consider. From informing and influencing the practice of pharmacy and the development of policy around medicines usage and approval to patient perception and socioeconomic research – we can offer you a project to match your interests.

Discover more about our postgraduate research opportunities for Pharmacy Practice and Clinical Pharmacy (PhD/MPhil)

pharmacist and patient

Our facilities

As a postgraduate research student, you will benefit from a wide range of high-quality research equipment and facilities that support your research and studies, including up-to-date imaging and cytometry facilities, a dedicated ultra centrifuge suite, a GMP suite for clinical trial formulation work and much more.

Discover more about our equipment and facilities

Our Doctoral Academy

Once you have enrolled for your PhD at Cardiff university, you will be able to join our Doctoral Academy. This is the hub of interdisciplinary postgraduate researcher activities at Cardiff University and provides a supportive community, comprehensive training to support your personal skills, research and career development and a range of interdisciplinary community events and activities.

Find out more about out Doctoral Academy

Our support for our postgraduate research students

Along with the Doctoral Academy the school provides in-house basic training on the wider skills you will need as a researcher. These skills include, preparing a poster, presenting your research at a conference, writing your first paper and manuscript reviewing.

Our community

Our postgraduate research students are an integral part of our School community and we host many events to bring them together and benefit from each other's experience. These events include our very popular Postgraduate Research Day and other events where students can present their work, gain insight from their peers and academic staff. We also host a welcome event, social events including ice-cream in the beautiful Bute Park and more. Our postgraduate research students also benefit from a Staff Student Panel where they can feed through comments and suggestions for the way our School works with postgraduate students and supports postgraduate research.

Students by poster boards at postgraduate research poster day

How to apply

If you would like to join us for postgraduate research, take a look at these guidance notes and the link to the online application form.

Applications are accepted all year round and we have four intake dates per year in October, January, April and July.

We need to receive your completed application form before we can consider your application and you will also need to provide two references and proof of qualifications before we can make you an offer.

We look forward to receiving your application!

"I am fully funded by Cancer Research Wales. My previous degree was on a similar project to my current one. However, doing a PhD is completely different from doing a master’s degree. A PhD student feels more mature to undertake responsibilities and face challenges. Also, in this level of study a student has an active role and sometimes is the one who runs the show"

Dionysia Lymperatou, PhD Pharmacy


If you would like to know more about joining us for postgraduate research, please get in touch.

Wendy Davies

Wendy Davies

Postgraduate Research Administrator