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MSc by Research in Biomedical Science

This one-year research programme provides an opportunity for graduates with an interest in biomedical science to complete a masters level course during which they carry out a research project in their specific area of interest working under the supervision of an academic member of staff. Biomedical Science covers the area of basic science which focuses on the study of fundamental biological processes involved in health and disease. Spanning a wide variety of disciplines in the life and physical sciences, biomedical research employs cross-disciplinary approaches with the overall aim to understand and treat disease.

This is not a taught course and does not require completion of specific taught modules. The MSc by Research is often a popular choice for those wanting a full-time research experience and can provide a valuable stepping stone to those wishing to embark on a PhD programme. 

Studying across a range of disciplines you will have access to tailored York Biomedical Research Institute (YBRI) training activities focussed on the biomedical sciences and the core YBRI themes: 

  • Immunology, haematology and infection
  • Molecular and cellular medicine
  • Neuroscience

Overview

  • Degree awarded: MSc by Research in Biomedical Science
  • Entry requirements: We require applicants to hold or expect to gain an Upper Second class Honours degree (or equivalent) in a related subject area for entry into this Masters programme.
  • Funding: We welcome applications at any time from those who are able to fund their own studies.  Information on funding for postgraduate courses.
  • Projects: A description of potential project areas and supervisors can be found by scrolling down to the bottom of this page.
  • How to apply: Once you have chosen your project, make a note of its title and the name of the supervisors. Please follow our step-by-step guidance to submit your application. You will need the following documents ready to upload:
    • Your academic transcript/s
    • A short (one page) personal statement to explain your background, relevant experience, research interests and why the project/s you have selected appeal to you. You should also explain your motivation for applying to the biomedical sciences programme. More guidance can be found here.
    • Your CV (curriculum vitae). The CV should be approximately two pages long and should include:
      • Your contact details (please do not include your photo or any personal information that is not directly relevant to the application, such as your date of birth, nationality, gender, marital status etc.)
      • A short statement of academic interests (2-3 sentences)
      • Your education, including: name of the programme and institution, degrees held or ongoing, dates and (expected) classification or overall mark, relevant modules covered 
      • Further details of research experience: this can include undergraduate projects, summer projects, or experience obtained in the workplace. Include project title, supervisor/s, dates, and a short description of the work undertaken and the main findings (2-3 sentences).
      • Other work experience, volunteering experience and training courses that are relevant to the application
      • Research skills, computer skills and any other relevant skills (for example, transferable skills)
      • Scientific publications: list any peer-reviewed research papers, reviews, book chapters etc. you have contributed to. Make sure to reference the publications so they can be easily and unambiguously traced.
      • Attendance and/or presentation at local, national or international conferences, including titles of any oral or poster presentations
      • Any other relevant information 
      • Contact details for two independent academic references 
    • Apply Now
  • Contact us: If you have any questions, please contact biomed-sciences-phd@york.ac.uk

English Language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. For more information see our Postgraduate English language requirements.

Programme description

York’s MSc by Research in Biomedical Science aims to bring students from all over the world to our first class research facilities. Over a one-year period you will develop and execute research in your chosen field. 

Areas of research fall within, but are not limited to, the diverse biomedical portfolio of our academic staff, neuroscience, molecular and cellular medicine, immunology, haematology and infection. 

Working under the supervision of world-leading, research-active supervisors, you will be encouraged to contribute to the development of new techniques, ideas or approaches as you pursue research in biomedical science at an advanced level. 

The MSc by Research in Biomedical Science has the following contributing departments; Biology, Chemistry, Electronic Engineering, Health Sciences, Physics and Hull York Medical School (HYMS), as partners in the York Biomedical Research Institute (YBRI).

Special features

Training and cohort-building programme: A dedicated Biomedical Science training and cohort-building programme will draw on the training offered by the collaborating departments, whilst offering the students on the programme additional training and opportunities to promote collaboration and networking across the programme.

Cohort activities will include: a monthly journal club, an annual research symposium, and other cross-departmental YBRI seminars and events.

Mentoring: All new research students are offered mentorship from within the existing research student community. For those new to York, mentors work in the same research area. Those who have previously studied at York will be offered a mentor working in a different research area. The mentor partnership is a means to explore options and understand more about working as a research student at the University of York.

Meet our Students

I’m Ben and I recently graduated from the University of York with a postgraduate research degree in Biomedical Sciences, awarded by the York Biomedical Research Institute (YBRI). I first came to York in 2017, completing my undergraduate qualification in Biology where I found my interest in bladder research. York’s outstanding reputation for biomedical science (BMS) and the ability to have a degree of research independence was what led me to applying for the Biomedical Science MSc by Research programme.

Over the year, I worked alongside colleagues in the Jack Birch Unit of Molecular Carcinogenesis on a project collating information on fat signalling in the urinary bladder. A Master’s in BMS with YBRI is a fast-paced degree and my colleagues instantly helped me to feel part of the research team and I am so grateful for the opportunity to work in the lab led by Prof Jenny Southgate. On top of the technical research skills I learnt, a YBRI BMS programme teaches you project management, communication and analysis skills that are vital for any career path. The MSc by Research motivated me to continue with a career in research and I was fortunate enough to be accepted onto a PhD programme at the University of Manchester. I believe that my master’s year propelled me to where I am now, continuing in the same field. The course gives you the chance to be more independent and continue developing your research skills, almost acting as a stepping-stone before the commitment of a PhD. That was my paramount reason for choosing the degree programme and I was not disappointed!

MSc by Research Biomedical Science Supervisors and Projects for 2023 Entry

Please see potential project areas and supervisors listed below.  We welcome applications at any time.

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Immunology, haematology and infection

SupervisorDepartmentResearch Interests
Prof Fred Antson Chemistry  Protein-nucleic acid interactions 
Dr Gavin Barlow HYMS Infection; Antibiotics; Antimicrobials; Biomarkers; Prognosis
Dr Christoph Baumann Biology  A variety of cellular processes, including transcription, replication and recombination, involve simultaneous melting and unwinding of the two DNA strands, and translocation of the strands within a DNA-bound protein complex. 
Dr Jamie Blaza Chemistry  CryoEM; Electron-tomography; Bacteria; Bioenergetics; Pathogens 
Dr Dave Boucher Biology Inflammasome and protease signalling  
Dr Katherine Bridge Biology  Understanding and targeting the hypoxic response in acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) 
Dr Mathieu Cayla  Biology  Parasitology; Trypanosome; Signalling; Autophagy; Differentiation 
Prof James Chong Biology  Anaerobic applied systems biology 
Dr Cecile Crosnier  Biology  Schistosoma; Recombinant proteins; Immunomodulation; Protein interactions; Parasitology 
Dr Simon Crouch Health Sciences Biostatistics; Stochastic Modelling; Predictive Modelling; Big Data; Haematological Malignancies 
Prof Anne-Kathrin Duhme-Klair Chemistry  Metal ions in biology and medicine 
Dr Joana R. Correia Faria  Biology  Gene expression; Nuclear-architecture; Microscopy; Proteomics; Next-generation-sequencing 
Dr Paul Fogg Biology  Horizontal Gene Transfer (HGT), which is a fundamental and powerful process for the exchange of genes between bacteria. 
Dr Ville Friman Biology  Ecology and evolution of antibiotic resistance. Use of phage therapy to treat bacterial infections. Cystic fibrosis lung microbiomes. 
Dr William Grey  Biology  Stem Cells; Proteostasis; Haematopoiesis; Leukaemia; Cancer 
Dr James Hewitson  Biology Mammalian immune responses to parasitic worm infections.
Dr Chris Hill Biology Structural biology; RNA biology; Viruses; Gene expression; Translational control  
Prof Ian Hitchcock Biology My group have identified a key interaction between a cell surface receptor and a mutated protein that is essential for myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN) development.
Dr Daniel Jeffares  Biology Population and comparative genomics. Incuding quantative genetics, landscape genetics and the evolution of drug resistance. 
Dr Steven Johnson School of Physics, Engineering & Technology Biosensors, Infection, Electrochemistry, Microfluidics, Co-design. 
Prof Paul Kaye HYMS The immunopathology of leishmaniasis, with emphasis both on exploring opportunities for developing novel host-directed therapies and also for gaining new insight into myeloid cell function. 
Dr David Kent  Biology The biology of adult blood stem cells and the process by which single blood stem cells are subverted to drive blood cancers such as leukaemia.
Dr Ioannis Kourtzelis  HYMS  The study of mechanisms that orchestrate the onset and resolution of sterile and pathogen-induced inflammation.
Prof Thomas Krauss School of Physics, Engineering & Technology Photonic nanostructures; Optical biosensors; Antimicrobial susceptibility test; Nanofabrication technology 
Dr Dimitris Lagos  HYMS The overarching working hypothesis of our work is that modulation of immune responses is a key function of non-coding RNAs in mammals and that coordination of the machineries that control non-coding and coding RNA metabolism is required for optimal mammalian immunity. 
Prof Alison Layton HYMS  Acne; Scarring; Clinical Trials; Antimicrobial resistance; Psycho-dermatology 
Prof Mark Leake  Biology & School of Physics, Engineering & Technology  Biophysics; Single-molecule; Bioimaging; Super-resolution; Single-cell
Prof Jeremy Mottram Biology Molecular genetics, cell biology and biochemistry of Leishmania, the parasitic protozoan that causes the neglected tropical disease leishmaniasis 
Dr Elmarie Myburgh  HYMS My research focusses on the complex interplay between pathogens and their hosts, with a particular interest in the kinetoplastids Leishmania and African trypanosomes.
Prof Rob Newton Health Sciences Cancer; Infections; Africa; HIV; Immunity 
Dr Samadhan Patil School of Physics, Engineering & Technology Point-of-care diagnostics; Bio-sensors; Metabolomics; Antimicrobial resistance; Bio-mechanics 
Dr Damian Perez Mazliah HYMS  B cells; Antibodies; Parasites; Chagas disease; Trypanosoma 
Dr Michael Plevin  Biology  Biomolecular recognition and the structural and chemical features that define interaction surfaces of proteins and nucleic acids. 
Prof Eve Roman Health Sciences Haematological malignancies; Childhood cancers; Epidemiological methods; Adverse reproductive events 
Dr Nathalie Signoret  HYMS Chemokines and their receptors have emerged as essential controls for the trafficking and activation of immune cells, in both homeostatic and inflammatory conditions. Our research aims to define how these molecules influence immune responses and establish the mechanisms by which they exert their activity.
Prof Alex Smith  Health Sciences Epidemiology; Leukaemia; Lymphoma; Myeloma 
Prof Gavin Thomas  Biology The Thomas group has two main interests that are linked by the bacterium Escherichia coli. We are interested in the mechanisms used by different bacteria, mainly huma
Prof Reidun Twarock  Biology & Maths  The structure and assembly of viruses. Viruses have a protein shell that encapsulates and hence provides protection for the viral genome. 
Prof Marjan Van der Woude  HYMS  We are interested in molecular strategies at both the single cell level and population level that enable a bacterial pathogen's success. Our main focus is cell surface structures and modulation and gene regulation in E. coli and Salmonella spp. 
Dr Pegine Walrad Biology  Kinetoplastid parasites which cause human disease worldwide; afflicting the poorest of society. 
Prof Tony Wilkinson Chemistry Structure function analysis of proteins relevant to (i) disease processes and drug discovery in parasites and (ii) cell fate and virulence in spore-forming bacteria
Dr Laurence Wilson School of Physics, Engineering & Technology Imaging; Bioinformatics; Parasitology; Biological physics; Motility 
Prof Gavin Wright Biology & HYMS The Wright Laboratory is interested in identifying new therapeutic targets for both genetic and infectious diseases by using systematic large-scale protein-based approaches to discover extracellular receptor-ligand interactions that are essential for cellular recognition processes.

Molecular and cellular medicine

SupervisorDepartmentResearch Interests
Dr Simon Baker Biology Epithelial; Carcinogenesis; Transcriptomics; Genomics; Mutational signatures
Dr Gonzalo Blanco Biology Understanding the mechanisms underlying muscle plasticity
Dr Will Brackenbury Biology Ion channels, membrane excitability and cancer
Prof Nia Bryant Biology Control of Intracellular Membrane Traffic
Prof Marek Brzozowski Chemistry Structural endocrinology; Membrane proteins; Development of methods for protein crystallisation
Dr Manish Chuhan School of Physics, Engineering & Technology Soft robotics (for biomedical applications); Microbiology; Robot-assisted medical devices; Optical fibre technology (spectroscopy); Medical diagnostics and therapeutic interventions 
Prof Paul Clarke Chemistry Medicinal chemistry; Natural product synthesis; Synthetic chemistry
Prof Dawn Coverley Biology Structure, function and maintenance of the mammalian cell nucleus
Prof Gideon Davies Chemistry Structural enzymology and carbohydrate chemistry
Dr Martin Fascione Chemistry Chemical glycobiology and glycomedicine
Prof Paul Genever Biology Stem cells and regenerative medicine. Repair and regeneration of skeletal tissues
Dr Yvette Hancock School of Physics, Engineering & Technology Label-free methods; Biomolecular stratification; Biomarkers; Clinical translation; Raman spectroscopy 
Dr Andrew Holding Biology How cells respond to steroid hormones, both in cancer and in healthy tissues, with a focus on breast cancer
Prof Neil Hunt Chemistry Physical chemistry 
Prof Roland Kroger School of Physics, Engineering & Technology Ex situ and In situ Transmission Electron Microscopy; Bone and Teeth Structure; Composition and Properties; Raman Spectroscopy 
Dr Chris MacDonald Biology Membrane trafficking; Cell surface membrane proteins; Yeast genetics; Fluorescence microscopy; Biochemistry 
Dr Andrew Mason Biology Cancer; Bioinformatics; Functional Genomics; Endogenous Retroviruses 
Dr Agnes Noy School of Physics, Engineering & Technology Molecular modelling; DNA supercoiling; DNA:protein recognition; 3D genomics; gene therapy 
Prof Peter O'Brien Chemistry Fragment-based drug discovery; SARS-CoV-2; chemical biology; medicinal chemistry; organic synthesis 
Dr Betsy Pownall Biology Embryonic development orchestrates the proliferation and differentiation of many hundreds of cell types that will interact to form tissues, underpinning organ and organismal function 
Prof Tarl Prow HYMS Transdermal drug delivery; Skin cancer detection; Cutaneous oncology; Nanoparticle drug delivery; Drug delivery devices
Dr Paul Pryor HYMS Lysosome biogenesis; Autophagy; Ageing; Cell biology; Membrane traffic 
Prof Jenny Southgate Biology Human epithelial tissue homeostasis and regulation of differentiation versus regeneration in health and disease, including cancer 
Dr Chris Spicer Chemsitry Bioconjugation and biomaterials for tissue engineering. We are particularly interested in developing new methods to functionalise materials with proteins in a controlled and specific way 
Dr Lianne Willems Chemistry Chemical Biology of Carbohydrates and Carbohydrate-Processing Enzymes 

Neuroscience

SupervisorDepartmentResearch Interests
Dr Daniel Baker Psychology Visual neuroscience; Binocular vision; Computational modelling; Amblyopia; Autism
Dr Heidi Baseler HYMS To understand the neural mechanisms specialised for processing central and peripheral vision, and how these mechanisms respond to sensory loss (visual or auditory)
Dr Scott Cairney Psychology Sleep; Memory; Emotion; Mental Health; Polysomnography
Dr Sangeeta Chawla Biology Transcriptional regulation of neuronal plasticity-associated and antioxidant genes
Dr Han-Jou Chen Biology Why do proteins aggregate and how that contributes to neurodegenerative diseases?
Prof Simon Duckett Chemistry Organometallic chemistry and reaction mechanisms
Dr Gareth Evans Biology Protein kinase signalling in neuronal development and neurological disorders
Dr Karla Evans Psychology Visual Awareness, Visual Neuroscience, Perceptual expertise in Radiology, Visual Long term memory
Prof Richard Gale HYMS Ophthalmology; Medical Retina; Neuroimaging; Macular Degeneration; Eye Disease
Prof Gareth Gaskell Psychology Sleep; Memory consolidation; Polysomnography; Development, Language
Dr Elena Geangu Psychology Infancy; Emotion; EEG; EMG; Eye-tracking
Dr Silke Göbel Psychology Developmental cognitive neuroscience; Numeracy development; Functions of the parietal lobe; Dyscalculia, Dyslexia
Dr Ines Hahn Biology Neurodegeneration; Neurodevelopmental Disorders; Cytoskeleton; Microtubule Dynamics; Drosophila primary neurons
Dr David Halliday School of Physics, Engineering & Technology Computational Neuroscience, Neural signal processing 
Dr Tom Hartley Psychology Hippocampus, Dementia, fMRI, Computational modelling, Neural networks
Dr Lisa Henderson Psychology Development, Language, Disorders, Autism, Sleep
Dr Hannah Hobson Psychology Autism; developmental language disorder; mental health; language and communication; psychology
Dr Aidan Horner Psychology Memory; Dementia; Hippocampus; fMRI; MEG
Dr Clara Humpston Psychology Schizophrenia; Mental health; Neuropsychiatry; Pharmacology; Neurochemistry
Dr Rebecca Jackson Psychology Computational modelling; Semantic cognition; Executive control; fMRI; MEG
Prof Beth Jefferies Psychology Semantic; fMRI; MEG; TMS; Memory
Prof Tony Morland Psychology fMRI; Visual Neuroscience; psychophysics; evoked potentials and field; transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)
Dr Adar Pelah School of Physics, Engineering & Technology Visual-perception; Sensory-motor; Locomotion; Virtual-reality-biofeedback; Rehabilitation 
Dr Alex Pike Psychology Mental health; Eating disorders; Anxiety disorders; Computational psychiatry; Neuroimaging
Dr Steven Quinn School of Physics, Engineering & Technology Single-molecule spectroscopy; Alzheimer’s disease; Fluorescence, FRET, Model-membranes 
Prof Stephen Smith School of Physics, Engineering & Technology AI and Machine Learning; Intelligent medical devices; Neurodegenerative conditions; Cell tracking, Characterisation and classification; Analysis and characterisation of Raman spectra 
Prof Sean Sweeney Biology Min neurons, the endosome regulates signals controlling synapse growth. Appropriate regulation of synaptic growth is a key mechanism in refining the fidelity of synaptic communication
Prof Christina Van Der Feltz-Cornelis HYMS & Health Sciences Psychiatry; Epidemiology; Translational research; Inflammation; Microbiome 
Prof Alex Wade Psychology Vision, Attention, fMRI, EEG, Neuroimaging