Veterinary Medicine and Science PhD
Why choose this programme
- Champion our ‘One Health, One Medicine’ approach which brings together expertise from a broad range of multidisciplinary areas and collaboration with national and international partners
- Join the Veterinary Health Innovation Engine (vHive), a research centre, start-up and incubator supported by a co-investment of £8.5 million in resources, dedicated to the development and adoption of new digital technologies in animal health
- Benefit from multi-million-pound facilities including our Veterinary Pathology Centre and Veterinary Biomechanics Laboratory
- Work alongside academic staff with a range of expertise, including applied clinical research, fundamental science, epidemiology and pathology.
What you will study
Our PhD is research-based, so you’ll spend most of your time developing a research question, conducting original research, analysing your results and writing up your research findings, all under the guidance of your project supervisors.
Examples of current PhD student projects include:
- Disentangling the role of Ascaris β-tubulin isotypes in the emergence of anthelmintic resistance
- Rabies epidemiology and control
- The role of the microbiome and circulating endothelial cells in the pathobiology of cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV).
Depending on the nature of your research project, you might do computational analysis work at a desk, experimental work in a laboratory, a clinic, in the field, or a combination.
You can work on your project onsite at the School of Veterinary Medicine or at a collaborating institution. If you do work from a collaborating institution, you’ll need to come to the University of Surrey periodically to attend training sessions, examinations and meet your supervisors.
Your final assessment will be based on the presentation of your research in a written thesis, which will be discussed in a viva examination with at least two examiners. You have the option of preparing your thesis as a monograph (one large volume in chapter form) or in publication format (including chapters written for publication), subject to the approval of your supervisors.
You’ll have a confirmation assessment to formally review your project. If you're a full-time student, this will take place around 9 -15 months into your studies or 18-30 months if you’re studying part-time. You’ll be required to submit a written report and successfully complete an oral examination.
In addition to the confirmation process you’ll have six-monthly progress reviews with your supervisors. These meetings are an opportunity to reflect on your progress, discuss successes and challenges and set targets for the next six months. These reviews will be monitored by postgraduate research directors and recorded on your student record.
You’ll also have one formal meeting with your supervisors every month and can expect to have more frequent meetings between these. The regularity of these will depend on the nature and stage of your project.
Reflecting the variety of roles that veterinarians play in society, we are proud to collaborate with a range of partners, including:
- The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA)
- Fitzpatrick Referrals
- Liphook Equine Hospital
- Marwell Wildlife
- The Pirbright Institute
- Surrey Wildlife Trust
- The Westpoint Veterinary Group
- UK Health Security Agency.
The professional development of postgraduate researchers is supported by the Doctoral College, which provides training in essential skills through its Researcher Development Programme of workshops, mentoring and coaching. A dedicated postgraduate careers and employability team will help you prepare for a successful career after the completion of your PhD.
Investigating the role of sheep and goat in interspecies transmission of pestiviruses in cattle and pig populations in the UK
Funding will cover University tuition fees at the UK/home rate and a stipend for three and half years at RCUK levels (£18,622 per year).
China Scholarship Council-Surrey Awards
Successful candidates will receive full cover of their tuition fee for overseas students for a duration of up to 48 months. Successful candidates will also receive a stipend as prescribed by the Chinese government, and international round trip air fare between China and the UK.
At Surrey, we’re focused on collaborative veterinary research, working with leading research institutions, veterinary practices and the wider veterinary industry, to ensure everything we do is relevant to the sector. Our research investigates:
- Clinical sciences, including biomarkers of neoplasia, biomechanics, orthopaedics, neurology, nutrition and youngstock health and production.
- Education, including clinical skills, communications and professionalism and technology enhanced learning.
- Epidemiology and public health, including animal health surveillance, food chain health and interactions with animals and people.
- Pathology and infectious diseases, including antimicrobial resistance, comparative pathobiology, disease intervention, emerging pathogens, food-borne pathogens, host-pathogen interactions and neuropathobiology.
- Preclinical sciences, including cardiology, design-based stereology, musculoskeletal biology and physiology and neuroscience.
Our academic staff
Throughout your studies you’ll have at least two supervisors from the School of Veterinary Medicine and other relevant schools within the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences.
Your supervisors will give you academic guidance and tuition, help you develop your research ideas and plans, consider your theory and methods and analyse your work. They’ll also give you pastoral support and advice, referring you to more specialist services where necessary.
You’ll benefit from our multi-million pound facilities, which include our Veterinary Clinical Skills Centre, fitted with latest industry equipment, including electrocardiogram (ECG) monitors and simulators, and our Veterinary Pathology Centre, home to our microscopy suites, pathology laboratories, post-mortem examination room and viewing gallery.
We also have a Veterinary Biomechanics Laboratory, equipped with motion capture cameras and accelerometer-based systems.
Depending on the nature of your research project, you may also have access to external facilities and equipment if your project is in collaboration with one of our partners.
Applicants are expected to hold a minimum of an upper second-class (2:1) UK degree in an appropriate discipline, but prior experience in research or industry may be acceptable.
International entry requirements by country
English language requirements
IELTS Academic: 6.5 or above (or equivalent) with 6 in each individual category.
View the other English language qualifications that we accept.
If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.
Applicants are advised to contact potential supervisors before they submit an application via the website. Please refer to section two of our application guidance.
Students are initially registered for a PhD with probationary status and, subject to satisfactory progress, subsequently confirmed as having PhD status.
Selection is based on applicants:
- Meeting the expected entry requirements
- Being shortlisted through the application screening process
- Completing a successful interview
- Providing suitable references.
Start date: April 2024
Start date: July 2024
Start date: October 2024
- To be confirmed
- To be confirmed
Start date: January 2025
- To be confirmed
- To be confirmed
For fees payable in 2023/24, these will increase by 4 per cent, rounded up to the nearest £100 for subsequent years of study. Any start date other than September will attract a pro-rata fee for that year of entry (75 per cent for January, 50 per cent for April and 25 per cent for July).
Overseas students applying for 2023 entry should note that annual fees will rise by 4 per cent rounded up to the nearest £100.
View a complete list of all fees for our research programmes.
There are additional costs that you can expect to incur when studying at Surrey.
A Postgraduate Doctoral Loan can help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate doctoral course.
If you are applying for a studentship to work on a particular project, you should enter the details of the specific project that you wish to apply for rather than your own research proposal.
Read our application guidance for further information on the application process.
Code of practice for research degrees
Surrey’s postgraduate research code of practice sets out the University's policy and procedural framework relating to research degrees. The code defines a set of standard procedures and specific responsibilities covering the academic supervision, administration and assessment of research degrees for all faculties within the University.
Download the code of practice for research degrees (PDF).
Terms and conditions
When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our policies and procedures, and our terms and conditions. These terms and conditions are provided in two stages: first when we make an offer and second when students who have accepted their offers register to study at the University. View our offer terms and conditions and our registration terms and conditions (PDF) for the 2023/24 academic year, as a guide as to what to expect.
Please note: our offer terms and conditions will be available in the September of the calendar year prior to the year in which you begin your studies. Our registration terms and conditions will vary to take into account specifics of your course.
This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the academic year to which it applies. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read our full disclaimer.
Campus locationManor Park
Manor Park is home to the School of Veterinary Medicine, plus Surrey Sports Park and Manor Park halls of residence.
VSM Building, University of Surrey, Daphne Jackson Road, Guildford. GU2 7AL.
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University of Surrey
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