Animal Infection and Immunity PhD


Fact file

PhD Animal Infection and Immunity 
3-4 years
Entry requirements

2:1 (upper second class honours degree or international equivalent) in a relevant subject; or hold a 2.2 (lower second class honours degree or international equivalent) and a masters degree, both in a relevant subject.

We may also consider evidence of relevant personal, professional and educational experience. Specific projects may also require that the applicant holds a veterinary qualification.

Clinical projects: 7.5 (with no less than 7.0 in any element). Science projects: 6.5 (with no less than 6.0 in any element). If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
Start date
October, December, February, April and July
Sutton Bonington
Other requirements

Research overview

A PhD degree involves specialist study, postgraduate training and original and independent research on a specific topic under the supervision of academic members of staff in the school. Additional supervisors consisting of at least one other experienced member of staff (up to a maximum of three staff members) will also be carried out in the school or in collaboration with industrial partners, other university departments in Nottingham or other universities and private or publicly funded research institutes. In some cases students will spend time at international academic establishments or research institutes. Students undertaking the three year PhD complete a structured training programme in the first year of study. Progression through the period of study is closely monitored through regular meetings with the students' supervisory committee and by reviews with an international progress committee in years one and two. 

Research in infection and immunity is wide ranging and involves bacterial pathogens, including Salmonella (Barrow, Jones, Foster, Tötemeyer), Campylobacter (Jones, Barrow) and Lawsonia (McOrist), viruses including Equine Herpes Virus (Kydd, Hannant) and Equine Arteritis Virus (Hannant), and Sarcocystis and Besnoitia parasites (El-Sheikha). Hosts studied range from pigs and poultry, through mice, to horses and dogs. 

Particular emphasis is placed on interactions between pathogen and host and how this can be exploited via stimulation of either the adaptive or innate immune response. The new technologies of genome sequencing and post-genomic gene expression analysis, including microarrays, are exploited as are novel approaches to infection control. 

The school plays an important part in the collaborative BBSRC / SEERAD-funded programme "The Immunological Toolbox", which is developing reagents and assays that are making significant contributions to research progress in many areas of veterinary immunology, both nationally and internationally.



Needless to say, as a new school we have state-of-the-art purpose built facilities for both research and teaching. 

A teaching building comprises a lecture theatre, large seminar room, teaching laboratories and a number of small-group teaching rooms, together with staff offices and research facilities including generic laboratories and specialist facilities such as anaerobic/microbiology, RNA and radioisotope laboratories. 

A clinical building includes a large anatomy laboratory, surgery suite, teaching laboratories, seminar rooms, a large clinical skills laboratory and other clinical skills rooms together with animal facilities. 

The school has taken advantage of IT in its design and way of working – all teaching rooms have electronic whiteboards and students access all teaching materials online through our virtual learning environment. 

Other school facilities include 16 stables for student horses, an indoor ménage and a student smallholding. We also have access to the University farm dairy, sheep and pig facilities and abattoir on the 100-acre campus. 

Research support

Students undertaking the three-year postgraduate research degree within the school are expected to initially register for an MPhil degree and complete a structured training programme in the first year of study, before transferring to PhD in year two. Progression through the period of study is closely monitored through regular meetings with the students’ supervisory committee and by reviews with an internal postgraduate progress committee in years one and two. 

Throughout your research degree, you will be supported by a training programme run by both the School and Faculty, which ensures that postgraduate students benefit from a high standard of education and training enabling them to become independent researchers with a range of specialist and transferable skills. This programme is complementary to the wide range of courses and other support provided by the Graduate School. 

A number of University support services exist to assist you during your time at Nottingham and beyond. The Postgraduate Students' Association (PGSA) is a particularly important source of support.

Find a supervisor

We encourage you to get in touch with a member of academic staff about your research proposal before submitting an application. They may be able to help you with your proposal and offer support to find funding opportunities in your area. Details of research supervisors at the University can be found on our research A to Z.


Home/EU students

The school offers several PhD studentships each year, which are available to home/EU students only and further details are available from vacancies section of our website.

The University Graduate School operates two schemes of its own to help support current postgraduate research. The Graduate School Travel Prize and Universitas21 funding. 

For prospective students, the University has introduced a new funding database. The Graduate School also holds a list of other sources of fundingStudentship opportunities are also available. 

International and EU students

The University of Nottingham offers a range of research scholarships for outstanding international and EU students.

Applicants must receive an offer of study before applying for our scholarships. Please note the closing dates of any scholarships you are interested in and make sure you submit your research course application in good time so that you have the opportunity to apply for them.

The International Office also provides information and advice for international and EU students on financing your degree, living costs, external sources of funding and working during your studies.

Find out more on our scholarships, fees and finance webpages for international applicants.



Visit the school page for additional opportunities

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2015, 93% of postgraduates from the Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £28,925 with the highest being £70,000.* 

 * Known destinations of full-time home and EU postgraduates, 2014/15.

Career prospects and employability

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers* and can offer you a head-start when it comes to your career.

Our Careers and Employability Service offers a range of services including advice sessions, employer events, recruitment fairs and skills workshops – and once you have graduated, you will have access to the service for life.

Those who take up a postgraduate research opportunity with us will not only receive support in terms of close contact with supervisors and specific training related to your area of research, you will also benefit from dedicated careers advice from our Careers and Employability Service. Individual guidance appointments, career management training programme, access to resources and invitations to events including skills workshops and recruitment fairs are just some of the ways in which they can help you develop your full potential, whether you choose to continue within an academic setting or are looking at options outside of academia.

The Graduate Market 2013-2016, High Fliers Research.

Animal Infection and Immunity PhD

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The University of Nottingham
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