LSI DTC students undertake a four-year doctoral training programme. The first two terms are devoted to acquiring advanced theoretical and technical skills from the physical sciences, and background knowledge in the life sciences, combined with research and communication skills training, through a combination of intensive lecture courses and project work. These courses are taught in intensive one or two week modular blocks with students taking a total of 12 modules.

After completion of the modules, students undertake two extended projects of 11 weeks duration associated with one or two of the application areas. These are similar in scope to a master’s level project. Students are encouraged to undertake at least one of these projects in an experimental laboratory to provide an appreciation of the complexity and difficulty of modern experimental work.

On completion of the projects students undertake their substantive DPhil research project at the life sciences interface within one of the application areas, with the students based within the research groups of their principal supervisor.

Throughout this period, the Centre continues to monitor closely the needs for continuing training and support, tailored to each student.


There is no assumption of life sciences knowledge. Students will undertake 13 modules, over the first academic year. These modules cover life science background and training in mathematical, computational and physical skills required for advanced interdisciplinary research. The final module in research and communication skills is taught throughout the year. The taught elements are delivered using an intensive module structure.

Monitoring and Assessment

Student work is assessed throughout the year and satisfactory achievement is required for progression to the research stage.