The Global Research Institute for Health Sciences is addressing key global challenges in healthcare by making scientific breakthroughs in mechanisms of disease, translating these to innovative therapeutics and preventive interventions to improve patient outcomes.

The Institute drives research excellence and impact, delivering innovative solutions to the specific challenges we have identified in healthcare. The Institute has the following aims:

Address Key Global Challenges

In health care by making scientific breakthroughs in mechanisms of disease, translating these to innovative therapeutics and preventive interventions to improve patient outcomes.

Establish lasting relationships

These will be developed with major funders for programmatic research and capacity building. This will include doctoral training, clinical academic programmes and postdoctoral fellowships.

Leverage scientific strengths

Working with small and medium size enterprises and large pharmaceutical companies to develop externally funded competitive, collaborative programmes for discovery and translation.

The Institute is recognised for high quality biomedical and translational research and its impact on patient care in Northern Ireland, nationally and internationally, is the foremost strategic priority of the University.

Supported by national and international partners, the University has already invested over £100m in co-locating researchers in different areas of established excellence alongside the education centres for medicine, biomedical science and dentistry on the Health Sciences Campus and Royal Hospital Campus.

The Institute for Health Sciences synergises basic science, translational technologies, clinical and population sciences research, providing a critical mass of clinical and scientific investigators working in a cross-school, multidisciplinary manner.

There are three research streams available;

1. Precision Cancer Medicine
2. Experimental Medicine
3. Public Health

Additional Information:

1. Precision Cancer Medicine

The cross-faculty, interdisciplinary Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology (CCRCB) is committed to the highest quality of research excellence. To achieve our mission, we are pursuing a premier series of research programmes in defined areas, combining innovative discovery science with clinical translational to achieve the best outcomes for cancer patients.

In recognition of the international standing of CCRCB, the University has made, and continues to make, significant investment in both academic staff and infrastructure. CCRCB has over 200 staff, with 38 Principal Investigators, 60 Postdoctoral fellows and 65 postgraduate students from across the world working together in a new, purpose-built research facility.

The Centre's is focused on areas of research strength, delivered through a series of Research Focus groups

-Advanced Radiotherapy
-Breast and Ovarian
-Genito-urinary and Prostate

Research Strengths

The close, collaborative interaction between clinical and laboratory research experts is the hallmark of our research programme, allowing the direct translation of excellent science to clinical benefit. Close collaboration with biotech companies such as Almac, underpinned by innovative discovery science and its clinical application, has resulted in the development of novel diagnostic/predictive tests and new therapeutics

Research in CCRCB is supported by key enabling technologies which include:

-Drug discovery
-Molecular pathology and Biobanking
-The Northern Ireland Cancer Trials Centre

2. Experimental Medicine

The Centre for Experimental Medicine at Queen’s incorporates an integrated mixture of approaches ranging from molecular cell biology, immunology, disease phenotyping, imaging, functional genomics, unique pre-clinical models of disease, and patient-based investigation and clinical trials to deliver translational impact on respiratory disease, eye disease, and infectious diseases.

Research Strengths:

Research in the Centre falls into three Research Themes:

Vision and Vascular Medicine A multidisciplinary team of researchers who translate basic scientific findings into knowledge and therapies with benefit to patients and advances scientific knowledge in ocular cell, microvascular biology and tissue remodelling to understand the mechanisms of ocular disease, diabetes-associated complications and cardiovascular damage.

Immunobiology and Microbes This group focuses on delivering high-quality research programmes, spanning state-of-the-art fundamental and discovery research in infection and inflammatory diseases to clinical research. These include internationally competitive programmes investigating the role of innate and adaptive immune responses to infection and tissue injury, the molecular pathogenesis of bacteria and viruses, and how these host- and pathogen-focused programmes might be targeted to develop effective new treatments for major diseases, such as pneumonia, sepsis, and multiple sclerosis.

Respiratory Medicine With a very strong translational research organisation, this group is primarily focused on lung diseases, with major programmes in asthma, cystic fibrosis, and acute respiratory distress syndrome. This group comprises a highly interactive and collaborative, multidisciplinary research environment between molecular and cellular immunologists, bacteriologists, virologists, and clinical researchers. Underpinned by high quality fundamental research, this group has a strong emphasis on the development of clinical research programmes to explore new therapeutic strategies for inflammatory diseases of the lung.

3. Public Health

The Centre for Public Health (CPH) brings together researchers embracing clinical research, epidemiology, and public health issues through a combination of person-centred, informatics, clinical trials, and laboratory-based studies. Multidisciplinary teams work closely together to develop and evaluate screening, diagnostic, preventative and therapeutic interventions that maximise benefit for patients and populations. Our aim is to recruit, train and inspire some of the very best postgraduate students with a strong commitment to clinical and translational research.

Research Strengths:

The CPH has brought together experts from a variety of research backgrounds including epidemiology and public health, trial methodologies, health services research, laboratory sciences and complementary clinical specialities. These experts have a common aim - to translate biological, clinical science, and epidemiological insights into effective clinical and public health interventions to prevent disease and improve health & wellbeing.

We use a range of research approaches to impact on regional, national and global health policy including increased understanding of genomic and environmental determinants of disease, improved biomarker identification and disease phenotyping, evaluation of novel diagnostics and treatments, and improved patient outcomes and public health. We aim to create and sustain a world-class research environment with top-class laboratories and IT facilities in a supportive and collegial atmosphere.

We provide a dynamic and stimulating environment for current and future research staff that will facilitate the training and mentoring of talented postgraduate students (currently hosting 70+ PGR students), postdoctoral fellows and clinician scientists in a range of research methodologies, allowing the CPH to foster strategic research interests in new areas.

These themes have been chosen because they represent global and nationally-relevant health challenges and reflect our international reputation and existing research strengths.



Programme Details

Research information

Career Prospects

Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes alongside sterling integration with business experts helps our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.

Course structure


Entry Requirements

Entrance requirements

The minimum academic requirement for admission to a research degree programme is normally an Upper Second Class Honours degree from a UK or ROI HE provider, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. Further information can be obtained by contacting the School.


For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.

English Language Requirements

Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.0, with not less than 5.5 in any component (*taken within the last 2 years) is required.

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.

  • Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
  • Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.

INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

Fees and Funding

Tuition Fees

Northern Ireland (NI) £4,260
England, Scotland or Wales (GB) £4,260
Other (non-UK) EU £4,260
International £15,855

More information on postgraduate tuition fees.

Medicine costs

Bench fees may be payable by international students

Additional course costs

All Students

Depending on the programme of study, there may also be other extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies . Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library. If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. Students should also budget between £30 to £100 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges. Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen. There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, and library fines. In undertaking a research project students may incur costs associated with transport and/or materials, and there will also be additional costs for printing and binding the thesis. There may also be individually tailored research project expenses and students should consult directly with the School for further information.

How do I fund my study?

PhD Funded Opportunities

Find PhD funding opportunities and studentships by subject area.
Find out more >

Doctoral Training Centres at Queen's

Queen's has seven outstanding competitive Doctoral Training Centres, with each one providing funding for a number of PhD positions and more importantly a hub for carrying out world class research in key disciplines.
Find out more >

New UK PhD loans

The UK Government will introduce new doctoral loans of up to £25,000 for PhDs and equivalent postgraduate research programmes from 2018. Loans will be offered to English-resident students to study all types of doctorate at universities across the UK.
Find out more >

International Scholarships

Information on scholarships for international students, is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships/.

How to Apply

Apply using our online Postgraduate Applications Portal go.qub.ac.uk/pgapply and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to apply.

Find a supervisor

If you're interested in a particular project, we suggest you contact the relevant academic before you apply, to introduce yourself and ask questions.

To find a potential supervisor aligned with your area of interest, or if you are unsure of who to contact, look through the staff profiles linked here.


You might be asked to provide a short outline of your proposal to help us identify potential supervisors.

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