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Key information

Qualification type

PhD/DPhil - Doctor of Philosophy

Subject areas

Biology (General) Bioinformatics

Course type


Course Summary

Systems biology emphasises a multi-level, integrative approach to understanding how living organisms work. With our close links to the polyomics facility, we apply a full range of post-genomic technologies to aid our understanding.


Systems Biology draws on the strengths of molecular and cell biology to try to build an integrative picture of how organisms work. Implicit in the approach is big data (coming from imaging, microarray, RNAseq, proteomics or metabolomics, for which we are very well equipped), together with mathematical and computational biology to draw higher-level insights. Systems biology also works very well with genetic model organisms, such as yeast, Drosophila or Arabidopsis; or in human biomedicine.

Through their research interests in drug development, biotechnology and clinical applications, many of our project supervisors have strong links with pharmaceutical and agrochemical industry. The interdisciplinary nature of systems biology means that these highly active supervisors have international collaborations both with other Universities and industry. Funds are available through the college of MVLS to allow visits to international laboratories where part of your project can be carried out. This provides an excellent opportunity for networking and increasing your scientific knowledge and skill set.

Research topics are allied to ongoing research within the institute, the majority of which are basic science projects. A variety of multi-disciplinary research approaches are applied, including biochemistry, molecular biology, molecular genetics, materials science, polyomics (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics etc), bioinformatics, structural biology, microscopy and imaging techniques. Specific areas of interest include:

  • modelling organ specificity in the plant circadian clock
  • post-genomic insights into tissue function and control in Drosophila
  • optimising recombinant protein expression and secretion in mammalian cells
  • systems biology approaches of stress-induced plasticity of the mitochondrial intermembrane space
  • light control of local and long distance phytohormone signalling in Arabidopsis
  • quantitative systems biology of membrane transport and cellular homeostasis
  • systems biology of gas exchange and photosynthesis, from molecule to the field
  • materials and metabolomics for identification of stem cell fate modifying metabolites
  • analysis and integration of large omics datasets.

Different course options

Full time | University of Glasgow | 3 years | 14-SEP-20

Study mode

Full time


3 years

Start date


Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK / EU students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


International fees
Course fees for non-UK / EU students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


Entry requirements

Awarded or expected First-class or high Upper Second-class BSc degree.

University information

The University of Glasgow is one of four ancient universities in Scotland, founded back in 1451. The university is part of the prestigious Russell Group, and is one of only two universities in the UK to be awarded a 5 Stars Plus by the QS University Rankings 2017. Alumni include seven Nobel Prize winners, Scotland’s First Minister and a Prime Minister, while Albert Einstein gave a lecture on the theory of relativity there back in 1933. The...more