Postgraduate study

Optical Medical Innovation with Entrepreneurship in Healthcare Technologies

Awards: Under review

Funding available

Our programme brings together world-class research teams in both the clinical and physical sciences in order to address the research theme of Optical Medical Innovations

We are hosted by the University of Edinburgh and the University of Strathclyde. Our focus is to train the next generation of scientific entrepreneurs in healthcare technologies and so we place great emphasis on interdisciplinary projects, commercially relevant training and strong ties to the clinical environment.

Our team of supervisors is of international standing in their respective fields. They have published more than 1300 peer-reviewed papers, are in receipt of research grant income in excess of £110 million, and have supervised more than 300 PhD students.

This four-year PhD with integrated study programme combines:

  • excellent research and PhD supervision in world-leading scientific environments
  • a bespoke programme of business training in healthcare innovation and entrepreneurship

Our students can choose from a portfolio of exciting and innovative projects that breakdown the barriers between physics, chemistry, medicine and engineering. Our students use cutting-edge optical technology to address key clinical questions.

In addition all our students embark on a bespoke programme of integrated study in Entrepreneurship in Healthcare Technologies.

Unlike other four year programmes, we want the integrated study portion to constantly inform and educate our students throughout their time with us and so the training modules that form the integrated study portion run concurrent with the research over four years. We want our students to understand and appreciate the innovative leaps they are making and be able to capitalise on their discoveries.

We have a manager, outreach officer and two administrators dedicated to our students. This offers unparalleled support and flexibility to become a student-centred training programme.

Our team is made up of :

  • 30 PhD Supervisors
  • 25 OPTIMA students
  • 7 Academic Directors
  • 4 Professional Services Support Staff

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in biomedical science, chemistry, physics, engineering or a related subject.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 6.0 in each component

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 92 with at least 20 in each section

  • PTE Academic: total 61 with at least 56 in each of the Communicative Skills scores

  • CAE and CPE: total 176 with at least 169 in each paper

  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.*

(*Revised 8/11/2018 to provide more accurate information on English language qualifications expiry dates. Revised 22/03/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

Find out more about tuition fees and studying costs:

Studentships cover fees and stipend for four years. Studentships are subject to Research Council funding eligibility criteria. We have a limited number of studentships for which EU nationals can apply.

Find out more about scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Joseph Black Building
  • David Brewster Road
  • The King's Buildings Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH9 3FJ

We accept PhD students at the start of the academic year (September) only.

Please check our website for the deadlines for the next OPTIMA intake:

If you would like to apply to OPTIMA, please email us in the first instance to express your interest in the programme and receive further information:

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Joseph Black Building
  • David Brewster Road
  • The King's Buildings Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH9 3FJ