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TEF Gold - Teaching Excellence Framework

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)

The University of Dundee has been given a Gold award – the highest possible rating – in the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

Read more about the Teaching Excellence Framework

TEF Gold - Teaching Excellence Framework

What you will study

Agritech and plant sciences 

Working on an agritech and plant sciences research project will allow you to address global challenges such as food security, renewable energy, conservation and climate change. Our plant scientists are based at the James Hutton Institute (JHI) on the outskirts of Dundee. This provides access to extensive specialist facilities and interaction with the JHI researchers.

Computational biology

Computational biology uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to get information from huge amounts of biological data. You can work with computational biology specialists to continue to answer important biological and medical research questions through the development of predictive algorithms and models that may be tested experimentally.

Cell signalling

The ability to send messages across the body is critical for optimum functioning. Internal signals can indicate changes in cellular metabolic activity and energy status, for example. When the signals go wrong pathologies associated with cancer, diabetes and infectious disease can arise. Studying the biochemical ‘wiring’ underlying the diverse systems in the body, which can often overlap will provide you with unexpected discoveries and opportunities for collaboration among the different signalling research groups.

Developmental and stem cell biology

Developmental biology studies how organisms grow and develop and is closely aligned with stem cell biology research. Stem cell biology aims to restore normal function through the repair or replacement of damaged or diseased human cells or tissues. Projects in these areas include investigating the mechanisms of differentiation in developing organisms, stem cells and adult tissues.

Drug discovery

Drug discovery is a practical science that includes modern computational methods combined with chemical and molecular biology techniques. Projects will allow you to be part of this process from identify drug targets against diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and malaria to designing and creating new cures that are safer and more effective.

Gene regulation and expression

You will undertake research to answer some of the most basic questions in biology – how genes are maintained, organised, inherited, copied and controlled to underpin complex life. Understanding these processes, how they inter-relate and what happens when they go wrong will provide further understanding and potential treatments for the many different diseases that people can have including cancer.


The body’s immune system is essential for defence against infection and wound healing. However excessive, or inappropriate, activation of the immune system results in unwanted damage to healthy tissue. Research projects will allow you to study the mechanisms that cells use to sense external and internal signals in response to infection plus what happens when these responses go wrong.


Microbiology encompasses a spectrum of research that flows from fundamental science using model organisms to translational research on medically- and economically-significant species. Understanding how microbes like bacteria, viruses and parasites function is at the heart of much of this work. Projects will allow you to recognise, investigate, resolve and manage the innumerable microbiological challenges affecting health, industry and the environment.


Research projects in neurodegeneration integrate the molecular and cellular aspects of the subject with our clinical expertise in neurological conditions such as dementia, and Parkinson's disease.

How you will be taught

  • Supervised laboratory research
  • Workshops
  • Induction programme
  • Poster presentation
  • Super seminars
  • Journal Clubs

How you will be assessed

  • Written Thesis
  • Oral examination at the discretion of the examiners