PhD Environmental Science

Find a programme


The PhD programme within the Department of Environmental Science gives graduate students the opportunity to explore contemporary environmental issues under the supervision of academic staff who have trained in well-known research laboratories.

The PhD programme equips students with a wide range of general skills to maximise employment opportunities. Environmental Science welcomes proposals from interested students in the Department’s areas of expertise, including:

  • Freshwater ecology
  • Soil ecology
  • Landscape ecology
  • Population and community ecology
  • Global change ecology
  • Climate change and human health
  • Environmental chemistry
  • Fate and transport of pollutants
  • Process geomorphology
  • Remote sensing and GIS.

The PhD programme is a strategic research collaboration between XJTLU and the University of Liverpool, and is based at XJTLU. Upon successful completion of your programme you will receive a degree from the University of Liverpool, which is recognised by the UK’s Department of Education as well as China’s Ministry of Education.Students on this programme are formally registered with the University of Liverpool as off-site postgraduate research students. You will carry out research on XJTLU premises under the supervision of the supervisory team.

As a PhD student you will be appointed a designated primary (local) supervisor at XJTLU, who is a full-time member of academic staff. In addition, you will also have a designated secondary supervisor based at the University of Liverpool.

The normal length of full-time PhD programme is three years. At the end of three years’ full-time study, you can apply for an extension of one year to complete the writing of your dissertation. Part-time PhD degrees usually take four to seven years.

As a registered full-time PhD student, you have the opportunity to apply for a research visit to the University of Liverpool for up to three months. Your accommodation and travel fees will be covered by XJTLU and the University of Liverpool. Full-time PhD students are funded to attend local and international conferences during their studies.

Key benefits of PhD study at XJTLU:

  • Our PhD programme equips you with a range of professional skills to help you maximise your future employability
  • Our supervisors will guide you through one of the most intellectually satisfying experiences of your life
  • Supervision from respected academics at both XJTLU and the University of Liverpool
  • PhD students have dedicated travel budgets for participating in international conferences
  • The chance to apply for a research visit to the University of Liverpool for up to three months
  • Opportunities to work as a teaching assistant and develop crucial academic skills.

Please check the FAQ for further information about studying for a PhD at XJTLU.



Specific funded PhD projects are available that have a scholarship covering the tuition fee and a monthly stipend. Please visit scholarships for specific financial information. The Department has the following funded PhD projects available (this list is regularly updated):

Title of PhD project Reference number Status Supervisor
Urbanisation and heavy metal pollution in a warmer world
RDF-15-02-40 Open Dr Eduardo Medina
[email protected]

Soil Remediation by Microbial Fuel Cells

RDF-17-02-30 Open Dr Zheng Chen
[email protected]

Community / ecosystem ecological impacts of coexisting herbivores in QinghaiTibetan Plateau alpine meadows

RDF-SP-20 and RDF-SP-21 Open Dr Johannes Knops
[email protected]

Entry requirements

We accept a wide variety of academic qualifications for entry onto our PhD programme. Please see our entry requirements for additional information.

How to apply

All applications for a PhD programme should start with you emailing potential supervisors about either a specific funded project or about your idea for a self-funded project.

They can help you with the next stages of the application process and you can also find out more information on our how to apply section.