Why study at the Museum?

NHM postgrad students on the steps at the Musuem front entrance

With a long history of scientific research around its collections, the Museum has played a key role in training the next generation of scientists.

The Museum is recognised as a leading scientific research facility. Our publication record places us in the top group of international natural history museums.

NHM postgrad students on a geology field trip


Students have access to the Museum's many research facilities to prepare, analyse and interpret biological, mineralogical, palaeontological and genetic samples.

Imaging and Analysis Centre

3D Vis Lab, CT and Micro-CT, chemical analysis, confocal microscopy, electron microscopy, light microscopy, microanalysis, mineralogy preparation laboratory, X-ray diffraction, electronic and light engineering workshop

Collections Management Systems

(GIS) Geographic Information Systems facility, data management

Conservation Centre

Paper conservation, mechanical preparation

Molecular Laboratories

DC2 Molecular Labs, Whale Basement Molecular Lab, sequencing facility

The PhD training programme


The training programme includes a full-day induction to working in the Museum, including health and safety, security, IT, library and laboratory procedures. This day is an introduction to the work and organisation of the Museum, the structure and role of the Postgraduate Office and other practical issues.

All new students should undertake a training needs analysis to assess and guide their development needs. Technical training is provided by relevant laboratory and curatorial staff.

First year talks

All new students give a ten-minute introduction to their PhD topic to their Museum peers and supervisors within a few of months of their start.

A researcher engaging with the public in the galleries of the Museum

Public engagement

There are many opportunities for students to participate in public engagement activities, receiving training as appropriate. These include:

The Graduate Centre

Get in touch with us. 

PhD projects

The Museum partners with academic institutions to offer a range of PhD research opportunities. 

Master's courses

The Museum offers Master's courses in partnership with universities.