The aim of this paper is to investigate the spatial structure of a protoplanetary disc whose dynamics is governed by magnetorotational turbulence. We perform a series of local three-dimensional chemoradiative magnetohydrodynamic simulations located at different radii of a disc which is twice as massive as the standard minimum mass solar nebula of Hayashi. The ionization state of the disc is calculated by including collisional ionization, stellar X-rays, cosmic rays and the decay of radionuclides as ionization sources, and by solving a simplified chemical network which includes the effect of the absorption of free charges by μm-sized dust grains. In the region where the ionization is too low to ensure good coupling between matter and magnetic fields, a non-turbulent central ‘dead zone’ forms, which ranges approximately from a distance of 2 to 4 au from the central star. The approach taken in this work allows for the first time to derive the global spatial structure of a protoplanetary disc from a set of physically realistic numerical simulations.