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Postgraduate Study

2 courses offered in the Department of Biochemistry

Students are based in a research group and undertake a research project agreed with the principal investigator (supervisor). Each student also has additional mentorship support from an advisor and a Postgraduate Thesis Panel.  Although there is no formal, examined coursework, the student's progress is assessed at various stages. The most important of these is the First-Year Assessment which comprises the submission of a thesis report and an oral examination, assessed by two examiners. Registration for a PhD is only possible following a satisfactory outcome from the First-Year Assessment. In their second year, students present their research work in poster form. In the third year, students present their work in a talk given to the whole Department.


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The Department offers a one-year full-time MPhil programme, by research, leading to the Master of Philosophy in Biological Science (Biochemistry).  This is also available as a part-time option over two years.  Currently, we do not run a Masters course by instruction, involving classes and examinations.

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5 courses also advertised in the Department of Biochemistry

From the School of the Biological Sciences

The Cambridge Biosciences DTP is a four year fully-funded PhD programme that aims to create highly skilled and employable people. The programme offers training across 23 University Departments/Institutes and 3 Partner Institutes providing access to a wide range of research areas related to the strategic themes of the BBSRC. We offer three types of DTP studentships:

  • DTP Standard
  • Targeted
  • iCase

During the programme, DTP Standard and Targeted students will undertake two ten-week rotations in different labs before commencing their PhD. They will receive training in a variety of areas including but not limited to statistics, programming, ethics, data analysis, scientific writing and public engagement. Students will also undertake a 12-week internship (PIPS).

iCase students are not required to undertake rotations but may do so if they feel that this training would be useful. They must undertake a placement with their Industrial Partner for a minimum of three months and a maximum of 18 months.

Students will be expected to submit their thesis at the end of the fourth year.

Part-time study, whilst not the norm, may be viable, depending on the project, and will be considered on a case by case basis so please discuss this option with your proposed supervisor before making an application for this mode of study.

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From the Faculty of Clinical Medicine

We provide high-quality research training to clinical health professionals with an aptitude for research to enable them to become future leaders in medical and healthcare science. We offer training in an outstanding environment, spanning basic science, translational medicine, interdisciplinary, behavioural and applied health research.

We take great pride in our track record of successfully training health professionals to undertake the highest quality research across Cambridge and Norwich. We offer one of the most rewarding environments in which you could pursue your research training with world-leading researchers in The  Schools of Clinical Medicine and Biological Sciences at the Universities of Cambridge, Wellcome Sanger Institute and other MRC, Wellcome & Cancer Research UK funded Institutes, Centres & Units in the wider Cambridge area, as well as the School of Health Sciences and Norwich Medical School at the University of East Anglia with other partners on the Norwich Research Park.  The most important criteria we are looking for are the pursuit of research excellence, hard work and the will to make a difference to health.

The programme faculty provides mentoring and guidance on opportunities to undertake pre-doctoral research placements, enabling successful candidates to make an informed choice of PhD project and supervisor.  Bespoke training and support for career development for fellows, together with support to supervisors, ensures a successful research experience.  Post-doctorally, we will guide fellows based on their individual progress, to make the transition into higher research fellowships and clinical pathways, enabling ongoing training with continuance of research momentum.

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From the Faculty of Clinical Medicine

The Cambridge Medical Research Council's Doctoral Training Programme will be offering five Industrial MRC CASE (iCASE) studentships for doctoral study, to start in October 2024, and these can be based in either the School of Clinical Medicine, or the School of Biological Sciences.

Each studentship is fully-funded for four years, to include a stipend, all course fees, plus a research training support grant. 

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From the Department of Medicine

This innovative programme was established in 2002 as a collaboration between the University of Cambridge and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the US. Its aim is to train outstanding students in biomedical research, taking advantage of the excellent research environments in Cambridge and the US. Students work on collaborative projects organised by co-supervisors in Cambridge and the NIH, spending two years at each institution. Students have access to all NIH facilities and are paid by the NIH. The PhD is awarded by the University of Cambridge.

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From the Institute of Astronomy

The MPhil in Planetary Sciences and Life in the Universe is a 10-month cross-departmental programme designed to deliver outstanding postgraduate level training in the search for life’s origins on Earth and its discovery on planets beyond Earth.

The course structure has been designed by leading scientists to provide students with the theoretical knowledge, practical experience, and transferable skills required to undertake world-leading research in Planetary Sciences and Life in the Universe. Graduating students will be equipped with the discipline specific-specialisations and skills of a masters course, whilst gaining understanding in how the core areas that bridge PSLU fields form the cross-disciplinary foundation of this exciting new frontier.

Graduates of the course will gain valuable skills rooted in the study of the physics, chemistry, mathematics, and biology of planetary science and life in the universe. Transferrable skills training is delivered through the three group-based projects running over the year: these provide a unique opportunity for students to gain experience of leadership, collaboration, and written and oral communication.  The training provided will be an outstanding foundation for PhD research in planetary science, exoplanetary science, Earth system science, planetary astrophysics, astrobiology and allied disciplines, or for the wide range of careers where analytical skills, excellent communication, and experience of leading collaborations are key.

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Department Members

Professor G I Evan
Head of Department

  • 55 Academic Staff
  • 110 Postdoctoral Researchers
  • 159 Graduate Students
  • 69 Undergraduates

Research Areas