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Postgraduate Admissions

About the Department of Plant Sciences

The Department of Plant Sciences is an outstanding University Centre for research in plant and microbial sciences. It offers unrivalled research and training opportunities in the following areas of plant and microbial science:

  • Cell function & responses to environment
  • Developmental biology & signalling
  • Genetics and epigenetics
  • Ecosystem function and conservation
  • Evolution and diversity
  • Microbiology & biotic interactions
  • Plant pathology and epidemiology
  • Systems and mathematical biology
  • Enhancing photosynthesis
  • Biotechnology and engineering

2 courses offered in the Department of Plant Sciences

The research MPhil degree essentially follows the format of the PhD but is compressed into one year of full-time study or two years of part-time study. The work consists of research and courses as required under academic supervision. Applicants should contact a potential supervisor before proceeding with their MPhil application. You can browse the personal/group pages of the Research Group Leaders to check details of their research.

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The degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is the University's principal research degree. A full-time PhD in Plant Sciences takes three to four years of full-time study to complete (or five to seven years part-time) and consists of research and courses as required, under academic supervision. Applicants should contact a potential supervisor before proceeding with their PhD application. You can browse the personal/group pages of the Research Group Leaders to check the details of their research. Part-time study may not 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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5 courses also advertised in the Department of Plant Sciences

From the British Antarctic Survey

This PhD course takes place under the joint supervision of a research scientist at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and a University supervisor. Students may be based at BAS but will be registered for their degree with one of the partnering departments: Archaeology & Anthropology, Land Economy, Plant Sciences, Zoology, Earth Sciences, Geography and Scott Polar Research Institute, Applied Mathematics & Theoretical Physics, Chemistry, Engineering, Computer Science and Technology.

BAS welcomes enquiries from those interested in higher degrees in earth science subjects, physics, chemistry, mathematics, biology and related areas.

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From the Department of Earth Sciences

The UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in the Application of Artificial Intelligence to the study of Environmental Risks (AI4ER) trains researchers (through several multidisciplinary cohorts) to be uniquely equipped to develop and apply leading-edge computational approaches to address critical global environmental challenges by exploiting vast, diverse and often currently untapped environmental data sets. Embedded in the outstanding research environments of the University of Cambridge and the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), the AI4ER CDT addresses problems that are relevant to building resilience to environmental hazards and managing environmental change. The primary application areas are:

  • Weather, Climate and Air Quality
  • Natural Hazards
  • Natural Resources (food, water & resource security and biodiversity)

Students in the CDT cohorts engage in a one-year MRes degree in Physical Sciences (Environmental Data Science) which includes a taught component and a major research element, followed by a three-year PhD research project. Students will receive high-quality training in research, professional, technical and transferable skills through a focused core programme with an emphasis on the development of data science skills through hackathons and team challenges. Training is guided by personalised advice and the expertise of a network of partners in industry, government, the third sector and beyond.

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From the School of the Biological Sciences

The Cambridge Biosciences DTP is a four year 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:

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

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 2023, 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 with a current stipend of £18,000 p.a., and includes all course fees, plus a research training support grant. 

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From the Department of Physics

The vision of this MRes+PhD is to deliver bespoke training in key areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology to translate exploratory nanoscience into impactful technologies, and to stimulate new interactions that support our vision. The MRes year provides high-quality advanced-level training through lecture courses, hands-on practicals and projects, prior to final selection of interdisciplinary PhD research projects within research groups in the Departments of Physics, Chemistry, Engineering, Materials Science or another relevant department across the University.

A significant element of the MRes training and beyond will be a focus on innovation and industry engagement, including courses on nurturing and managing innovation in a scientific context, systems design and integration of nanomaterials and devices, the responsible practice and communication of science, and opportunities to transition academic research to higher technology readiness levels and commercial applications through schemes such as the NanoFutures Leadership Awards.

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