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Postgraduate Admissions

About the Department of Zoology

The Department of Zoology consists of around 250 people, including graduate students, research staff, assistant staff and University Lecturers, Readers and Professors.

The Department occupies 10,000m2, mostly on the New Museums site in Central Cambridge. The majority of this is in one building, which fronts on to Downing Street and includes the Museum of Zoology.

Four of the Department's research groups are accommodated in the Wellcome/CR UK Gurdon Institute, on Tennis Court Road. This is an inter-departmental Institute, which also contains members of the Departments of Genetics, Biochemistry, Pathology and Physiology.

The Sub-Department of Animal Behaviour in Madingley village, 5 miles from Cambridge, plays a leading role in the study of behaviour and its relationship to the natural environment.

2 courses offered in the Department of Zoology

The Department of Zoology is home to a community of researchers from a great diversity of disciplines, ranging from cell and developmental biology to field ecology and conservation. Evolutionary biology is a major focus of our work. We share an interest in whole organisms, and in how systems interact across different levels of organisation to generate the complexity of form, function and behaviour that is observed in the living world. Much of our work is underpinned by questions about evolution and an appreciation of the importance of the interactions between living organisms and their environments.

We offer both research MPhil and PhD degrees.

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The Department of Zoology is home to a community of researchers from a great diversity of disciplines, ranging from cell and developmental biology to field ecology and conservation. Evolutionary biology is a major focus of our work. We share an interest in whole organisms, and in how systems interact across different levels of organisation to generate the complexity of form, function and behaviour that is observed in the living world. Much of our work is underpinned by questions about evolution and an appreciation of the importance of the interactions between living organisms and their environments.

We offer both research MPhil and PhD degrees.

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5 courses also advertised in the Department of Zoology

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 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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Department Members


Dr Howard Baylis
Head of Department

  • 26 Academic Staff
  • 51 Postdoctoral Researchers
  • 100 Graduate Students
  • 155 Undergraduates

http://www.zoo.cam.ac.uk/

Research Areas