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Postgraduate Admissions

2 courses offered in the* Department of Public Health and Primary Care

The MPhil in Population Health Sciences includes the academic disciplines of epidemiology, global health, health data science, infectious diseases, public health, and primary care research. In the first term, all students take five core modules in biostatistics, epidemiology, applied data analysis, public health and research skills. Students subsequently select at least six additional modules, either following a designated pathway in one of the named  specialisation themes (epidemiology, global health, health data science, infectious diseases, public health, and primary care research) or following a more personalised pathway.

The course is open to postgraduates who wish to pursue a research, practice or leadership career in population health sciences.

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The Department of Public Health & Primary Care encompasses a broad range of themes (e.g. from Genetic Epidemiology to Behaviour and Health, from Health Services Research to Non-communicable Disease Epidemiology etc) and methods (e.g. quantitative methods, qualitative research, systematic reviews, functional genomics etc). PhD projects are typically available at each of the Units within the Department. Interdisciplinary research is also encouraged, whether within the Department or with other local or international collaborators.

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5 courses also advertised in the Department of Public Health and Primary Care

From the Department of Clinical Biochemistry

It is essential that young clinicians with aptitude are able to receive high-quality research training in clinical science, representing as they do the future of academic medicine. We can offer training in an outstanding environment in subjects that span the research spectrum from basic science to epidemiology and public health.

We take great pride in our track record of successfully training clinicians to undertake the highest quality biomedical research and the Schools of Clinical Medicine and Biological Sciences, together with the MRC, Wellcome Trust and Cancer Research UK institutes, offer one of the most rewarding environments in which you could pursue your research training.

Principal Investigators in the Programme provide mentoring, workshops and mini-projects in order to allow successful candidates to make an informed choice of PhD project and supervisor that are tailored to the interests of the candidate. This novel approach to the training of clinical scientists aims to provide the support and mentoring required to allow clinical academics to reach their full potential and pursue a successful academic career. We fully recognise that each individual will have a different background and current training position. Some will be academic clinical fellows whilst others will be on standard training programmes. Equally some individuals who are interested in epidemiology and public health or computational biology/bioinformatics may wish to undertake a taught MPhil to obtain sufficient knowledge before embarking on their PhD. These can all be accommodated within the Cambridge scheme. All we ask is academic excellence, hard work and the will to make a difference to your chosen profession.

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From the Faculty of Clinical Medicine

The MD degree is a doctorate awarded to clinicians who undertake an extended period of scientific research. It provides an opportunity for doctors to receive recognition of research achievement within an approved academic programme.

The MD programme, on par academically with the PhD, spans a maximum of six years, allowing candidates to undertake their research alongside clinical or other responsibilities, at the end of which their thesis is examined by Viva. Those candidates working in Cambridge will be assigned a University supervisor and become registered students of the University and members of a College. Those candidates intending to work at an institution outside Cambridge must already hold a Cambridge degree and must apply to take the MD by Special Regulations.

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From the Faculty of Clinical Medicine

The Cambridge MRC Doctoral Training Programme is a partnership between the University of Cambridge and the Babraham Institute. Included as associate partners are the MRC institutes and units in Cambridge and other University Partner Institutes.

The Programme is offering at least ten fully-funded PhD studentships for projects commencing in October 2021.

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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 outstanding research environments. Students work on collaborative projects organised by co-supervisors at both 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 Continuing Education

The MSt in Population Health Sciences (PHS) is jointly run by the Department of Public Health and Primary Care, the MRC Epidemiology Unit and the MRC Biostatistics Unit, with contributions from colleagues across the University. The MSt PHS is a part-time postgraduate master's course that includes the academic disciplines of epidemiology, global health, health data science, infectious diseases, public health, and primary care research. 

The course is open to graduates and other qualified candidates (see entry requirements) who wish to pursue a research, practice or leadership career in population health sciences.

The course of study for the MSt in Population Health Sciences (PHS) consists of eleven taught modules and a dissertation. The MSt in PHS is a two-year part-time master's degree of the University of Cambridge. It can also be taken as an MPhil in Population Health Sciences which is a one-year full-time master's degree of the University of Cambridge.

Students study five core modules and subsequently select at least six additional modules, either following a designated pathway in one of the named specialisation themes (epidemiology, global health, health data science, infectious diseases, public health, and primary care research) or following a more personalised pathway. Students also complete a dissertation of no more than 15,000 words.

Applicants should note that due to pre-requisites and dependencies, and constraints of timetabling, the pathways followed by part-time students will be dependent on which of the specialisation themes they are following. An indication of how the modules can be spread over 2 years for each specialisation theme is provided in documentation on the website.

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Department Members


Professor John Danesh
Head of Department

  • 25 Academic Staff
  • 100 Postdoctoral Researchers
  • 79 Graduate Students

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