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Postgraduate Admissions

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.  There is no formal, examined coursework but the student's progress is assessed at various stages.  The most important of these is the first-year thesis, which is assessed in an oral examination by two examiners.  Registration for a PhD is only possible following a satisfactory thesis and exam performance.  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.

The PhD degree in Biochemistry is designed to train students to be effective research scientists.  In addition to developing deep knowledge of a subject area and broader knowledge of the relevant field, students will develop skills in:

  • identifying experimentally answerable scientific questions and assessing the value of these questions to both science and society
  • designing and executing experiments that test these scientific questions
  • analysing and interpreting experimental data
  • presenting the aims and outcomes of scientific research in both written and oral form
  • sourcing, assessing and critically evaluating scientific literature
  • time, data and resource management
  • collaborative and interpersonal professional behaviour

Many of these skills will be acquired within the student’s research group.  Other skills will be developed outside their research group: at the beginning of their first year, students attend an in-house training course of lectures and practicals, and can subsequently continue their training in many areas, choosing from the wide range of courses available within the Postgraduate School of Life Sciences and the University.  Students will also belong to a Peer Research Group, composed of other PhD students working within a common research theme, and within which scientific literature and student research projects are presented and discussed.


Open Days

The Open Day usually takes place at the beginning of November. The event is suitable for those considering applying for postgraduate study at the University. It provides opportunities to meet with academics, explore the Colleges, and find out more about the application process and funding opportunities. Visit the Postgraduate Open Day page for more details.

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Key Information


3-4 years full-time

5-7 years part-time

Doctor of Philosophy

Department of Biochemistry

Course – related enquiries

Application – related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 3, 2019
Application deadline
Oct. 4, 2020
Course Starts
Jan. 5, 2021

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Applications open
Sept. 3, 2019
Application deadline
Jan. 14, 2021
Course Starts
April 17, 2021

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Michaelmas 2021

Applications open
Sept. 1, 2020
Application deadline
June 30, 2021
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2021

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Applications open
Sept. 1, 2020
Application deadline
Oct. 4, 2021
Course Starts
Jan. 5, 2022

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Applications open
Sept. 1, 2020
Application deadline
Jan. 14, 2022
Course Starts
April 17, 2022

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Graduate Funding Competition
Jan. 7, 2021
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 14, 2020