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Postgraduate Admissions

Course closed:

Therapeutic Sciences is no longer accepting new applications.


This innovative and highly multi-disciplinary course has been co-developed and co-delivered with industry partners and puts the students in an advantageous position whereby they will be taught by world-leading academics and industry experts in the field of therapeutic sciences. The taught elements of the course will consist of extensive core teaching in the following areas:

  • Healthcare Challenges in the 21st Century and Future Shaping Factors 
  • Drug Discovery, Design, Production, Safety and Characterisation
  • New Modalities and Advanced Therapeutics 
  • Clinical Aspects of Therapeutics Development 
  • Devices, Diagnostics and Convergence Technologies  
  • Regulatory, Legal, Communication and Policy Issues 
  • Business, Entrepreneurial and Leadership Training 

All students on this programme will be members of the University’s Postgraduate School of Life Sciences (PSLS) who offer a wide variety of core skills and professional development training. Visit the Researcher Development page on the PSLS website for more information.

One to one supervision

In the first two terms, the course director will be the principal supervisor for students and will be available for supervisions (one per term) if requested by a student.  

In the third term, supervision will be provided by the student's research project supervisor, with oversight maintained by the course director. Supervisions for the project are one-on-one with at least eight hours of contact time.

Seminars & classes

Throughout the course, lectures and seminars will be widely used to deliver information in an interactive fashion. Students will at times share lectures with other Masters courses, enabling them to interact with other students. Teaching will be delivered by academic staff and guest lecturers from industry. Some of the teaching will be delivered with a seminar-style approach in order to promote open discussion around specific topics or theories. There are a large number of weekly and monthly seminar series across the University in many areas of therapeutic sciences and students will be strongly encouraged to attend as many as possible. Students will, overall, be expected to take responsibility for their own learning and will need to manage their time effectively to fit this around the academic timetable and any other activities that they may become involved in. There are also a number of workshops which will be delivered by academic and industry tutors which will require students to work individually or in groups based around information garnered in their lectures and seminars.

Students will be encouraged to discuss topics and theories that they have read in class or independently weighing its merits or considering their legal/regulatory or ethical implications in the real-life setting in therapeutic sciences. Discussions will be an important part of the overall Masters experience, giving students not only access to other wide-ranging viewpoints on the same subject matter, but also enabling them to consider the different rationales and to become familiar with psychology and logic, important elements in the industrial setting.


Lectures form a significant portion of teaching on this course and will consist of at least 100 hours per teaching term.


Practical learning: Learning by doing will be an important part of this course. These sessions aim to give students supplemental information to back up the materials presented in lectures. Students will normally work in small teams and present their findings orally.

Problem-based/Enquiry-based learning and field trips: Similar to practical work, fieldwork can help students put their theoretical knowledge into practice or see how this knowledge can be adapted depending on the therapeutic area. Trips may last a few hours to a full day.  A number of high profile therapeutics companies in close proximity to Cambridge are keen to invite students from this course to their sites to show the practical application of the information they will teach and are also willing to run real-life problem-based and enquiry-based workshops. Here, groups of students will be presented with a real-life problem or scenario and will need to work as a team to investigate potential solutions while identifying what skills or knowledge are needed to effectively manage the situation. 

Journal clubs

There will be fortnightly one-hour journal clubs held during the first two terms.


A literature review will take place as part of the student's research project.


During the annual research symposium, students will give presentations and/or poster talks based on their research project. 

Students may also be required to deliver individual or group presentations during the year as part of the practical element of the course and group-work activities.


Student placements during the course will take place from approximately April to June each year. During the research project phase of the course, each student will have two supervisors (one from the company/academic department and one assigned by the Course Director) to ensure that they receive all necessary support.  Placements will be carried out in either the academic or industry setting as each project dictates, based on aspects such as the equipment required, access to relevant data and supervisory team expertise.


During the first two terms, the course director will meet with students and provide feedback where required.  As the first two terms consist mainly of lectures and seminars attendance will be monitored as well as engagement with workshops and group activities. Students can also expect to receive termly formal feedback reports via the online feedback and reporting system.

On completion of the written assessments, students will be advised of their provisional results and feedback will be provided. 

Students will meet with their project supervisors to discuss progress throughout the third term. Regular feedback is expected when students are writing up their project work.


Thesis / Dissertation

A heavily-weighted dissertation not exceeding 10,000 words based on research conducted during a University or company internship will constitute a substantial proportion of the marks. The placement and the project will be tailored to suit the individual student and may involve research in fundamental science, translational medicine or a more business-oriented issue. It will be conducted at the premises of a participating company or in a University laboratory. Each student will have two supervisors (one from the Company/Academic laboratory and one appointed by the Course Director) during this placement to ensure they receive all necessary support.

All projects will be approved as being of a suitable standard for the Master’s in Therapeutic Sciences by the Academic Director of the course and the degree committee for the Faculty of Biology. It is anticipated that the dissertation will provide novel findings and/or real insight into a current issue in therapeutic sciences and not merely be a review of current know-how or practice.  The thesis will make up 65% of the overall mark for the year.


At the end of term one, students submit an essay not exceeding 5,000 words in length on a topic in therapeutic sciences (15% of the final mark).

At the end of term two, students submit an essay not exceeding 5,000 words in length on a topic in therapeutic sciences (15% of the final mark).

All essay topics will be approved by the course director prior to commencement.


An end of year research symposium will take place at which students will be required to give oral presentations and produce a research poster. This element will make up 5% of the overall mark for the year.

Students may also be required to attend a viva in person in late August or early September.

Key Information

11 months full-time

Master of Philosophy

This course is advertised in multiple departments. Please see the Overview tab for more details.

Course – related enquiries

Application – related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

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

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

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2021, Lent 2022 and Easter 2022.