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Postgraduate Study


During their MPhil, students are based in a research group, supported by their primary supervisor and the Institute's Postgraduate Education Committee and Postgraduate Student Committee. There is no taught or examined coursework, but students are encouraged to attend the wide variety of lectures and training courses available to them across the University. This includes the University Core Skills Training Programme, which includes sessions on Time Management, Presentation & Performance and Scientific Writing.

All students studying in the Institute will be required to undertake some essential induction training when they first start. This includes various safety inductions and facility introductory courses on Imaging, Flow Cytometry and Bioinformatics, as well as centrally-run Statistics courses.

One to one supervision

Students are supervised on a day-to-day basis by their Principal Supervisor and also often a senior postdoc within the research group.

Discussions are held on a daily basis at the bench, and on a weekly basis during lab meetings. On average, supervisors meet with their students every two weeks to discuss progress. 

The University of Cambridge publishes an annual Code of Practice which sets out the University’s expectations regarding supervision.

Seminars & classes

All first year postgraduate students at the Institute are encouraged to participate in the 'Stem Cell Discussion Course' which occurs weekly during term-time. 

All students in the Institute are expected to attend all internal and external seminars held within the Jeffrey Cheah Biomedical Centre, including the 'Research Culture and Integrity' seminar series. 

Students are also encouraged to attend the various research seminars, talks and workshops held across the Biomedical Research Campus and elsewhere within the University.

Students at the Institute 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.

Small group teaching

Regular lab meetings within the research group.

Journal clubs

This varies according to the lab the student has chosen.

Posters and Presentations

MPhil students are expected to present their work in one of the Institute-wide 'internal seminars' during the Easter Term.


Students receive feedback regarding their progress in the form of online termly reports (Postgraduate Feedback and Reporting System (PFRS)) completed by their supervisor.

Additional verbal feedback will be provided frequently by the project supervisor as part of the day-to-day supervision and in regular lab meetings.


Thesis / Dissertation

The MPhil in Stem Cell Biology is examined by thesis and by viva. The thesis must be no longer than 20,000 words, and must satisfy the internal and external examiner that the candidate can design and carry out an original investigation, assess and interpret the results obtained, and place the work in the wider context of the subject.


The MPhil in Biological Sciences is a predominantly research-based course.

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Key Information

12 months full-time

24 months part-time

Master of Philosophy

Wellcome - Medical Research Council Cambridge Stem Cell Institute

Course - related enquiries

Application - related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Michaelmas 2023

Applications open
Sept. 15, 2022
Application deadline
May 16, 2023
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2023

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

Applications open
Sept. 15, 2022
Application deadline
Oct. 4, 2023
Course Starts
Jan. 5, 2024

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

Applications open
Sept. 15, 2022
Application deadline
Jan. 15, 2024
Course Starts
April 17, 2024

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

Course Funding Deadline
Jan. 5, 2023
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 12, 2022

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2023, Lent 2024 and Easter 2024.

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