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Postgraduate Study

Obesity and its metabolic consequences are major and growing threats to public health. Although obesity is not a “new” disease, its prevalence has been increasing dramatically in developed and developing countries. Current projections from the World Obesity Federation and International Diabetes Federation predict that by 2030, 1 billion people will be living with obesity and 642 million will be living with diabetes across the world.  

The design of successful management strategies for obesity and related metabolic disorders such as type 2 diabetes depends on better understanding the fundamental mechanisms of appetite and energy balance, and how obesity leads to adverse downstream metabolic consequences. Indeed, we are currently witnessing a surge in the development of new and effective therapies based on dramatic advances in our mechanistic understanding of energy balance regulation.  

The Institute of Metabolic Science is offering a full-time taught MPhil in Obesity, Endocrinology & Metabolism, with an overarching goal of providing students with in-depth cutting-edge knowledge of the physiology and pathophysiology of energy balance and metabolism, and both current and future therapeutic opportunities. Students will also undertake a 32-week research project in a world-leading laboratory. Research projects available to students will span the full range of expertise at the Institute of Metabolic Science including molecular and cell biology, mouse models, human physiology, genomics, computational biology, and state-of-the-art technologies.  

The main educational aims of the course are to:

  • to give students with relevant experience at first-degree level the opportunity to carry out focused research in the discipline under close supervision; and
  • to give students the opportunity to acquire or develop skills and expertise relevant to their research interests.



Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course students will be able to:  

  • demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding of the underlying causes and consequences of obesity and associated endocrine and metabolic disorders, through attendance at and engagement with the lecture series;  
  • demonstrate in-depth knowledge of the background to their selected research project including the research methods and methods of data analysis used;  
  • demonstrate a broad understanding of modern research techniques applicable to metabolic research from a series of technical lectures;  
  • demonstrate knowledge of the theoretical approaches relevant to their specialisation and training in critical thinking in the area, assessed by the written and oral presentations;  
  • analyse critically research literature and contemporary topics in the areas of their specialisation, and present such analyses in written and oral formats;  
  • demonstrate expertise in research methods, data analysis and statistics, and application of the methods to interpret the data collected during the research project;  
  • demonstrate originality in the application of knowledge, together with the practical understanding of how research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in the field, obtained through undertaking the prolonged research project;  
  • demonstrate critical thinking and problem-solving approaches to experimental data;  
  • participate in scientific discourse through written material, oral and poster presentations;
  • explain the importance and impact of topics in their area of specialisation to specialist and non-specialist audiences;  
  • have a broad overview of research in medical science as well as career opportunities both in research and industry. 

Open Days

The Postgraduate Virtual Open Day usually takes place at the end of October. It’s a great opportunity to ask questions to admissions staff and academics, explore the Colleges virtually, and to find out more about courses, the application process and funding opportunities. Visit the Postgraduate Open Day page for more details.

See further the Postgraduate Admissions Events pages for other events relating to Postgraduate study, including study fairs, visits and international events.

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Key Information

10 months full-time

Master of Philosophy

Wellcome - MRC Institute of Metabolic Science

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Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Michaelmas 2024

Applications open
Sept. 4, 2023
Application deadline
May 1, 2024
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2024

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

Course Funding Deadline
Dec. 5, 2023
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 11, 2023

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2024, Lent 2025 and Easter 2025.