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Postgraduate Study

Course closed:

Clinical MBPhD is no longer accepting new applications.


At the start of the programme, students follow the Standard Course Year 4 curriculum up to and including the Year 4 Student Selected Component (SSC). (More information on the new clinical teaching programme can be found on the Standard Course website.) In general this SSC will be conducted in the prospective PhD host laboratory. After Part 1 of the Final MB examinations, and subject to satisfactory progress, a three-year period of full-time research follows, combined with regular clinical education, including weekly clinical supervisions and monthly clinical seminars.  It concludes with students rejoining the clinical course to complete their studies.

During the research component, students are based mainly in the laboratory or department of their choice at the Addenbrooke’s complex or at one of the University sites in central Cambridge, or at a University-affiliated research institute.

One to one supervision

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

The number of hours of supervision will vary from supervisor to supervisor.


The MB/PhD Programme runs a number of Clinical Seminars during the course of the Research Phase (3 years), this enables students keep up with medical training whilst completing their PhDs. The Seminar programme varies each year and covers a number of essential subjects, attendance is compulsory but a number of online resources are currently being created to add to the Seminar programme.

Small group teaching

Each student is assigned a Clinical Supervisor (usually in Year 4) throughout their PhD Research phase, this enables each student to get some practical face to face teaching regularly on top of the Seminar Programme. 

Posters and Presentations

Each student is expected as part of the course to present a poster at the yearly MB/PhD Symposium in their 2nd year of research, while 3rd years are expected to give talks to a number of attendees including Dignitaries from the Regius of the Clinical School, to the funding bodies who support MB/PhD students as well as a number of UCL MB/PhD Students and Manchester CRUK MB/PhD Students. 


The University of Cambridge publishes an annual Code of Practice for Research Students which sets out the University's expectations regarding feedback. 

​Students should expect to receive on-going feedback from all supervisors involved in their research project.  This could take place during one-to-one meetings or during lab meetings.  In addition, students can expect to receive a written on-line report each term.


Thesis / Dissertation

All PhD students are required to submit a thesis of no more than 60,000 words within a maximum of four years of study. This is examined at a viva by two examiners, usually one internal and one external.


All PhD students are required to undergo formal assessment (by written report and viva) at the end of their first year, which they must pass. If successful, the student moves from being 'probationary' to being registered for the PhD, and can proceed with their project.

Key Information

3-4 years full-time

Study Mode : Research

Doctor of Philosophy

Faculty of Clinical Medicine 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. 4, 2023
Application deadline
Jan. 4, 2024
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2024

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

Course Funding Deadline
Jan. 4, 2024
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 11, 2023

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