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Postgraduate Study

Course closed:

Molecular Mechanisms of Human Disease is no longer accepting new applications.

Through the taught elements which include ~60 hours of lectures and modules on biostatistics along with lab-based research, the course will enable students to gain practical research skills and new specialist knowledge that may be essential to achieving a career in biomedical research. Its main aims are:

•to expand and enhance the student’s knowledge of biomedical research; the model systems, the tools, techniques and approaches employed to investigate the molecular mechanisms of human disease and learn how new treatments are developed and new drugs reach patients; and

•to provide students with an opportunity to undertake a focused project in a lab carrying out cutting-edge research into the molecular mechanisms of human disease.

The course is designed from the perspective of the patient, and follows a track from disease diagnosis and identification, to the lab, and then to the various molecular mechanisms of disease classified by the nature of the disfunction, and then back to the patient with a look at potential therapeutics. 



Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:  


  • critically analyse research literature and contemporary topics in the areas of their specialisation, and present such analyses in written and oral formats;  

  • explain the importance and impact of topics in their area of specialisation to specialist and non-specialist audiences;  

  • demonstrate proficiency in experimental and data analysis techniques;  

  • demonstrate critical thinking and problem-solving approaches to experimental data;  

  • participate in scientific discourse by discussion, with peers and other scientists, of literature and controversies in the field and of data collected in their research project.  


Those who wish to progress to a PhD after completing an MPhil will be required to satisfy their potential supervisor, Head of Department, and the Faculty Degree Committee that they have the skills and ability to achieve the higher degree.

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.

Key Information

10 months full-time

Study Mode : Taught

Master of Philosophy

Cambridge Institute for Medical Research

Course - related enquiries

Application - related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

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.