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Postgraduate Admissions

Course closed:

Translational Biomedical Research is no longer accepting new applications.


The taught element consists of core teaching in practical aspects of clinical research, statistics and epidemiology, as well as more specialist courses in basic and clinical pharmacology, clinical drug development, genetics, and rare diseases. Lectures take place during the first term with approximately 40 lectures and small-group work spread across an 8 week period.

For the 12-week research component, which starts in the second term, existing projects will be sourced by the course. Students may seek out their own project if they prefer, subject to review and approval.

Students may wish to continue their work into the third term whilst also writing up their thesis.

One to one supervision

In the first term, the course director will be the principal supervisor for students, with formal meetings held at least twice during that period.

In the second and third term, supervision will be provided by the student's research project supervisor, with oversight maintained by the course director.

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

Seminars & classes

Students are expected to attend the seminars, arranged by the course throughout Lent and Easter term, which are delivered by outstanding leading academics, visitors and industry colleagues on translational biomedical medicine and research practice. This will be no more than 4 hours maximum.

Students are also encouraged to attend the many other seminars organised across the University in order to aid their learning.


The main teaching timetable takes place in the first term, hours vary over the 8 weeks.

Small group teaching

Study group teaching will take place during the first term. These groups offer the opportunity for students to discuss and carry out work on the theoretical aspects of a clinical trial. At the end of the term, the students will present their findings.

Meetings will take place 3-4 times during the term of 1-2 hours each.

Journal clubs

There will be a fortnightly one-hour journal club held during the first term, with additional ad hoc meetings held in Lent and Easter.


Literature reviews will take place as an integral part of the journal club.


During the annual research day, students will be selected to give presentations and poster talks based on their research project.

Students will also present their work within their host departments.


During the first term, the course director will meet with students and provide feedback where required. As the first term consists of lectures, it is not expected that there will be a requirement for formal feedback, but attendance will be monitored.

During the second and third term, student meetings will be held with their project supervisor/research staff to discuss progress. Regular feedback is expected when writing up their project work.

Students will receive feedback on their assignments.



Thesis / Dissertation

A thesis not exceeding 20,000 words in length, including footnotes but excluding tables, appendices, and bibliography, on a subject approved by the degree committee for the Faculties of Clinical Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, will be required.

The examination shall include an oral examination on the dissertation and on the general field of knowledge within which it falls and on the other work submitted by the candidate; save that the Examiners may, at their discretion, waive the requirement for an oral examination.


Students will complete two written assessments:

  1. Critical Appraisal paper – students to review a published research paper, selected from a list provided by the course, and provide a 1000-word report.
  2. Project Outline paper – students to complete a template form in the style of a grant application on a pre-determined project, supplied by the course. Outlines will be up to 1500 words  in length, excluding references. An oral examination will also be held which does not contribute to the final mark.

Key Information

10 months full-time

22 months part-time

Master of Philosophy

Department of Medicine

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
Dec. 3, 2020
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 14, 2020

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

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