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Graduate Admissions

2 courses offered in the Department of Pathology

The MPhil in Biological Science (Pathology) is a full-time one-year research programme. Students join an active biomedical research group and conduct an original research project. The course aims to provide students with a solid foundation of analytical and laboratory skills, preparing them for a wide range of career options including doctoral studies or industrial research.

Students write an MPhil thesis, which is examined via an oral examination involving an internal and an external examiner. There is no examined coursework and there are no grades: a successful student gains a pass. The department only admits graduate students to the programme and they undertake a research project in an area of their choice in discussion with their selected supervisor.

In addition to the research training provided by the department, the Graduate School of Life Sciences offers students access to courses to widen their experience and to enable them to acquire generic skills. All students attend induction and safety training courses in the department in addition to the training they receive in their research laboratory.

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Our PhD programme follows the pattern of that of the Faculty of Biology and is a three- or four-year research programme depending on the sponsor. The course is also available via five years of part-time study. Students are accepted in October, January or April.

Students are based in a research group and undertake a research project under the supervision of a principal investigator. A wide range of generic and specific skill courses are available. Students attend induction and safety training run by the Department.

There is no examined coursework but student progression is dependent upon the first-year assessment process where students are required to submit a first-year report and undertake a viva voce examination. Students are only registered for the PhD upon satisfactory performance in the first-year assessment.

In their second year students present their work as a poster at the Departmental Annual Symposium.

In their final year students are invited to give a valedictory seminar to the Department upon submission of their dissertation.

Assessment for the PhD is by a written dissertation and an oral examination.

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6 courses also advertised in the Department of Pathology

From the Department of Plant Sciences

This four-year programme provides excellent postgraduate training, addressing the need for trained scientists in strategically important research areas and skills. The DTP programme has four separate research themes addressing the strategic research priorities of BBSRC:

The research topics included in the Cambridge DTP are aimed at improving understanding of basic biological mechanisms, from the study of biological molecules, to cellular and physiological processes, including genetic and genomic approaches. There is an emphasis on multidisciplinary research interfacing with physical sciences and engineering. Biologists learn mathematical and computational methodologies to address biological questions and the programme may interest mathematicians interested in applying their knowledge to biological problems. A major goal of our training programme is to allow the flow of ideas, skills and key capabilities to provide mutual benefit in supporting the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries in the UK.

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From the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research

The Cambridge Institute for Medical Research (CIMR) is one of the leading research institutions in the UK and provides a unique interface between clinical and basic biomedical science. Its major goal is to determine and understand the molecular mechanisms underlying human disease. The strength of the institute is that members work on a variety of diseases using a wide range of methodologies which makes it a superb place for graduate training in biological and medical sciences. CIMR has around 26 group leaders working in a range of disease mechanisms, ranging from neurodegenerative disease, haematological disorders, immunological and infectious diseases to cancer.

Research in CIMR is focused on fundamental cell biological processes, with particular emphasis on membrane trafficking, organelle function, protein homeostasis and folding, the cytoskeleton and autophagy.

The Cambridge Institute offers a one-year full-time MPhil programme of research under individual supervision of principal investigators based in CIMR. This course can also be taken as part-time option over two years. During their MPhil the students are based in a research group, supported by their primary supervisor and the CIMR Graduate Education Committee. There is no taught and examined course work, but students are encouraged to attend research seminars at the Addenbrooke's Biomedical Research Campus and elsewhere in the University, and graduate student seminars dealing with generic skills such as intellectual property rights, writing a thesis or paper, and entrepreneurship. Students write a dissertation, which is examined via an oral examination.

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From the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research

The Cambridge Institute for Medical Research (CIMR) is one of the leading research institutions in the UK and provides a unique interface between clinical and basic biomedical science. Its major goal is to determine and understand the molecular mechanisms underlying human disease. The strength of the institute is that members work on a variety of diseases using a wide range of methodologies, which makes it a superb place for graduate training in biological and medical sciences. CIMR has  around 26 group leaders working in a range of disease mechanisms, ranging from neurodegenerative disease, haematological disorders, immunological and infectious diseases to cancer.

Research in CIMR is focused on fundamental cell biological processes, with particular emphasis on membrane trafficking, organelle function, protein homeostasis and folding, the cytoskeleton and autophagy.

The Cambridge Institute offers a three-year full-time PhD programme of research under individual supervision of principal investigators based in CIMR. This course can also be taken as part-time option over six years. The PhD students are based in a research group, supported by their primary and secondary supervisor and the CIMR Graduate Education Committee. There is no taught and examined course work, but students can take part in core topic discussion sessions held once a week by PIs in CIMR.

Along with the specific research training provided in the laboratory in which the student works, he or she receives further training within the CIMR in the form of graduate workshops concentrating on research techniques, research seminars both on the Addenbrooke's site and elsewhere in the University, and graduate student seminars dealing with generic skills such as intellectual property rights, writing a thesis or paper, and entrepreneurship. Students write a dissertation, which is examined via an oral examination.

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From the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research

Taking advantage of the genomic revolution, this PhD programme allows students to move from the analysis of host and pathogen genetics, the identification of new genes and molecules, through immunogenomics, viral and bacterial pathogenesis, immune adaptation and evasion, complex genetic analysis of human disease to the macroscopic manifestation of infectious diseases in population dynamics and mathematical modelling.

By understanding the pathogen and how the immune system responds to that pathogen, together with the autoreactive potential of the immune response, we aim to improve our knowledge of the pathogenesis of both infectious and inflammatory disorders, as well as develop new treatment strategies to combat these conditions. While no student can be expert in all these areas, it is our premise that equipping the next generation of scientists with a rigorous training, skill set and broad academic insight will provide them with the expertise to bring novel and innovative approaches to the study of infection, immunity and inflammation.

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From the Department of Medicine

The Cambridge MRC Doctoral Training Programme  is a partnership between the University of Cambridge and the Babraham Institute. Included as associate partners are the MRC institutes and units in Cambridge, and other University Partner Institutes.

The Programme is offering at least ten fully funded PhD studentships for projects commencing in October 2019.

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From the Department of Medicine

This innovative programme was established in 2002 as a collaboration between the University of Cambridge and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the US. Its aim is to train outstanding students in biomedical research, taking advantage of the outstanding research environments. Students work on collaborative projects organised by co-supervisors at both Cambridge and the NIH, spending two years at each institution. Students have access to all NIH facilities and are paid by the NIH. The PhD is awarded by the University of Cambridge.

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Department Members


Professor G L Smith
Head of Department

  • 42 Academic Staff
  • 68 Postdoctoral Researchers
  • 78 Graduate Students
  • 610 Undergraduates

http://www.path.cam.ac.uk/

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