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Graduate Admissions

4 courses offered in the Department of Public Health and Primary Care

Epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determinants of health-related states or events in specified populations, and the application of this study to control and prevent health problems at the population level. Recognition of the importance of these study areas has led to increasing demand for professionals with formal training in epidemiology.

This full-time course is designed to provide successful students with the necessary knowledge and specialist skills to be able to design, conduct, critique and apply epidemiological research in either a service or an academic setting.

The course is open to medical and non-medical graduates and is aimed at the following groups:

  • Graduate students who wish to pursue a career in epidemiological research
  • Graduate students who wish to gain an advanced understanding of epidemiological and statistical principles to underpin future research interests
  • Public health professionals who wish to gain a fuller understanding of epidemiology and its application to public health in practice.

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This course has run since 2011, previously being integrated with the MPhil TMAT courses and taken part-time over two years. It was re-launched in 2015 as a full-time one year course, based in the Cambridge Institute of Public Health’s Department of Public Health and Primary Care. More than half of the curriculum is shared with the MPhils in Public Health and Epidemiology. The aim of the course is to provide students with theoretical knowledge and skills as well as practical research experience to launch an academic clinical career in primary care.

The course draws on local strengths in working with large databases, primary care-based clinical trials and a wide range of other appropriate methods of quantitative and qualitative data collection and analyses. Throughout the course, students are able to draw on the research expertise within the Institute of Public Health and wider expertise in the University.

The course is open to all graduates with a relevant first degree, but is particularly aimed at Trainee GPs, and GPs working in the NHS who wish to gain a fuller understanding of the disciplines at the foundation of academic primary care. A variety of teaching and learning methods are used during the course including lectures, practical exercises, one-to-one supervisions and self-directed learning. The course includes a research-based thesis which will be undertaken and completed during the year. We encourage successful students to progress to a PhD.

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Public health has been described as the science and art of promoting health, preventing disease and reducing inequalities in health. This course provides students with the theoretical knowledge and skills which, when combined with appropriate further experience, will enable them to make a professional contribution to public health research or practice.

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The Department of Public Health & Primary Care encompasses a broad range of themes (e.g. from Genetic Epidemiology to Behaviour and Health, from Health Services Research to Non-communicable Disease Epidemiology etc) and methods (e.g. quantitative methods, qualitative research, systematic reviews, functional genomics etc). PhD projects are typically available at each of the Units within the Department. Interdisciplinary research is also encouraged, whether within the Department or with other local or international collaborators.

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4 courses also advertised in the Department of Public Health and Primary Care

From the Department of Clinical Biochemistry

It is essential that young clinicians with aptitude are able to receive high-quality research training in clinical science, representing as they do the future of academic medicine. We can offer training in an outstanding environment in subjects that span the research spectrum from basic science to epidemiology and public health.

We take great pride in our track record of successfully training clinicians to undertake the highest quality biomedical research and the Schools of Clinical Medicine and Biological Sciences, together with the MRC, Wellcome Trust and Cancer Research UK institutes, offer one of the most rewarding environments in which you could pursue your research training.

Principal Investigators in the Programme provide mentoring, workshops and mini-projects in order to allow successful candidates to make an informed choice of PhD project and supervisor that are tailored to the interests of the candidate. This novel approach to the training of clinical scientists aims to provide the support and mentoring required to allow clinical academics to reach their full potential and pursue a successful academic career. We fully recognise that each individual will have a different background and current training position. Some will be academic clinical fellows whilst others will be on standard training programmes. Equally some individuals who are interested in epidemiology and public health or computational biology/bioinformatics may wish to undertake a taught MPhil to obtain sufficient knowledge before embarking on their PhD. These can all be accommodated within the Cambridge scheme. All we ask is academic excellence, hard work and the will to make a difference to your chosen profession.

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From the Department of Medicine

The MD degree is a doctorate awarded to clinicians who undertake an extended period of scientific research. It provides an opportunity for doctors to receive recognition of research achievement within an approved academic programme.

The MD programme, on par academically with the PhD, spans a maximum of six years, allowing candidates to undertake their research alongside clinical or other responsibilities, at the end of which their thesis is examined by Viva. Those candidates working in Cambridge will be assigned a University supervisor and become registered students of the University and members of a College. Those candidates intending to work at an institution outside Cambridge must already hold a Cambridge degree and must apply to take the MD by Special Regulations.

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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 fifteen fully funded PhD studentships for projects commencing in October 2020.

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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 John Danesh
Head of Department

  • 25 Academic Staff
  • 100 Postdoctoral Researchers
  • 79 Graduate Students

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