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Graduate Admissions

3 courses offered in the Department of Chemistry

This cutting-edge Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Automated Chemical Synthesis Enabled by Digital Molecular Technologies (SynTech) aims to develop a new generation of leaders in synthetic chemistry research with a focus on Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence-driven techniques. 

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The MPhil is offered by the Department of Chemistry as a full-time period of research and introduces students to research skills and specialist knowledge. Students are integrated into the research culture of the Department by joining a research group, supervised by one of our academic staff, in one of the following areas of chemistry:

  • Biological Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Physical Chemistry
  • Synthetic Chemistry
  • Theoretical Chemistry

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The PhD is offered by the Department of Chemistry as a full-time period of research and introduces students to research skills and specialist knowledge. (Applications from part-time students may also be considered but there are attendance requirements and you will need to live close enough to Cambridge to fulfil these.)  Students are integrated into the research culture of the Department by joining a research group, supervised by one of our academic staff,  in one of the following areas of chemistry:

  • Biological Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Physical Chemistry
  • Synthetic Chemistry
  • Theoretical Chemistry

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10 courses also advertised in the Department of Chemistry

From the British Antarctic Survey

In this course, a PhD is undertaken under the joint supervision of a research scientist at the British Antarctic Survey and a University supervisor.  Students may be based at BAS, but will be registered for their degree with one of the partnering departments:- Archaeology & Anthropology, Land Economy, Plant Sciences, Zoology, Earth Sciences, Geography and Scott Polar Research Institute, Applied Mathematics & Theoretical Physics, Chemistry.

The British Antarctic Survey welcomes enquiries from those interested in higher degrees in earth science subjects, physics, chemistry, mathematics, biology and related subjects. Further projects may also be available in the University Department (see other entries in this list).

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From the Department of Earth Sciences

The UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in the Application of Artificial Intelligence to the study of Environmental Risks (AI4ER) trains researchers (through several multidisciplinary cohorts) to be uniquely equipped to develop and apply leading-edge computational approaches to address critical global environmental challenges by exploiting vast, diverse and often currently untapped environmental data sets. Embedded in the outstanding research environments of the University of Cambridge and the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), the AI4ER CDT addresses problems that are relevant to building resilience to environmental hazards and managing environmental change. The primary application areas are:

  • Weather, Climate and Air Quality
  • Natural Hazards
  • Natural Resources (food, water & resource security and biodiversity)

Students in the CDT cohorts engage in a one-year MRes degree in Physical Sciences (Environmental Data Science) which includes a taught component and a major research element, followed by a three-year PhD research project. Students will receive high-quality training in research, professional, technical and transferable skills through a focused core programme with an emphasis on the development of data science skills through hackathons and team challenges. Training is guided by personalised advice and the expertise of a network of partners in industry, government, the third sector and beyond.

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From the School of the Biological Sciences

The Cambridge Bioscience DTP is a four year PhD programme that aims to create highly skilled and employable people. The programme offers training across 21 University Departments and 5 Partner Institutes providing access to a wide range of research areas related to the strategic themes of the BBSRC.

During the programme, students will undertake two ten-week rotations in different labs before commencing their PhD. They will receive training in a variety of areas including but not limited to statistics, programming, ethics, data analysis, scientific writing and public engagement. Students will also undertake a 12-week internship (PIPS). Students will be expected to submit their thesis at the end of the fourth year and no further write-up period will be allowed.

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From the Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre

The Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre (CCDC) was established in 1965 and is a University Partner Institute (UPI) and also a Research Council Independent Research Organisation (IRO).  We serve the scientific community through the acquisition, evaluation, dissemination and use of the world's output of small molecule crystal structures by:

  • compiling the Cambridge Structural Database;
  • developing scientific products and services;
  • maximising worldwide accessibility to crystal structure data; and
  • performing and supporting fundamental research.

Research degrees

There is an ongoing programme of support for PhD students who may be located at any UK university or at the CCDC. You are required to base a significant part of your thesis on some aspect of structural chemistry and make use of the Cambridge Structural Database in your research.

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From the Department of Physics

The development of new materials lies at the heart of many of the technological challenges we currently face, for example creating advanced materials for energy generation. Computational modelling plays an increasingly important role in the understanding, development and optimisation of new materials.

This four-year doctoral training programme on computational methods for material modelling aims to train scientists not only in the use of existing modelling methods but also in the underlying computational and mathematical techniques. This will allow students to develop and enhance existing methods, for instance by introducing new capabilities and functionalities, and also to create innovative new software tools for materials modelling in industrial and academic research.

The first year of the doctoral training programme is provided by the existing MPhil course in Scientific Computing, which has a research and a taught element, as well as additional training elements. The final three years consist of a PhD research project, with a student-led choice of projects from a large pool contributed by researchers associated with the CDT.

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From the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research

Mechanisms to Medicines is a Wellcome Trust-funded 4-year PhD programme in molecular and cellular pathophysiology. It is based on the thematically linked research of its three contributing institutions: Cambridge Institute for Medical Research (CIMR), the MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit (MBU) and the Cambridge Dementia Research Institute (DRI). These institutions are all under one roof and share a focus on cutting-edge cellular medicine. There are particular strengths in neurodegenerative disease, cell stress, and multisystem disorders, with expertise in organelle biology, specifically the endomembrane system and mitochondria. The institutes are well equipped for the use of microscopy, proteomics, genetics, and structural biology to understand disease mechanisms, with a strong emphasis on translational research.

The programme has a 0.5 + 3.5 year training structure, with the first 6 months consisting of three rotation projects, as well as weekly seminars and half-day skills workshops, after which students will choose their PhD lab. All students will have a faculty mentor in addition to their PhD supervisor. During their final year, students will have guidance from their supervisor, mentor, and the programme leadership team on making the transition to their post-PhD career.

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From the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research

Infections, immune and inflammatory disorders represent ongoing challenges to global health and wealth. Recent advances in genomics and proteomics have emphasized the critical role played by pathogens in shaping the host environment and identified both host and pathogen genes implicated in disease. By studying host-pathogen interactions, and the autoreactive potential of the immune response, we aim to improve our knowledge and understanding of the pathogenesis of infectious, immune and inflammatory disorders, as well as develop therapeutic strategies to benefit human health. No single student can be experienced in all these areas, but by providing rigorous training in a well-resourced scientific environment this programme will equip the next generation of scientists with the necessary skills and broad academic insight to bring novel and innovative approaches to the study of infection, immunity and inflammation.

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From the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy

The MPhil in Micro- and Nanotechnology Enterprise is an exciting opportunity in which world-leading scientists and successful entrepreneurs are brought together to deliver a one-year master’s degree combining an in-depth multidisciplinary scientific programme with a global perspective on the commercial opportunities and business practice necessary for the successful exploitation in the rapidly developing fields of nanotechnology and nanomanufacturing.

The programme is intended for those with a good first degree in the physical sciences and engineering, who wish to develop research skills and commercial awareness of the cutting-edge disciplines of micro- and nanotechnology. The course will provide an unparalleled educational experience for entrepreneurs in these fields.

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From the Department of Physics

This MRes+PhD programme is based on courses, practicals and projects in year one before selection of an interdisciplinary PhD topic for research in years two through four in a Nano group within Physics, Chemistry, Engineering, Materials or another department. A significant element will be innovation training and industry engagement including courses on Nurturing and Managing Innovation in Science, Integrating nanomaterials and devices to build systems, and on Responsible Innovation.

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From the Department of Physics

The MPhil programme in Scientific Computing is based in the Department of Physics and is a full-time 12-month course which aims to provide education of the highest quality at master’s level. Covering topics of high-performance scientific computing and advanced numerical methods and techniques, it produces graduates with rigorous research and analytical skills, who are well equipped to proceed to doctoral research or directly into employment in industry, the professions, and public service. It also provides training for the academic researchers and teachers of the future, encouraging the pursuit of research in computational methods for science and technology disciplines, thus being an important gateway for entering PhD programmes containing a substantial component of computational modelling.

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Department Members


Dr. James Keeler
Head of Department

  • 55 Academic Staff
  • 180 Postdoctoral Researchers
  • 250 Graduate Students

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

Research Areas