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Graduate Admissions

In view of the COVID-19 public health emergency we may need to make changes to the course details outlined on these pages. Offers holders will be notified of changes. Please see this page for further information.

Course closed:

Stem Cell Biology is no longer accepting new applications.

Stem cell research is one of the most exciting and rapidly developing areas in current biomedical science. This is a field rich in fundamental questions that at the same time offers unparalleled translational prospects for future healthcare. The Four-Year (MRes + PhD) Programme in Stem Cell Biology and Medicine is unique within the UK in focus and scope.

This programme offers the students exposure to cutting-edge basic science and translational research in a wide range of stem cell systems. The overall goal of the programme is to produce a cadre of highly trained PhD graduates who will have generated significant and original research findings for their thesis and are fully prepared for successful postdoctoral research in basic or applied stem cell biology.

The first (MRes) year of the programme is designed to give broad, integrated training in the conceptual foundations, experimental systems, practical techniques, and current state of knowledge in stem cell biology and stem cell medicine. This provides a robust foundation from which to embark on ambitious PhD research projects that exploit the latest conceptual and technical advances.

This programme is relevant to prospective students who have not decided on a specific supervisor or do not have their own funding.



Additional (1-2) places are available to applicants with a Physical Sciences, Mathematical or Computational Sciences background, who are interested in applying their training to aspects of stem cell biology

Candidates wishing to apply for this MRC-funded Four-Year (MRes + PhD) Programme: 'The Physical Biology of Stem Cells', must submit an application for the 'MRes + PhD in Stem Cell Biology'. There will be a tick box to specify if you are applying for the MRC Programme instead/in addition to the Wellcome Programme.

Learning Outcomes

The first year of the programme works towards a Master of Research in Biological Science (Stem Cell Research).  This MRes year is mostly research-based, with some weekly seminars and discussion courses. By the end of this programme, students will have:

  • a comprehensive understanding of techniques, and a thorough knowledge of the literature, applicable to their own research;
  • demonstrated originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in their field;
  • shown abilities in the critical evaluation of current research and research techniques and methodologies;
  • demonstrated some self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and acted autonomously in the planning and implementation of research; and
  • demonstrated ability to effectively communicate their data to their peers, both in the production of high quality written reports and effective and informative oral presentations. 



Continuation to a full PhD in years 2-4 is on the condition that students pass the MRes in year one (receiving the Master of Research in Biological Science (Stem Cell Research)). This final assessment is made at an MRes viva held at the end of year one, where the rotation project reports and a PhD proposal report are discussed at length between the student and internal and external assessors. Continuation recommendations are then passed onto the relevant degree committee for approval.

Open Days

The Cambridge Stem Cell Institute will participate in the University of Cambridge Postgraduate Open Day. The University of Cambridge will be hosting its Cambridge Postgraduate Open Day on Friday 1 November 2019. Visit the Postgraduate Open Day page for more details.

Key Information

1+3 years full-time

Doctor of Philosophy
Master of Research in the first instance

Wellcome Trust - Medical Research Council Cambridge Stem Cell Institute


Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 2, 2019
Application deadline
Jan. 7, 2020
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2020

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Graduate Funding Competition
Jan. 7, 2020
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 14, 2019

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