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Graduate Admissions

Teaching

PhD studies within the multidisciplinary MRC Biostatistics Unit (BSU) include diverse training opportunities for all aspects of research and encourage the development of both academic and generic research skills.

Your primary supervisor will be responsible for your work, and for overseeing the general training elements of the PhD degree. In addition, you will have a second supervisor or a small advisory team. These individuals may be from a collaborating group or a group that does different research but is otherwise related to the group. They will advise you more generally about your PhD degree and be an independent point of contact in case of individual difficulties. You will be expected to meet with your supervisory team at least once a term.

The aim of the academic part of the programme is to:

  • gain experience in written and oral presentation of your work;
  • monitor the quality of your research project; and
  • ensure that your PhD project is on track.

The presentations of your work also provide an opportunity to receive helpful feedback from members of the Unit and from scientists who are less closely involved with your research.

One to one supervision

The University of Cambridge publishes an annual Code of Practice which sets out the University’s expectations regarding supervision. We expect that all supervision in the Unit meets this University of Cambridge minimum requirements.

Seminars & classes

BSU seminars are held, roughly monthly, on Tuesday afternoons during term time. Attendance is strongly encouraged. Students are also encouraged to attend the informal weekly departmental meetings held on Wednesday mornings.

The Institute of Public Health seminars are held on Friday lunchtimes during term time. Attendance at some of the more relevant of these is highly recommended.

Students are also encouraged to attend seminars, workshops and courses at the Stats Lab.

Lectures

BSU students in their first year attend the UK-wide Academy for Postgraduate Training in Statistics which comprises four one-week residential courses.

The BSU runs a number of short courses which are mainly free to BSU students.

Journal clubs

Journal clubs and other discussion groups – based, for example, around research programmes, particular topics or software – are held occasionally. A student could expect to attend these for one to three hours per month.

Posters

Students present an introduction to their project in the second term, and make fuller presentations usually at the end of the first year and early in the third year. They are encouraged to make other presentations within the Unit and at national and international conferences.

Feedback

Students should expect regular feedback from supervisors during their regular one-to-one meetings. Additionally, students should meet with their supervisory team once a term and the feedback from this is fed back to them via termly online reports.

Assessment

Thesis

For the PhD degree, the thesis should not exceed 60,000 words (or 80,000 by special permission of the Degree Committee). This limit excludes figures, photographs, tables, appendices and bibliography. Formatting should be one-and-a-half spaced and pages should be double-sided.

Submission of the final thesis will be followed by an oral examination.

Other

All PhD students are required to undergo formal assessment (by written report and viva) in the final quarter of their first year. If successful, the student moves from being "probationary" to being registered for the PhD and can proceed with their project.

Further informal assessment via presentation takes place in the first term of Year 3.

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Key Information


3-4 years full-time

Doctor of Philosophy

MRC Biostatistics Unit

Enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 3, 2018
Application deadline
Oct. 4, 2019
Course Starts
Jan. 5, 2020

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

Applications open
Sept. 3, 2018
Application deadline
Jan. 14, 2020
Course Starts
April 11, 2020

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

Michaelmas 2020

Applications open
Sept. 2, 2019
Application deadline
April 30, 2020
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2020

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

Applications open
Sept. 2, 2019
Application deadline
Oct. 4, 2020
Course Starts
Jan. 5, 2021

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

Applications open
Sept. 2, 2019
Application deadline
Jan. 14, 2021
Course Starts
April 17, 2021

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. 9, 2019

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