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Graduate Admissions

Course closed:

Metabolic and Cardiovascular Disease is no longer accepting new applications.


During the MRes year, students undertake three research placements as an introduction to different research areas. Following each  placement, students write  a short report which is assessed by members of the programme, who also give feedback on presentation skills. Students also write a PhD proposal or an extended essay, which, with the rotation reports, forms a portfolio of work submitted for the MRes degree.

In addition, students attend weekly seminars and workshops covering key topics and techniques in the research area. Students are also expected to attend relevant research seminars and appropriate graduate courses organised within the Faculty and Graduate School.

Before students can enter the second year, they are examined for the MRes Degree. Award of the MRes degree and decision to proceed on the PhD programme involves evaluation of all written reports and the formal project grant proposal/extended essay in a viva with an internal and external university examiner. The examiners report on the outcome of the assessment and make a recommendation on registration/progression. They also provide feedback for the student and supervisor.

Students who are recommended to proceed then start a three-year programme of supervised doctoral research during which time they continue to be supported by the Metabolic Research Laboratories, and to participate in MRL seminars and events.

One to one supervision

During the MRes year, students are supervised by the rotation principal investigator for the duration of their rotation project. During years 2–4, all students have both a principal supervisor and an adviser for their PhD.

Seminars & classes

Teaching for the MRes involves small group teaching, student-led and tutor-led seminars, weekly seminars by external speakers during term time.

Small group teaching

In addition to lab rotations students participate in weekly "hot topics" sessions led by programme principal investigators to raise a critical understanding of major topics and techniques in obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular biology.

Journal clubs

Students are encouraged to participate in the student-led journal club based at the MRL.


Students present a poster based on the third rotation project at the annual MRL Student Symposium and receive feedback on presentation skills.


At the end of each rotation project, the project supervisor provides feedback on performance during the project itself. Feedback on each written report is also provided by the project supervisor and an independent assessor. 

There is also continuous oversight of student progress by the local Graduate Education Committee, and termly progress reports are placed online.





All PhD students are required to undergo formal assessment (by written report and viva) at the end of their first year in the PhD stage of the programme. If successful, the student moves from being “probationary” to being registered for the PhD and can proceed with their project. The final PhD thesis, which should not exceed 60,000 words excluding figures, photographs, tables, appendices and bibliography, is subject to successful examination by two examiners, and an oral examination.


Before students can enter the second year of the programme, they are examined for the degree of Master of Research (MRes). Award of the MRes and decision to proceed to the PhD involves evaluation of a portfolio of work comprising research reports and either a PhD proposal or formal literature review in a viva voce examination by an internal and an external examiner. The examiners provide a report on the outcome of the MRes assessment and their recommendation on PhD registration/progression.

All students are required to undergo formal assessment by written report and viva at the end of their first year of the PhD stage of the programme. On successful completion,  the student moves from being a "probationary" PhD student to being registered for the PhD, and proceeds with their PhD project.

Key Information

1+3 years full-time

Doctor of Philosophy
Master of Research in the first instance

Department of Clinical Biochemistry


Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 3, 2018
Application deadline
Dec. 13, 2018
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2019

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

Graduate Funding Competition
Dec. 5, 2018
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 10, 2018

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