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Graduate Admissions

Course closed:

Medical Science (Infection, Immunity and Inflammation) is no longer accepting new applications.


The basic programme design is 1+3 years, with the first year consisting of three laboratory-based projects, each the subject of a ten-week lab-based mini-project with parallel core topic discussion sessions held twice a week, led by a PI faculty member on the programme. Within the first year there is additional training in key areas including information technology, bioinformatics, statistical analysis, computation, microscopy and flow cytometry. Training in transferable skills will involve the following: communication skills – oral and written presentations; report, thesis and paper writing; grant application writing, project planning, grant costing and management; interviewing skills and team management; critical analysis of papers and grant applications

Students select their mini-projects, usually one in each theme, following presentations by supervisors at the start of the year and each term if requested. During each mini-project the student spends ten weeks in the laboratory of their chosen supervisor. At the end of this period, project outcome and student progress are assessed by means of oral presentation in terms one and two to all students and faculty, together with a poster presentation in term three. Each term’s project also requires a written report which is assessed by an independent examiner.

One to one supervision

During the MRes part of the course students are supervised by the Principal Investigator or a designated supervisor for the duration of their rotation.

The University of Cambridge publishes an annual Code of Practice which sets out the University’s expectations regarding supervision.

Seminars & classes

Two to four hours per week


Two to four hours per week


There are no practicals outside the laboratory-based work.

Small group teaching

Two to four hours per week


At the end of the laboratory-based period of research in terms one and two, students will give an oral presentation on the project to all students and faculty. In term three there is a poster presentation. Each term’s project also requires a written report which is assessed by an independent examiner, and feedback is given to the student.

During years two through to four students give an oral presentation in the summer term to all students and faculty.


Students receive formal feedback regarding their progress in the form of written termly reports from their supervisor, which are uploaded on an online supervisor reporting system.

At the end of the rotations in terms one and two students are required to submit a written report and at the end of the third rotation a poster. Independent examiners review the students' work and their reviews are shared with the student at the end of each rotation. 

The supervisor will provide verbal feedback more frequently as part of the day-to-day supervision.



The PhD thesis is examined according to the existing structures of the University of Cambridge. No thesis is required for the MRes degree.


The timescales, assessment and management follow the existing structures of the University of Cambridge. 

Before students can enter the second year, they are examined for an MRes (Master of Research). Award of the MRes degree and decision to proceed to the PhD programme involves evaluation of all written reports, a formal project grant proposal and viva voce examination by an internal examiner together with an external university examiner. The examiners provide a report on the outcome of the assessment, their recommendation on registration or progression, and any feedback they wish to provide for the student and supervisor.

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.

Key Information

1+3 years full-time

Doctor of Philosophy
Master of Research in the first instance

This course is advertised in multiple departments. Please see the Overview tab for more details.


Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

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

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

Graduate Funding Competition
Jan. 3, 2019
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 10, 2018

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