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Graduate Admissions

The PhD course is a three- to four-year full-time, or five- to seven-year part-time, research-based course. PhD students are initially on probation, with registration for the PhD degree being dependent on successful completion of a registration assessment, which involves producing a written report followed by an oral examination with two examiners.

Full-time students are on probation for their first year and must successfully complete their registration assessment before entering their second year. Part-time students are on probation for the first two years and should complete their registration assessment before they enter their third year. In addition, full-time and part-time students are also required to produce regular written progress reports.

At the end of the course, students produce a written dissertation of up to 60,000 words, followed by an oral examination based on both their dissertation and a broader knowledge of their chosen area of research. Students are provided with information which clearly sets out what is expected of them in order to obtain their degree.

Most research training is provided within the structure of the student’s research group and informal opportunities to develop research skills are available through mentoring by other members of staff and fellow students. All students are encouraged to attend scientific meetings, seminars and graduate courses relevant to their area of interest. They are also expected to participate in journal clubs and lab meetings and to take advantage of the numerous and varied opportunities including transferable skills training offered by the University. 

Each student is assigned a principal supervisor who oversees their research project and an adviser who provides additional support. Our graduate student administrator acts as the first point of contact for any student with a query or difficulty that is not directly related to their scientific work. All student matters in the department are overseen by our director of graduate education and the wider engaging Cancer Biology Graduate Education Committee.

The PhD course is designed to produce graduates with rigorous research and analytical skills, who are exceptionally well equipped to go onto doctoral research, or employment in industry and the public service.

The PhD course provides:

  • a period of sustained in-depth study of a specific topic;
  • an environment that encourages the student’s originality and creativity in their research;
  • skills to enable the student to critically examine the background literature relevant to their specific research area;
  •  the opportunity to develop skills in making and testing hypotheses, in developing new theories, and in planning and conducting experiments;
  • the opportunity to expand the student’s knowledge of their research area, including its theoretical foundations and the specific techniques used to study it;
  • the opportunity to gain knowledge of the broader field of cancer research; and
  • an environment in which to develop skills in written work, oral presentation and publishing the results of their research in high-profile scientific journals, through constructive feedback of written work and oral presentations.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of their PhD course, students should:

  • have a thorough knowledge of the literature and a comprehensive understanding of scientific methods and techniques applicable to their own research;
  • be able to demonstrate 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;
  • have developed the ability to critically evaluate current research and research techniques and methodologies;
  • have self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems;
  • be able to act autonomously in the planning and implementation of research; and
  • have the gained oral presentation and scientific writing skills.

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Key Information


3-4 years full-time

5-7 years part-time

Doctor of Philosophy

Department of Oncology

Enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Dec. 6, 2017
Application deadline
Oct. 4, 2018
Course Starts
Jan. 5, 2019

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

Applications open
March 1, 2018
Application deadline
Jan. 14, 2019
Course Starts
April 10, 2019

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

Applications open
Sept. 3, 2018
Application deadline
June 28, 2019
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2019

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

Lent 2020

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 10, 2020

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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