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MPhil in Biological Science (Physiology, Development and Neuroscience)

Course content

The Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience (PDN) offers excellent opportunities and facilities for training in research, leading to the MPhil (Master of Philosophy) degree.

The MPhil in Biological Sciences (PDN) is a full-time research degree. Students also attend relevant lectures and seminars and participate in skills development training activities organized by the Department and the Graduate School of Life Sciences. Its main aims are:

• to give students with relevant experience at first-degree level the opportunity to carry out focussed research in the discipline under close supervision; and

• to give students the opportunity to acquire or develop skills and expertise relevant to their research interests.

Students usually start their project in October and submit a dissertation of not more than 20,000 words by the end of August. We also accept students to start in January and April.

Full information on potential supervisors and research projects can be found on the department website http://www.pdn.cam.ac.uk/graduate/index.shtml . Contact potential supervisors in the first instance, sending your CV and the names of two referees. General enquiries concerning graduate opportunities within the Department of PDN can also be directed to . Initial enquiries should be made as early as possible.

See the website http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/blpdmpbsc

Course detail

By the end of the MPhil, 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.


The course is exclusively by research. The project and supervisor are determined during the application process.

Research training is provided within the group structure and overseen by the research supervisor. Opportunities to develop research skills also exist through mentoring by fellow students and members of staff.

We would estimate on average that the lead supervisor would provide up to one hour per week of direct supervision with additional supervision provided within the research group as designated by the lead supervisor. There may also be the opportunity to attend regular lab meetings with the supervisor and other research group members.


Submission of a dissertation of not more than 20,000 words and oral examination on the dissertation and on the general field of knowledge within which it falls.

MPhil students are required to present a 10 minute talk at the annual Departmental Graduate Symposium.


MPhil students wishing to apply for a PhD at Cambridge following the successful completion of their MPhil can apply as a continuer: see http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/portal/continuer for full information.

How to apply: http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/applying

Funding Opportunities

There are no specific funding opportunities advertised for this course. For information on more general funding opportunities, please follow the link below.

General Funding Opportunities http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/finance/funding

Visit the MPhil in Biological Science (Physiology, Development and Neuroscience) page on the University of Cambridge website for more details!





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