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MPhil in Biological Science (Zoology)

Course Description

An 11 month (October - August) full-time course of research, culminating in the submission of a thesis and viva voce examination. There are no taught components to this course but students do attend appropriate lectures and courses such as those involving transferable skills training.

The course introduces students to research skills and specialist knowledge. 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.

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

Course detail

By the end of the programme, 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 Principal Supervisor’s role is to give advice, encouragement and constructive criticism to research students. Principal Supervisors and students should meet every 1-2 weeks, when the student is working in Cambridge.

Supervisors will:

- Assist the student in drawing up a research topic and a viable written research timetable, preferably in the initial meetings with the student.
- Ensure that the student is aware of relevant lectures and seminars in the field.
- Ensure that the student is aware of relevant training programmes and opportunities (including the Department's Graduate Training Programme) and discuss transferable and teaching skills the student may benefit from and make provision for appropriate training in these areas.
- Ensure that the student is aware of the range of facilities available for research and learning at the University of Cambridge.
- Introduce the student to other senior and graduate members working in a similar area.
- Assist the student in preparing research trips and archival visits within the UK and/or abroad.
- Encourage the student to keep systematic records of the research, including back-up copies of electronically-stored material.
- Discuss the research in person and offer constructive written comments and criticism.
- Consistently monitor progress and time management.
- Provide the student with adequate indication of his or her progress and challenges still to be met.
- Make termly and annual reports on the student’s progress using the Cambridge Graduate Supervision Reporting System (CGSRS).
- Encourage the student to present his or her work at appropriate internal and external conferences, seminars and workshops.
- Advise on ethical issues, such as plagiarism.
- Advise on the writing up and presentation of the dissertation.
- Assist the student's applications for funding by the writing of letters of reference.
- Give the student guidance on the publication of their work.

Students receive formal feedback from two academic advisors following submission of a Feasibility Report (after 1 month), and a Progress Report (after 5 months). Feedback is also provided by the supervisor via termly supervision reports.


You will be expected to submit a thesis (20,000 words excluding tables, footnotes, bibliography, and appendices) after 11 months, followed by a viva voce examination.


Students completing the MPhil cannot automatically continue to PhD - it is a separate course that must be applied for in the normal way.

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 (Zoology) page on the University of Cambridge website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Applicants for this course should have achieved a UK II.i Honours Degree. Preferably in a Science subject. Find University Minimum Academic Requirements here View Website

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Recipient: University of Cambridge

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