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Course content

Applications are co-ordinated by CRUK CI. Prior to submitting the on-line application form (GRADSAF), you should identify a supervisor in the Institute who is willing to host you for M.Phil study. The Institute accepts only a few M.Phil students every year, mainly because bench space is very limited and so competition for places is particularly fierce. In the main, applicants are successful if they are recognized as bringing a valuable technique or methodology to their host lab.

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Course detail

The MPhil course lasts for 12 months, during which time the student is expected to complete a research project, and write and submit a thesis of less than 20,000 words in length. The student will then be examined orally on the thesis and on the wider field of knowledge into which it falls. The students are provided with information which clearly sets out what is expected of them during their period of research in order to obtain their degree.

Each student has a principal supervisor and is also assigned an adviser who provides additional support. In addition, Ann Kaminski (Head of Scientific Administration) 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 Institute are overseen by the Cancer Biology Graduate Education Committee, which has the well-being of our students at heart. All first year graduate students are required to attend a series of around 30 lectures on cancer biology which take place in the Institute. The lectures are given by specialists in their fields and they aim to provide all students with a comprehensive overview of cancer biology, ranging from basic cell biology through to cancer diagnosis and treatment. Throughout their period at the Institute, all students are expected to participate in journal clubs, lab meetings, lectures and seminars. They are also encouraged to take advantage of the numerous and varied types of transferable skills training offered by both the Institute and the University. Students are encouraged to attend scientific meetings relevant to their course of study. All students in the Institute are members of the student-run Graduate Society which organises regular scientific and social events.


The MPhil in Medical Science course is exclusively by research. The project and supervisor are determined during the application process. In addition to the principal supervisor, it is likely that the student will also be appointed a day-to-day supervisor who is able to provide hands-on assistance. Given the interdisciplinary nature of some of the projects, students will also be expected to seek guidance from other colleagues, including post-docs and core facility staff. Students will participate in the Institute's weekly seminar programme.

Students should expect to receive on-going feedback from all supervisors involved in their research project. In addition, the principal supervisor will write termly reports on Cambridge Graduate Supervision Reporting System.


The student is expected to submit a thesis, which should be less than 20,000 words in length and post-submission, the student will be examined orally by two examiners on the content of the thesis and on the wider field of their research area.

The student is expected to give a brief presentation (15 - 20 minutes) to the Institute approximately 10 weeks after commencing study. This allows the student to introduce him/herself to all colleagues and to inform them of the nature of his/her project.

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:

Visit the MPhil in Medical Science (CRUKCI) page on the University of Cambridge website for more details!




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Recipient: University of Cambridge

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