Research course

Medical Science (Clinical Neurosciences)

Institution
University of Cambridge · Department of Clinical Neurosciences
Qualifications
MPhil

Entry requirements

Applicants for this course should have achieved a UK 2:1 Honours Degree.

Months of entry

January, April, October

Course content

The course introduces students to research skills and specialist knowledge. Its main aims are:

  • to give students with relevant experience at a first-degree level the opportunity to carry out focused 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.

Graduate training is very different from undergraduate courses. It is based on individual needs and abilities and is designed to help you to think clearly, originally and practically, and to prepare you for leadership in science. We teach our graduate students how to plan and carry out cutting-edge research. Cambridge is an amazing place to learn how to do research. Visiting speakers and collaborators come from all over the world, and there are simply too many seminars for one person to attend! We have a careful system of monitoring the individual progress of each student; everyone has both a principal supervisor and associated advisor, and there are weekly student-led seminars.

Research training within the Department has several essential components, the first and foremost being the research project itself, to which you will make a significant contribution. This will give you experience and training in a variety of experimental and clinical research techniques, but will also teach you how to organise research, plan experiments, and read and digest the scientific literature relevant to your research work. Most research groups have weekly or fortnightly meetings in which all members discuss each other's work.

However, other skills are also important. You will be required to attend seminars and round-tables, and you may have the opportunity to go to scientific meetings both in the UK and abroad. These bring you into direct contact with prominent and active scientists in your field from around the world.

You will also give scientific talks yourself and will also be expected to attend courses, either directly related to your research (for example, they might teach you a specific skill or expand your theoretical knowledge) or teach you general skills which are important for well-qualified scientist to know (for example, how to write a scientific paper, use databases, or interact with the media). There are a large number of these courses, and many of them are run by the Graduate School of Life Sciences. The Department also has its own series of seminars.

We expect our graduate students to publish in high-quality journals, and nearly all of them do so.

Learning outcomes

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.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MPhil
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details