Research course


University of Cambridge · Department of Paediatrics

Entry requirements

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

Months of entry

January, April, October

Course content

Doctoral studies are carried out by science graduates, medical students combining clinical training with the PhD, and clinically qualified doctors undertaking scientific training. Each student conducts their PhD project under the direction of their principal supervisor, with additional teaching and guidance provided by a second supervisor.

The PhD course provides:

  • a period of a sustained in-depth study of a specific topic;
  • an environment that encourages originality and creativity in research;
  • skills to enable a 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 a student’s knowledge of a research area, including its theoretical foundations and the specific techniques used to study it;
  • the opportunity to gain knowledge of the broader field of paediatric research; and
  • an environment in which to develop skills in written work, oral presentation and publishing research results in high-profile scientific journals, through constructive feedback.

Graduate training is very different from undergraduate study. It is based on individual needs and abilities, is designed to help you to think clearly, originally and practically, and to prepare you for leadership in science.

Most research groups have weekly or fortnightly meetings in which all members discuss each other's work. You will be required to attend seminars and you will have the opportunity to go to scientific meetings. 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. You will be expected to attend courses, either directly related to your research or which teach you related skills such as how to write a scientific paper, use databases, interact with the media and so on. Many of these courses are run by the Graduate School of Life Sciences, but Paediatrics has its own series of seminars.

Cambridge is an amazing place in which to learn how to do cutting-edge research and benefit from interaction with visiting speakers and collaborators from all over the world.

Information for international students

Language Requirement

IELTS (Academic)

Element Score

Listening 7.0

Writing 7.0

Reading 6.5

Speaking 7.0

Total 7.0

TOEFL Internet Score

Element Score

Listening 25

Writing 25

Reading 25

Speaking 25

Total 100


Score: Grade A & B (overall score of 193, with no element lower than 185 plus a Language Centre assessment)


Score: Grade A, B, or C (with at least 200 with no element lower than 185).

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    full time
    36-48 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details