Research course

Psychiatry

Institution
University of Cambridge · Department of Psychiatry
Qualifications
PhD

Entry requirements

Applicants for this course should have achieved a UK 2:1 honours degree in a relevant discipline.

Months of entry

January, April, October

Course content

The Department of Psychiatry is an internationally leading centre for research and teaching in psychiatry, with particular focus on the determinants of mental health conditions, their treatments and the promotion of mental health through innovative translational research. The Department’s senior staff support several research groups, covering various aspects of mental health and disorder throughout the life course. Sitting within the School of Clinical Medicine, the department occupies four separate locations and has approximately 130 members.

A doctorate in Psychiatry from the University of Cambridge is primarily a research degree and involves minimal formal teaching; students are integrated into the research culture of the Department and the Institute in which they are based.

Each student conducts their PhD project under the direction of their principal supervisor, with additional teaching and guidance provided by an adviser, to increase access to staff members and accommodate a diversity of viewpoints.

The subject of the research project is determined during the application process and is influenced by the research interests of the student’s supervisor; students should apply to study with a group leader whose area of research most appeals to them.

To broaden their knowledge of their chosen field, students are strongly encouraged to attend relevant seminars, lectures and training courses, including transferable skills training provided by the Graduate School of Life Sciences. We also require our students to attend their research group’s "research in progress/laboratory meetings", at which they are expected to regularly present their ongoing work.

Following the successful completion of a research report at the end of the first year, students are registered for the PhD.

Course objectives

The PhD course enables the students to significantly develop their analytical and research skills, and is intended as preparation for further research.

The PhD programme provides:

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

At the end of the course, examination for the PhD degree involves the submission of a written thesis, followed by an oral examination based on both the thesis and a broader knowledge of the chosen area of research.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

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

Course contact details