Research course

Biological Science (Zoology)

Institution
University of Cambridge · Department of Zoology
Qualifications
MPhil

Entry requirements

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

Appropriate research experience would be advantageous, but is not essential.

Months of entry

January, April, October

Course content

The Department of Zoology brings together researchers from a great diversity of disciplines, ranging from cell biology to field ecology. What unites us is an interest in the whole organism, and in how systems interact across different levels of organisation to generate the complexity of form, function and behaviour that is observed in the living world. Evolution is a theme that underpins and unites much of our work, as does an appreciation of the interaction between living organisms and their environments.

We offer both research MPhil (one year) and PhD (three to four years) degrees.

The MPhil degree is a one-year full-time course of research, culminating in the submission of a thesis after 11 months, followed by a viva voce examination. There are no taught components to this course but students do attend appropriate lectures and courses including training and transferable skills.

Students are directly supervised by one of our group leaders, who will support them in developing an independent and novel project in their field of interest. Students will learn how to review relevant literature, to phrase and answer scientific questions, and how to report their findings to the scientific community, at conferences and through peer-reviewed scientific publications. We very much encourage students to get experience in undergraduate teaching, which can be either as demonstrators during practical classes or supervisors teaching small groups. At the end of their degree, students will produce a written thesis, which will be assessed by independent experts during a viva.

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

  • to give students with relevant experience at the 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.

Most candidates taking this course start in October, in order to take advantage of Departmental and University induction programmes, but admission in January or April is also possible.

Please note: part-time study may not always be viable and will be considered on a case-by-case basis, so please discuss this option with your proposed supervisor before making an application for this mode of study.

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

Course contact details

Name
Enquiries
Email
graduate@zoo.cam.ac.uk