Research course

Biological Science (Sanger Institute)

University of Cambridge · Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

Entry requirements

Applicants for this course should have achieved a UK Good II.i Honours Degree.

If your degree is not from the UK, please check International Qualifications to find the equivalent in your country.

Applicants are expected to hold, or be about to achieve, a 1st class or a good 2:1 UK Honours degree or equivalent overseas qualification in a relevant scientific subject.

Months of entry

January, April, October

Course content

The Wellcome Sanger Institute occasionally takes on research MPhil students providing they have the support of a faculty member at the Institute. To obtain support from a faculty member, students should contact them directly. For information on our faculty members’ research interests, please visit the Potential Supervisors page on the Sanger Institute website.

This is a one-year full-time or two-year part-time research MPhil, which starts in October. Assessment is by submission of a thesis and an oral examination.

Please note that part-time study may not be viable, depending on the project, and will be considered on a case-by-case basis. If you are considering part-time study, please reach out to the Sanger Institute Postgraduate Office ( to discuss this option before making an application for this mode of study.

The MPhil aims to provide research opportunities in the field of genomic science that reflect the unique nature of Sanger Institute science, with an emphasis on large-scale, high-throughput approaches and the development of a blend of wet-lab and computational skills. The Institute also aims to provide students with general research and transferable skills training in addition to training in their specific research area.

Applicants will generally have a bioscience background, but applicants with a computational or mathematical background can also apply.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the MPhil, students will be expected to have acquired a detailed understanding of the relevant areas of genomics that underlie their research project and written a thesis on their work (of not more than 20,000 words in length, excluding tables, footnotes, bibliography and appendices). They will also be expected to have attended courses or lectures on general research and transferable skills, covering subjects such as bioinformatics, statistics, ethics, research integrity, scientific writing and presentation skills, together with the Institute’s Postgraduate Student Lecture Series and student journal club.

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

  • 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