Programme Director: Dr Mark Toshner
The University of Cambridge Masters degree in Translational Biomedical Research provides world-class training to enable students to develop into outstanding researchers.
Consisting of lectures during the first term in epidemiology, statistics, pharmacology, clinical drug development and several lectures in the genetic and rare diseases fields, students will move on in the second term to a 12 week project with one of the outstanding researchers within the University. Whilst the course will offer some existing projects to choose from, students are encouraged to seek out their own projects and build links with researchers in their fields of interest.
The course is available on either a full-time (10 months) or part-time (22 months) basis. All students undertake the same taught courses before going on to a translational research project.
Anyone who holds a 2.1 or higher (or equivalent) and wants to develop their research skills and training can apply.
Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions section below which provides answers to most common questions applicants have.
For reference, you can also find the list of lectures here.
Aims and Objectives
Its main aims are:
- to provide students with the relevant experience 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.
By the end of the programme, students will have:
- reached a sufficient level of theoretical knowledge to conduct and interpret translational research;
- developed a strong foundation in the fundamental skills and techniques of research into experimental medicine;
- developed a basic understanding of statistics;
- learned how to apply contemporary research tools to clinically relevant areas of investigation;
- acquired an understanding of the complex issues associated with conducting sound clinical research/trials;
- developed the ability to be competitive in seeking support for clinical research.
History of the MPhil
As research is an ever changing field, the Masters course has developed and grown since its inception in 2009:
2009 – Jointly funded by the Wellcome Trust and GSK, who recognised that there was a decline in the number of new chemical entities which were being successfully registered as drugs, MPhil in Translational Medicine and Therapeutics (TMAT) launched.
2013 – TMAT MPhil renamed as MPhil in Clinical Science – TMAT
2014 – new MPhil in Clinical Science – Rare Diseases theme launched, supported by the NIHR Rare Diseases Translational Research Collaboration.
2015 – TMAT MPhil renamed to reflect changing priorities within medical research. Two MPhils now offered, MPhil in Clinical Science – Experimental Medicine and MPhil in Clinical Science – Rare Diseases.
2017 – New MPhil in Translational Biomedical Research launched amalgamating the two clinical science streams
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to identify a supervisor before I apply to the course?
You are welcome to contact supervisors, but it is not a necessity at the point of applying. We do, however, need you to indicate your areas of research interest in your application and we ask that you think about who, where or what areas you might want to carry out the research element in.
What projects are available?
You will be given a list of available projects at the course induction but we strongly encourage students to seek their own project.
If you are offered a place on the course we expect students to research possible PIs they would like to work with. If you have a clear idea on where you want to do your project, you should make contact with the supervisor before you arrive to establish whether there is an opportunity to work with them.
If by the start of the course you have yet to narrow down your selection of potential projects, this is fine, we can help with making connections and will provide advice on how best to find a suitable project.
Is there a supervisor list?
There is no list as we are in a unique position to be able to consider projects from nearly all departments across the School of Clinical Medicine and the School of Biological Science. We encourage all potential applicants to find out who is doing translational research in your area of interest, and to get a grasp of the projects they are carrying out. As above, there is no requirement to contact supervisors at the initial stage of applying, but having an idea of where you would like to work, or who with, even if it is a name or a particular concept of research will allow us to understand where the course can help you.
If you have a research area of interest that you think might be more unique, please contact the course administrator in the first instance.
What funding is available?
There are various scholarships and funding streams available via the University, these include Gates and the Cambridge Overseas Trust Scholarships, in addition to those offered by the individual colleges. If you wish to apply to these funding streams, please ensure that you review the relevant websites to note the eligibility criteria.
For Gates especially, it is important that you note what candidates they are looking for www.gatescambridge.org/apply/ideal-candidate. Academically you might be an outstanding applicant, however Gates are looking for more, so please do keep this in mind when writing your statement.
Unfortunately these schemes are extremely popular and it is possible that you will not be successful. Please ensure that you research all possible funding opportunities available to you.
Where do students go after the course?
The course attracts applicants from many countries and backgrounds which usually determines where students go after the course. The majority of US students return to the States to complete an MD/PhD programme or to continue with their medical training; UK/EU students continue to PhD or go into research-related employment, mostly with industry/pharmaceutical companies but also remain with their project supervisors as a research assistant.
I would like to do the course part time, how much time commitment is required?
Part-time students are expected to attend all lectures, seminars and events and to undertake a research project which will form the basis of a thesis. Students are able to choose when to complete each element of the course over the 22 month period in order to accommodate other commitments.
For example, you may decide to attend 50% of the lectures and complete the research project during the first year and attend the remaining lectures and write up the thesis during the second year.
Please note that lectures are not available on line and you must have the support of your employer who will need to agree to release you in order to enable you to attend lectures and other course related activities.
The course is flexible but it does require a big time commitment, which must be considered before applying.
How to Apply
Application Deadline for 2020 intake: 12:00 pm, 30 April 2020
Course Start Date: 1 October 2020
Applications for the 2021 intake will open on the 1 September 2020 with the deadline for applying being the 30 April 2021.
Applications must be made via the Graduate Admissions application portal.
Graduate Programmes Administrator
University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine
Box 111, Cambridge Biomedical Campus
Cambridge, CB2 0SP
Tel: 01223 761494