Molecular Cell Biology in Health and Disease at University of Oxford - UCAS

University of Oxford

Degree level: Postgraduate

Molecular Cell Biology in Health and Disease (Research)

Course summary

The information provided on this page was correct at the time of publication (November 2023). For complete and up-to-date information about this course, please visit the relevant University of Oxford course page via You will spend up to four years in one of the department's many research groups, working on a project supervised by the group's principal investigator. During this period you will have the opportunity to take part in the comprehensive training programme organised for graduate students. After a very short induction period of one or two weeks, during which some basic training is provided, you will start a research project in your supervisor’s laboratory. There are a number of key stages in the research programme.

  • Within a month of starting, you will meet with your supervisor and graduate advisor to finalise your project and agree on an initial programme of research.
  • Within the first three months, you will complete an analysis of your training needs with your supervisor.
  • Within the first six months you are expected to complete a literature review on a topic relating to your area of research.
  • After one year you will apply to transfer to DPhil status. (See Assessment)
  • You will apply to confirm your DPhil status by the end of your third year. (See Assessment)
  • The final stage is submission of your DPhil thesis, which needs to be done within four years.-
Most laboratories have weekly meetings where members present and discuss their research results with other members of the laboratory. You will also regularly present your work in progress seminars, which are attended by other research groups working in related areas. Whilst working on your research project you will participate in a comprehensive, flexible skills training programme which includes a range of workshops and seminars in transferable skills, generic research skills and specific research techniques. There are also numerous seminars and lectures by local and visiting scientists and you are provided with many opportunities to meet leading scientists. There are a wide range of events organised for DPhil students. All students participate in an annual graduate students' symposium, which is attended by the entire department. Student contributions are carefully evaluated and prizes are awarded to the best posters or presentations in each year.

Assessment method

There are two formal assessments that need to be passed before you are able to submit your DPhil Thesis. In Oxford all research students start out holding probationary research student (PRS) status. You need to transfer to DPhil status within four terms (about 15 months). To do this you write a report describing your research to date and plans for the future. This will be assessed by two independent experts, who interview you as part of the process. You need to confirm your DPhil status within three years. This involves writing a short progress report and thesis outline and giving a presentation. The application is assessed by two experts. The final stage is submission of your DPhil thesis, which needs to be done within four years. This is assessed by two experts in the field, one of whom is external to Oxford. The assessment includes an interview or viva.

Entry requirements

Degree-level qualifications As a minimum, applicants should hold or be predicted to achieve the equivalent of the following UK qualifications: a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours in any subject relevant to the proposed research project. However, entrance is very competitive and most successful applicants have a first-class degree or the equivalent. A previous master's qualification is not required. For applicants with a degree from the USA, the minimum GPA sought is 3.5 out of 4.0. If your degree is not from the UK or another country specified above, visit our International Qualifications page for guidance on the qualifications and grades that would usually be considered to meet the University’s minimum entry requirements. GRE General Test scores No Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or GMAT scores are sought. Other qualifications, evidence of excellence and relevant experience Research experience, such as an undergraduate research project and/or industry placement is very important. Most successful applicants will have relevant research experience. It would be expected that graduate applicants would be familiar with the recent published work of their proposed supervisor(s). Publications are not required, but they do provide an advantage. Extenuating circumstances If your ability to meet the entry requirements has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic (eg you were awarded an unclassified/ungraded degree) or any other exceptional personal circumstance (eg other illness or bereavement), please refer to the guidance on extenuating circumstances in the Application Guide for information about how to declare this so that your application can be considered appropriately.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

No fee information has been provided for this course

Additional fee information

For complete and up-to-date information about fees and funding for this course, please visit the relevant University of Oxford course page via
Molecular Cell Biology in Health and Disease at University of Oxford - UCAS