Graduate School

There are several types of postgraduate courses available in the Medical Sciences Graduate School.

  • Direct-entry Research Degrees – This is a conventional 3-4 year PhD for which you choose your supervisor on application and go directly into their laboratory. There is usually no required coursework. Instead there is a wide range of optional courses that you are able to do throughout your PhD. The number and combination depends on your background and chosen project and is decided in conjunction with your supervisor.  
    A direct-entry D.Phil. will suit you if you already know what research you want to do and have the required background knowledge. An advantage of this style of course is that you will have up to 4 years to work on your project, enabling you to achieve more.
  • Structured Research Degrees – These are increasingly popular PhDs in which the 1st year involves rotation between 2 or 3 supervisor laboratories and some relevant course work. You then choose 1 of these supervisors for your main D.Phil. project.  
    A structured D.Phil. course will suit you if you want to try out different projects before committing yourself. It will also suit you if you are switching fields and require some additional background knowledge before commencing the research project. Some of these courses have a 1+3 structure, where you complete a taught MSc in the first year and continue on to a PhD in years 2-4. The Medical Sciences Doctoral Training Centre hosts several structured D.Phil. courses.
  • M.Sc. by Research - Most of the courses that offer direct-entry D.Phil. will also award an M.Sc. by Research for work completed in 1-2 years. However this option is increasingly rare because there is little funding available and it is difficult to produce high-quality research in such a short period. Applicants who wish to do an M.Sc. by Research should contact the Course Director and/or supervisor before submitting an application.
  • Taught M.Sc. – This is usually a 1 year course that combines coursework with 1 or more research projects.