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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 DPhil 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 DPhil project.  
    A structured DPhil 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 DPhil courses.
  • MSc by Research - Most of the courses that offer direct-entry DPhils will also award an MSc 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 MSc by Research should contact the Course Director and/or supervisor before submitting an application.
  • Taught MSc – This is usually a 1 year course that combines coursework with 1 or more research projects.
  • Professional development - these are part-time and short courses in a wide range of areas suitable for health professionals. These courses are hosted by the Department of Continuing Education.