skip to content

Department of Genetics

Timeline-Postgrad App

Before you apply

Before you apply for a Postgraduate course in this Department, it is essential that you read the information on the Postgraduate School of Life Sciences website and on the University of Cambridge website for Graduate admissions.

All graduate applications made to departments in the School of Biological Sciences should be submitted online. The Postgraduate School of Life Sciences website provides comprehensive information, including instructions on how to apply.

Our entrance requirements comply with the University of Cambridge requirements, which can also be reviewed in detail on the admissions website.

  • minimum of a good upper second class (good 2:1) honours degree from a UK university or an equivalent standard from an overseas university, see the international qualifications page to check the qualification for your country; and
  • completion of, or intermission from any current training or education course
  • You should also be able to demonstrate that you are competent in the English language, see the admissions competence in English page for more.

To check if your international qualification meets the University minimum requirement, please consult the international requirements page.

Before applying to the Department of Genetics you should check the PhD projects offered, and the research being undertaken in the various labs [see the Lab listing] to ensure we can accommodate your interests. There is advice here on how to identify potential supervisors.

Once you have identified any Group Leaders that you are interested in working with, you should make informal email contact with them in good time before making a formal application, to judge how good a match there is between your interests and theirs, and whether they will consider a full application.

Your approach to the Group Leader should include;

  • a CV
  • a transcript of your courses taken, and grades obtained
  • a tailored covering email (or accompanying statement) with a statement of your interests, including how these align with those of your potential supervisor. Highlight any relevant work you have done in their area and explain your motivation for pursuing a research degree in their group.

If you do not receive a response after two weeks, feel free to send a gentle follow-up mail. If you still don’t receive a reply, it may be best to consider other options.

If this initial response is encouraging, then we strongly encourage you to submit a full application. Applications can be considered at any time of year, but for most scholarship funding, you must submit your application before January 4th 2024 for entry in the 2024-25 academic year. Note that some other funders, such as Gates Cambridge (10th October 2023 for US-based applicants) or the BBSRC doctoral training program (5th December) have earlier application deadlines and you should confirm these deadlines on the relevant websites. Usually your supervisor will know if there are any other Cambridge-based funders or programs that you can apply to.

For further information specific to this Department email:

The University-wide e-mail address for Graduate Admissions is: