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Quick Guide to Postgrad applications

This page gives a quick introduction to Graduate admissions in the Department and the University. Some more detailed descriptions of graduate life in the Department of Genetics can be found via the links on the left, but you should also read the comprehensive University and School information via the links on the right.

>> You can also download a pdf of the contents of this page for October 2019 entry

We currently offer two Postgraduate programmes:

  • MPhil by research (thesis) (BLGEM1) 1 year
  • PhD (thesis) (BLGE22) minimum 3 years, maximum 4 years full-time

Applicants interested in part-time PhD study should consult a research group leader well in advance of any application.

In order for any application to be formally considered you must make an application to the University via the Graduate Application Portal. There is a £60 application fee, but the Graduate School of the Life Sciences have a scheme where you can apply to up to three courses in a single application.

If you intend to apply directly to a supervisor in the Department for a self-funded degree, if you have secured an independent scholarship funding or if you wish to apply for support through the Cambridge Graduate Funding Competition you are strongly advised to make an informal approach to a supervisor you are interested in working with: Our supervisors are listed here on this web site [follow the links for information on their research]

Please note – we do not consider open applications to the department, you must identify a supervisor before making an application to the University. Applications to the Department that do not include a supervisor will be automatically rejected.

The Department also participates in some interdepartmental PhD programmes, including the BBSRC-DTP, MRC-DTP, NERC-DTP, Wellcome Trust Developmental Mechanisms or Mathematical Genomics and Medicine Programmes. To apply to these interdepartmental programmes you will need to follow the guidance provided on their websites.

You are strongly advised to consult the University Graduate Admissions Website for details on entry requirements, fees, funding and the application process before making an application.

Competition for admission to the University of Cambridge graduate programme is intense. As a guide, for consideration in the Genetics Department, you will be expected to have:

  • At least a 2.1 in an Honours degree or equivalent (eg CGPA 3.5/4.0) in a relevant subject. Details of equivalent qualifications can be found at the University Graduate Portal>
  • Two outstanding references from senior University staff at your most recent University
  • Some research project experience
  • Overseas applicants require that all applicants demonstrate competence in English speaking and writing. Please see the University advice on language requirements

For further information specific to the Genetics Department, please email

>> Download this page as a pdf


Information updated 8 Nov 2018