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MPhil in Biological Sciences by Advanced Study


The teaching and training framework has been carefully planned and tested by the MPhil in Developmental Biology which, with effect from October 2023 entry, will become a pathway of this new multi-pathway MPhil in Biological Sciences degree course. This framework was so well received by students (see Student testimonials also on this page) that we decided to add new research areas, each working with a similar teaching framework involving a substantive lab-based research project complemented by well rounded, interactive teaching. For details concerning these other research Pathways, see:

2021-22 MPhil in Developmental Biology students at the British Society for Developmental Biology spring meeting, April 2022


Student testimonials

Achira Karunaratna Mudiyanselage, 2022-2023 cohort

“It has been a pleasure to be part of this course. I improved my research skills in the lab and had the chance to improve my thinking in ways I haven't before. The core course, experimental course and the bioinformatics trainings and other sessions supplemented my learning well. I found the extended essay component interesting and valuable as I was able to improve my scientific writing skills. The research component exposed me to new areas of developmental biology that I found challenging at first, but soon I was able to adapt and carry out experiments and plan them accordingly. The course is organised very well, and the supervisors and advisors are always helpful with any concerns, and I have benefited from their supervision thoroughly.” 


Chenyue Tao, 2022-23 cohort

"I believe that the MPhil in Developmental Biology course is an excellent program for students transitioning from undergraduate studies to a PhD and research career. The research project provided me with valuable research experience and helped me gain confidence in conducting research. The core courses offer ample opportunities to practice analytical thinking, presentation skills, and writing skills. Additionally, I received strong support and guidance from my supervisor and the course organizers." 


Yang, TingXuan (Wayne) 2022-2023 cohort

"The Masters in Developmental Biology at the University of Cambridge was a perfect experience for me. Here I have enjoyed a strong academic atmosphere, inspiring courses, sufficient training in scientific research experiments, the development of academic writing skills, and communicative academic reports. The professors and supervisors here have very strong academic research capabilities and are very friendly and approachable. I gained a lot from getting along and communicating with these people. For me, this program provides everything I need most in my scientific research career. I would like to express my sincerest gratitude and best wishes to everyone who has helped me." 


Francesca Puletti, 2021-2022 cohort

"This MPhil in Developmental biology has offered me the most advanced theoretical and practical training in developmental biology. Through the core courses, I have further developed my independent analytical thinking, required for investigating and developing new solutions, and my critical evaluation of how and when to apply different methodologies. Most importantly, the Research Project has increased my practical experience, better training me for a PhD and lab-based career. Overall, this MPhil has equipped me with the instruments necessary to satisfy my research interest and continue my career in the academy."


Tharini Ravindra Kumar, 2021-22 cohort

“The MPhil in Developmental Biology course has been an immensely enjoyable program that gives you the building blocks to pursue a career in science. The opportunity to learn and discuss the latest developments in the field of developmental biology with key figures as well as doing a research placement within a lab made the course unique, as you were able to put theoretical understandings to practical use. We were also encouraged to participate in conferences, which allowed me to present my work in a poster to a wider audience. With the support and guidance from the course directors and supervisors, this program has certainly been helpful in giving me the confidence to continue to the next stage of my career."


Anfu Wang, 2021-22 cohort

"The part I find the most enjoyable about this MPhil is that it offers ample opportunities for presenting and discussing our research work with peers and experts in the field of developmental biology (even at conferences). I also felt well-supported by the course organisers throughout the journey. Definitely 10/10 recommended."


Student, 2021-2022 cohort

“I enjoyed this MPhil programme from many different perspectives. It provides a great transition from undergraduate study to pursuing a future career in research with fundamental skills and introduces leading experts and their works in the field. I also received sufficient guidance and support throughout the year from programme organizers, my research project supervisor, and the core course lecturers, which built my confidence and extended my interest in developmental biology."


Elias Copin, 2020-21 cohort

“The MPhil in Developmental Biology proved to be an excellent choice, providing a well-rounded and rewarding experience. It was amazing to learn and engage with renowned experts in a range of disciplines within the field of developmental biology. Combined with a research placement in one of the many leading departments of Cambridge, this course has provided me with the confidence and skills necessary to pursue a future career in science.”


Songyang Li, 2020-21 cohort

"The MPhil in Developmental Biology course has been extremely rewarding, it provides substantial amount of research experience as well as great balance between the theoretical and practical aspects of Developmental Biology, personally I have received the highest level of support and guidance from the course organisers."


Ziming Shao, 2020-21 cohort

"This MPhil is a great transiting program onto your next stage. No matter whether you want to enter academia, industry or other fields, this course will provide some good insights.”


Cassandra Yang, 2020-21 cohort

"I enjoyed the programme immensely! I love how it covered core topics, experimental approaches and statistical training related to developmental biology to prepare us for our projects. There was a wide range of exciting projects to choose from, and we had the chance to get familiar with our topic of interest by writing a review essay before the project started. The supervisors have been super supportive and helpful, which made my year a wonderful experience despite the difficult circumstances."


Melinda Van Kerckvoorde, 2020-21 cohort

"During my MPhil in Developmental Biology, I really enjoyed delving deeper into recent papers and discussing a range of techniques together with key figures in the field who personalised each lecture session. Additionally, this MPhil has introduced me to interesting new avenues, like computational modelling and biomechanics, and has offered me various transferrable skills like programming and statistical analysis."

Key contact

MPhil Coordinator


Dates and deadlines

Application deadline: 24 April 2024

Funding application deadline: 4 January 2024