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Molecular Cell Biology in Health and Disease DPhil

University of Oxford

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Course options

  • Qualification

    PhD/DPhil - Doctor of Philosophy

  • Location

    University of Oxford

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date


  • Duration

    3 years

Course summary

About the course

You will spend up to four years in one of the department's many research groups, working on a project supervised by the group's principal investigator. During this period you will have the opportunity to take part in the comprehensive training programme organised for graduate students.

After a very short induction period of one or two weeks, during which some basic training is provided, you will start a research project in your supervisor’s laboratory.

There are a number of key stages in the research programme.

  • Within a month of starting, you will meet with your supervisor and graduate advisor to finalise your project and agree on an initial programme of research.
  • Within the first three months, you will complete an analysis of your training needs with your supervisor.
  • Within the first six months you are expected to complete a literature review on a topic relating to your area of research.
  • After one year you will apply to transfer to DPhil status. (See Assessment)
  • You will apply to confirm your DPhil status by the end of your third year. (See Assessment)
  • The final stage is submission of your DPhil thesis, which needs to be done within four years.

Most laboratories have weekly meetings where members present and discuss their research results with other members of the laboratory. You will also regularly present your work in progress seminars, which are attended by other research groups working in related areas. Further support is available from your college advisor.


There are two formal assessments that need to be passed before you are able to submit your DPhil Thesis.

In Oxford all research students start out holding probationary research student (PRS) status.

You need to transfer to DPhil status within 4 terms (about 15 months). To do this you write a report describing your research to date and plans for the future. This will be assessed by two independent experts, who interview you as part of the process.

You need to confirm your DPhil status within 3 years. This involves writing a short progress report and thesis outline and giving a presentation. The application is assessed by two experts.

The final stage is submission of your DPhil thesis, which needs to be done within four years. This is assessed by two experts in the field, one of whom is external to Oxford. The assessment includes an interview or viva.

Graduate destinations

The majority of graduates from the DPhil in Molecular Cell Biology in Health and Disease (previously the DPhil in Pathology) pursue research careers in academic institutions or industry. Graduates also pursue careers in management (in pharmaceutical or biotechnology companies), consulting, law, teaching, with science funding organisations, charities and in scientific publishing.

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 27,460per year

Tuition fees shown are for indicative purposes and may vary. Please check with the institution for most up to date details.

University information

University of Oxford

  • University League Table


  • Campus address

    University of Oxford, University Offices, Wellington Square, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1 2JD, England

Subject rankings

  • Subject ranking

    2nd out of 100

    2nd out of 35 1

  • Entry standards

    / Max 240
    199 90%


  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    88.0 88%


  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5

  • Entry standards

    / Max 239
    208 86%


  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    98.0 98%


  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5

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