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Synthesis for Biology and Medicine EPSRC CDT

University of Oxford

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Course options

  • Qualification

    Doctoral Programme

  • Location

    University of Oxford

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date


  • Duration

    4 years

Course summary

About the course

The SBM CDT programme offers joint academic-industrial training in all aspects of chemical synthesis coupled with an in-depth appreciation of its application to biology and medicine.

The programme aims to train next-generation doctoral scientists capable of addressing major challenges across the entire remit of organic chemistry, with a focus on skills relevant to the pharmaceutical and agrochemical industries.

Designed in collaboration with international pharmaceutical and agrochemical companies who have offered specific expertise to enhance the CDT's training and research, the CDT has adopted an open-access model to ensure free exchange of information, knowledge and expertise between all students, academics and industrial partners.

Students are admitted to the programme without being assigned to a specific research group and are trained initially through a series of taught courses in a single cohort in all aspects of organic synthesis. Details on the modules are provided on the course’s website.


All modules during the taught course involve some aspect of formal assessment, including written reports, problem solving, and group and individual presentations. Similarly, each project rotation will be assessed based on a short report submitted thereafter.

A termly report on the student’s progress is submitted by their supervisor throughout the course. At an appropriate stage students must pass Transfer of Status, which is to ensure they have the potential to gain a doctorate. This will normally be at the end of their fifth term, but students will have up to six terms to complete this stage. This assessment will be made on the basis of a report and oral examination.

By the end of their third year students must pass Confirmation of Status, which is to ensure that they are on track to complete the thesis within a reasonable time.

The degree is examined by thesis and oral examination by two examiners, one of whom is normally from Oxford and one from elsewhere.

Graduate destinations

Most SBM CDT Alumni remain in chemistry, pursuing academic or industrial research, particularly the health-related industries such as pharmaceuticals. There is a wide variety of other destinations, including patent attorneys, life sciences consultancy and start-up companies.

The department runs an annual careers conference for graduate students and the careers service offers a wide variety of support, including CV workshops. The CDT and the department also host a large number of visits from prospective employers, where students can find out more information. There is an alumni officer, who keeps in touch with graduates, and the department runs a number of social and scientific events for them.

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 103

    3rd out of 35 2

  • Entry standards

    / Max 240
    199 87%


  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    84 84%


  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5

  • Entry standards

    / Max 239
    214 88%


  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    97 97%


  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5
    4.42 88%



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