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Graduate Admissions

Graduate admissions in the Department of Pharmacology

Admission to the University requires completion of the University’s online APPLICANT PORTAL application procedure.



If you wish to apply for Departmental Studentships (open to ‘Home’ (UK) and EU applicants only) you should follow the instructions in:

Applications from HOME (UK) and EU Students below:

If you intend to apply for other funding (e.g. Gates, Cambridge Overseas & Commonwealth Trusts, Cambridge Home and EU Scholarships) you should proceed directly to:

Applications from Students from OUTSIDE the UK or EU below.


All applicants wishing to be considered for funding:

must complete the relevant section of the APPLICANT PORTAL in full in order to facilitate the consideration of their funding application.  Please note that admissions decisions are taken independently of funding decisions. Funding information can be found here:


Applications from Home (UK) and EU Students:

If you are likely to graduate with a good honours degree (2.1 or better), and are interested in studying for a PhD in Cambridge please apply via the route described below:

Admission to the University using the APPLICANT PORTAL application procedure.

The Department has limited access to funding and is able to award Research Studentships to Home and EU students when the funding is available – but please see information here regarding EU fee status for entry 2020 and onwards:

Research Studentships are awarded on a competitive basis and are funded by the research councils, charities, and sometimes by industrial sponsors. Studentships will be advertised here:

University of Cambridge Fee Status information here:

Enquiries can also be made by email to: (or directly to the proposed supervisor in the case of specific queries about projects offered).


Applications from Students from outside the UK:


Overseas applicants (except USA):

Information on sources of funding is at:

Detailed information about funding closing dates is on the University website:

Fees at the 'overseas' rate (i.e. students from outside the EU) are appreciably higher than those for Home/EU students and in many cases are not met by single studentships originating in the UK. Further information can be found here:  

NB In order to be considered for a Cambridge award, your application for admission (via the  APPLICANT PORTALmust be submitted by 7th January 2020.  In order to avoid the inevitable last-minute rush, we advise you to complete your application by mid- November 2019.

NB There are separate deadlines for applications and funding for candidates from the USA.


Overseas applicants (USA):

The information about applying is the same as that above for other non-UK/non-EU candidates except that, in order to be considered for both the Gates Cambridge Scholarships and Cambridge Overseas Trust awards, the APPLICANT PORTAL must be completed by new applicants before 9th October 2019.  If you are a current or former student of the University of Cambridge (and are applying for a new course) then the deadline is 7th January 2020.


New applicants from the USA who return the APPLICANT PORTAL after 9th October 2019but before 7th January 2020 will only be considered for modest, part-cost awards offered by the Cambridge Overseas Trust.


Awards Timetable:

Please read the Gates Cambridge Deadlines page:


to check which deadline is applicable to you. Gates Cambridge is unable to consider applicants with Home fee status.


Admission to the University:

You should apply for admission to the University using the University’s online APPLICANT PORTAL if you:

  • wish to apply for University-wide funding competitions (e.g. Gates, Cambridge Overseas & Commonwealth Trusts, Cambridge Home and EU Scholarships etc. – see funding deadlines above.
  • wish to apply for a College studentship
  • have an external scholarship; or
  • have your own funding.



Astra Zeneca Studentships:

Applications are invited for 4-year PhD studentships funded by AstraZeneca. The students will be working on collaborative projects co-led by departmental supervisors and Astra Zeneca scientists.  Apart from carrying out their research, in their first year, the students will have compulsory training in:

1)      Statistics

2)      Analysis of Biological Data and

3)      Systems Training in Maths, Informatics, Statistics and Computational Biology in conjunction with students on the BBSRC DTP (see above).

The students will join a vibrant research community of PhD students and scientists working on various research themes such as:

  • Cell Signalling
  • Cancer and Infectious Diseases
  • Macromolecular Structure
  • Neuropharmacology and
  • Vascular Pharmacology.


Application process:

Please apply via the APPLICANT PORTAL using the course code for the PhD (Probationary) in Pharmacology (BLPH22) and indicate on the application form your interest in the Astra Zeneca research project.  Further information on the Astra Zeneca projects available for 2020 entry will be posted here and on:

in early October 2019.



Applications may be made using the APPLICANT PORTAL and you can apply for up to three graduate courses under one application fee:

Applicants from some countries may have this fee waived, see:



A. Are you eligible to apply for admission to our programmes?

Competition for admission to the University of Cambridge graduate programme is intense. Like all departments in the Graduate School, we require all our graduate entrants to have:

  • at least a 2.1 in an Honours degree or equivalent (e.g. CGPA 3.5/4.0) in a relevant subject
  • two outstanding references from senior University staff at your most recent University
  • fluency in the English language – recent IELTS test with an overall band score of at least 7.0 with not less than 7.0 in speaking, listening and writing, and 6.5 in reading. See:


B. Which qualification do you want to apply for?

  • MPhil by research (thesis): Code BLPHM1 (1 year)
  • PhD (thesis) Code BLPH22 (minimum 3 years, maximum 4 full-time)
  • The BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership PhD course code is BLBB22.


C. What topic do you want to study and which supervisor do you want to work with? 

The APPLICANT PORTAL requires you to choose a course – for research applicants this means specifying which department or institute in which you wish to work.

To choose a department, you need to do some serious homework to identify a topic and one or more supervisors in the department with whom you wish to work.

If you have already decided on the Department of Pharmacology, you should:

  • Look at the abstracts of projects for: and also get in contact with the principal Investigator (PI) concerned (contact details can be found in individual PIs research pages)

o   Browse the web pages of the PIs that are of interest to you to check details of their research:

o   If you are interested in more than one supervisor within THIS department, you can name them as first and second choice in your application, but if you want to apply to supervisors in different departments, you will have to make separate applications (one to each department):


D. How do I apply to the University?

Go to: for full instructions on how to apply online.

E. Where are abstracts of research projects being offered for October 2020?

Abstracts of research projects can be found here:

The research interests of all the members of the Department are available at: and candidates are advised to read these research interest pages in conjunction with the project information..