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School of the Biological Sciences


The School of Biological Sciences offers postgraduate students the opportunity to work with world leading scientists to expand knowledge and understanding across all aspects of biology.  Our researchers are making advances in animal, human, plant and microbial science, from the molecular and cellular levels through to tissues, organs, whole organisms, populations, ecosystems, biodiversity, and human behaviour.


Postgraduate Courses in the Biological Sciences

Details of the Masters courses and PhD opportunities in the Biological Sciences can be found on the University of Cambridge Postgraduate Admissions website  and are easily searchable via the online course directory.  In addition, postgraduate applicants can search for funding via the University’s Funding Portal. Potential postgraduate supervisors and their areas of expertise can be accessed via the Postgraduate School of Lifesciences website.  This site also hosts information on researcher development and funding opportunities for postgraduate students within the Postgraduate School of Life Science, which comprises both the School of Clinical Medicine and the School of Biological Sciences.


Funding Support

School of Biological Sciences Masters Bursary

Applicants to taught MPhil courses based in the School of Biological Sciences, who have received a conditional offer of admission to start in October 2023, are eligible to apply for a School of Biological Sciences Master’s Bursary Award in support of their studies here at Cambridge, subject to eligibility criteria. The Bursary Awards, which are aimed at applicants from low-income households with experience of educational disadvantage, provide a top-up maintenance grant (c.£5,000) to support living expenses when a postgraduate Master’s loan or grant is taken with Student Finance England, Student Awards Agency Scotland, Student Finance Wales or Student Finance NI.

Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP)

The School of Biological Sciences, in collaboration with several University of Cambridge departments, Partner Institutes and Cambridge colleges and support from the BBSRC, have come together to create funding packages to support students in the biosciences. These BBSRC DTP studentships offer the opportunity to study for a 4-year funded PhD degree and undertake professional development and training opportunities. More information can be found on the Cambridge Biosciences DTP website.

Alexander Crummell Scholarships 2024 (MPhil and PhD)

In collaboration with Queens’ College, Cambridge, the School of Biological Sciences is inviting applications for the Alexander Crummell MPhil and PhD Scholarships. These scholarships are aimed at Home (UK fee rate) students with Black or Black-Mixed ethnicity, applying for an MPhil or PhD degree in a science-based subject at the University of Cambridge. The terms of the award include that you will become a member of Queens’ College, Cambridge. Find out more about about MPhil Scholarships and PhD Scholarships.

Research Culture and Environment

The School of Biological Sciences is committed to enabling a collaborative, inclusive and diverse working and research environment where all individuals can thrive.  We are an open and welcoming community of researchers, staff and students united in our passion for biological research and academic excellence. 

The School is aligned with the University’s Equal Opportunities Policy, committing to a pro-active and inclusive approach to equality, which supports and encourages all under-represented groups, promotes an inclusive culture, and values diversity.  Ongoing challenges such as the global pandemic and the UK’s departure from the European Union will not change this outlook, and we continue our commitment to welcoming students from around the globe to study here in Cambridge. More information for international and EU postgraduate students can be found on the International Students Webpages.

Widening Participation

The School of Biological Sciences is committed to widening participation in postgraduate studies at the University of Cambridge. The Experience Postgrad Life Sciences Summer Internship programme offers paid 8-week long research internships to UK and Republic of Ireland residents who are studying at a UK or Republic of Ireland university for their undergraduate bachelor degree. This is a unique opportunity to interact with both postgraduate students and academics. You can find out more on the Experiences Postgraduate Life Sciences website.