Applying to the MRC Biostatistics Unit PhD Programme
The BSU seeks to recruit outstanding students with strong research potential, as based on their academic records, previous research experience, references and interview assessment.
On average we receive about 40 applications per year, and approximately 12-15 students are invited for interview.
Usually our recruitment takes place in Autumn with a closing date in early January. However, we do sometimes re-advertise in the Spring to fill unallocated places.
The same entrance criteria are applied to all students, whether they are applying for MRC Studentships, funded scholarships from the University of Cambridge or have their own external funding, thus ensuring that the excellent standard of PhD students is maintained.
University of Cambridge entrance criteria
Competition for admission to the University of Cambridge graduate programme is intense. Like all departments affiliated to the Graduate School, we require all our graduate entrants to have:
- at least a 2.1 in an Honours degree or equivalent (eg 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 –
- IELTS: Overall band score of 7.0, with not less than 7.0 in speaking, listening and writing, and 6.5 in reading
- TOEFL: paper-based test 600 with 5.0 in the Test of Written English (TWE)
- TOEFL: internet-based test 100 with a minimum score of 25 in each element
- You must achieve the minimum requirements in the same test and this must be no more than two years before the start of the course.
The minimum entry requirements given above are set by the University, not the BSU, and are non-negotiable. For more details of the University’s entrance requirements see here.
Academic Eligibility for the MRC Biostatistics Unit
As stated above we require all applicants to have or expect to obtain the equivalent of a 2.1 degree. Whilst we would usually expect this degree to be in mathematics, statistics or a related discipline, we welcome applications from outside these areas provided applicants can demonstrate significant additional relevant experience within at least one of these areas. A Masters degree in statistics or a related discipline is considered desirable but not essential.
The BSU has a number of MRC funded studentships available each year and is expecting to have 4 available for commencement in either April 2020 (Easter Term) or October 2020 (Michaelmas Term).
MRC funded studentships normally cover
- UK candidates- Full studentship – fees, stipend and a research training grant.
- EU candidates – Fees only studentship – fees and a training grant only.
- Non-EU candidates- not usually eligible for any funding from MRC.
MRC eligibility rules apply (https://www.mrc.ac.uk/skills-careers/studentships/studentship-guidance/student-eligibility-requirements/ ) and as such priority will be given to UK applicants.
However, in exceptional circumstances, one full studentship maybe offered to one outstanding non-UK candidate at the University of Cambridge Home/EU fee rate only. Funds to cover any additional cost of overseas fees are expected to be found by the applicant.
Applications should be made via the University GRADSAF only http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/students/gradadmissions/prospec/apply/
In your application you should name the MRC Biostatistics Unit as the department you wish to be considered by, and the University Board of Graduate Studies will forward your application to us.
Please note that there is no separate form or method for applying to this Unit specifically. All applications forwarded to us from the University are automatically considered for our studentships.
Once you have submitted your initial application, please ensure you upload all your supporting information by the required date or your application will be automatically expire. We ask all applicants provide a CV and two references, all to be supplied electronically via the University application system in addition to the University application form. Do not send items directly to the Unit by post or email, they cannot be accepted directly.
Applying to the University costs £60 for Michaelmas Term 2019/20 for an online applications- all application information needs to be uploaded to the GRADSAF website before the deadline
You will need to know the following information when completing the GRADSAF:
- Course Code: MDBI22
- Programme of Study: PhD (Probationary) at MRC Biostatistics Unit
- Duration: 3 years
- Study mode: Full-time