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Degree programmes


MPhil in Veterinary Science

Our one-year full-time MPhil research programme leads to the degree MPhil in Veterinary Science. This is also available as a part-time option, taking two years. Students are based in a research group and undertake research on a topic agreed with the principal investigator. There is no examined course work but students can take part in a wide range of both knowledge-base and working skills training available to both Masters and PhD research students. Students write a dissertation, which is examined via an oral examination.  Course Code for applications: VTVTM1


PhD in Veterinary Medicine

PhD in Biological Sciences at the Department of Veterinary Medicine

The Department offers a three-year full-time PhD  programme, also available via five-year part-time study. The student can select which course title they prefer and in most cases this won't change the availability of supervisors, however funder preferences should be considered.  Students are based in a research group and undertake a research project agreed with the principal investigator. Each student also has support from an advisor or a thesis committee. There is no examined course work but students take part in an individual programme of skills courses. There are a number of additional requirements, including a literature review in the first few months of the course and talks given to the Department at the start of second year and near the end of third year. Near the end of their first year students write a report, which is assessed in an oral examination. They are only registered for the PhD after satisfactory performance in this first year. In all years students can take part in events and competitions organised within the Graduate School of Life Sciences and the University. The three-year PhD is ideal for students who have already taken a Masters degree and do not wish to undertake a four-year programme.

PhD in Veterinary Medicine - Course Code for applications: VTVT22

PhD in Biological Sciences at the Department of Veterinary Medicine - Course Code for applications: VTVT221

Four year PhD programmes

The Department takes part in several programmes, which have a 1+3year structure. The first year leads to a Masters qualification (MRes or MPhil) and students apply to study in the programme as a whole, not to work with one principal investigator. If successful in the first year, which includes lab rotations and course work to allow students to look at many potential lab placements, students go on to three years of research in one particular research group, leading to the PhD qualification.

Programmes include:

The Wellcome Trust PhD Programme in Infection and Immunity 

The Wellcome Trust PhD Programme in Mathematical Genomics and Medicine

Osteoclasts in culture

The BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership programme


Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (VetMD)

There are significant number of veterinarians carrying out research of a high standard in the course of their professional work for whom this degree provides an opportunity to present their work and obtain a formal degree.  Eligibility is restricted, as the candidate must have either a University of Cambridge degree and an approved veterinary degree or hold an appointment at the Cambridge Veterinary School in addition to an approved veterinary degree.

Research projects undertaken for the degree should be designed to build on candidates' veterinary expertise and professional experience.  The standard of work expected and the level of originality demanded is high, and the examinations procedure ensures that work is genuinely of doctoral standard.  Examination of the VetMD consists of the submission of a thesis of the research work and an oral examination on the subject of the thesis and the general field of knowledge within which it falls.  This thesis cannot be submitted until four years have elapsed since the date of the candidate's admission to their approved veterinary degree.

Potential applicants are strongly advised to make informal contact with members of the VetMD Committee prior to submitting a formal application for which there is a £50 fee.  Approval for registration is also strongly advised before embarking upon a body of work to ensure it is appropriate for the degree.   Informal inquires can be made to Fiona Roby, Department of Veterinary Medicine, Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 0ES. Tel. 01223-760544, E-mail .

Course Code for applications: VMD72