The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in Primary Care Research course at Cambridge is a one year full-time Master’s degree for graduates who wish to pursue a career in primary care research.
The course provides students with the theoretical knowledge and skills which, when combined with appropriate further experience, will enable them to make a professional contribution to academic primary care.
This is an intensive and demanding course. More than half of the curriculum is shared with the MPhil in Epidemiology and the MPhil in Public Health. The course also draws on local strengths in working with large databases, primary care-based clinical trials and a wide range of other appropriate methods of quantitative and qualitative data collection and analyses.
Throughout the course students are able to draw on the research expertise within the Department of Public Health and Primary Care, the MRC Epidemiology Unit and the MRC Biostatistics Unit as well as the wider University.
Students who complete this programme should be able to:
- Describe the primary care research context, including the distinctive nature and contribution of primary care research to population health, and the contribution of key underpinning methods
- Appreciate the complex issues associated with conducting sound translational research in general practice and community settings
- Apply contemporary research tools to clinically relevant areas of investigation in primary care
- Appreciate how to implement research findings into primary care in order to improve population health
Successful completion of the MPhil will also equip students with the skills and knowledge defined by the Academy of Medical Sciences’ Supplementary Guidelines for the Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP) for Specialty Registrars undertaking joint clinical and academic training programmes (September 2011).
1) Is this course for you?
The course is open to all graduates with a relevant first degree, but is particularly aimed at Trainee GPs, and GPs working in the NHS who wish to gain a fuller understanding of the disciplines at the foundation of academic primary care. We expect at least a 2.i honours degree or equivalent with two outstanding references from senior staff at your most recent University.
Prospective students should have attended modules on quantitative methods, biostatistics or related topics at undergraduate level and performed well in these, or have comparable work experience.
We also require all applicants to demonstrate competence in the English language at a very high level (see more on this).
2) What is this course like?
This is a full-time, intensive and demanding course with an average of four full teaching days each week, plus a substantial amount of self-directed study. A variety of teaching and learning methods are used, including lectures, practical exercises, small group work, one-to-one supervisions and self-directed learning. Students are able to pursue their own interests, with guidance from their supervisors, via two 3,000 word essays completed in terms one and two; and a research thesis of up to 20,000 words, submitted at the end of July.
3) Research environment for this course
The MPhil is offered by the Department of Public Health and Primary Care. Teaching is based at the Cambridge Institute of Public Health, at the heart of one of the leading biomedical centres in the world, the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. See more about the research environment.
More about the course and a term-by-term outline of the syllabus is provided here.
5) Fees and funding
Information on fees and funding sources is provided here by the University of Cambridge Graduate Admissions office.
- About the University of Cambridge application fee
- About funding opportunities at Cambridge
- About external sources of funding: try this overview and this page on funding for postgraduate study
- About Government-backed postgraduate loans.
The University’s Graduate Admissions website provides a full range of useful information including an explanation of the University’s college system and about accommodation here in Cambridge.
6) How to apply for this course
Information on the application process for the MPhil course is provided here by the University of Cambridge Graduate Admissions office. Applications for the academic year 2020/21 are currently open and will be accepted until 30 June 2020.
7) Developing your career
The MPhil in Primary Care Research provides an excellent transition to full-scale PhD research or clinical research leading to the MD degree. It introduces and develops key skills and specialist knowledge for those wishing to pursue a career in academic General Practice. The MPhil is also an invaluable introduction to the preparation of a research thesis.
If you can’t find the information you need on this site, or by following the links we have provided, specific queries about this MPhil in Primary Care Research should be emailed to our office at the Primary Care Unit.
Image credit: Nick Saffell