Main Menu

Course essentials

The Institute of Cancer Research offers two higher research degrees for clinicians - PhD and MD(Res). This table presents important information about each course, so that you can easily compare them.

 

Clinical PhD / MPhil 

MD(Res)

 
 

Entry requirements

Medical qualifications and clinical experience, see Entry requirements

Medical qualifications and clinical experience, see Entry requirements

 

Mode of study

Full-time / part-time

Full-time / part-time

 

Length of course and possible exit points

Fellowship funding is typically for a period of 3 years. There are 2 exit points:

  • MPhil: successful completion of first year, including upgrade report and transfer viva
  • PhD: successful completion of research project, including thesis submission and final viva

Students are expected to register for a minimum of 2 years (or the part-time equivalent). There is only 1 exit point:

  • MD(Res): successful completion of research project, including thesis submission and oral examination

Degree-awarding institution

University of London University of London 
 

Teaching institution

The Institute of Cancer Research, University of London The Institute of Cancer Research, University of London
 

Brief outline of course structure and assessment

Initially, students are registered for an MPhil. After the first year , an upgrade report and oral examination  takes place (known as a transfer viva). Successful students will then be transferred onto PhD registration. 

At the end of the PhD programme (3 years), students will be expected to submit their thesis (~100,000 words) and a final viva takes place.

Possible outcomes from the PhD viva include:

  • pass with no corrections,
  • pass with minor corrections,
  • resubmission of thesis (with or without a further oral examination),
  • further oral examination required,
  • fail (student may be considered for award of MPhil)
At the end of the registration period, students will be expected to submit their thesis (~50,000 words) and to complete an oral examination.

Possible outcomes include:

  • pass with no corrections,
  • pass with minor corrections,
  • resubmission of thesis (with or without a further oral examination),
  • further oral examination required,
  • fail 

Supervision

Only members of our rigorously selected faculty are permitted to supervise students. 

Faculty members are highly experienced project and resource managers who undergo formal training in supervision before they take on research students, and also attend periodic update sessions. 

Only members of our rigorously selected faculty are permitted to supervise students.

Faculty members are highly experienced project and resource managers who undergo formal training in supervision before they take on research students, and also attend periodic update sessions.

Working hours and annual leave

 

It is recognised that for clinical students who have not yet completed their specialist training, it may be desirable to continue to gain clinical experience during their research period, in order to maintain and develop their clinical skills. Such experience may include both ward and clinic work as well as out of hours responsibilities.

In the majority of cases the maximum time which may be spent on routine clinical service work during normal working hours is one session per week (this excludes situations when the clinical work contributes to the student’s research project). It is assumed that the remainder of the time these students will be undertaking work which will contribute to their thesis; 90% FTE. It is expected that the student will contribute a minimum additional effort equivalent to 10% FTE in their own time, and these students will be subject to the same monitoring as full-time students.

In exceptional circumstances, due to clinical training needs, this can be negotiated with the Deputy Dean (Biomedical Sciences) and Senior Tutor. However a minimum of four sessions must be protected for research. Where this is the case it is expected that students will contribute a minimum additional effort equivalent to 10% FTE in their own time. These students will be monitored as part-time students. See the MPhil and PhD Code of Practice for more details.

It is recognised that clinical students need to continue to have clinical experience during their research period, in order to develop and maintain their clinical skills. Such experience may include both ward and clinic work as well as out-of-hours responsibilities.

In the majority of cases, the maximum time that may be spent on routine clinical service work during normal working hours is one session per week (this excludes clinics where the majority of the student's time is spent in recruiting or monitoring research subjects). It is expected that students will contribute a minimum additional effort equivalent to 10% FTE in their own time. These students will be registered at 1.0 FTE and monitored as full-time students.

Students may also be registered and monitored as part-time (<0.9 FTE). The minimum allowable FTE as a part-time student is 0.4 FTE (i.e. a minimum of four research sessions per week). Where this is the case it is also expected that students will contribute a minimum additional effort equivalent to 10% FTE in their own time. See the MD(Res) Code of Practice for more details.

 

Possible locations

The ICR has two dedicated research sites - in Chelsea and Sutton. However, where students are based depends on individual projects and this is something that you should discuss with your supervisor. The ICR has two dedicated research sites - in Chelsea and Sutton. However, where students are based depends on individual projects and this is something that you should discuss with your supervisor.
 

Other important information

You must submit your thesis within 4 years. Exceptions to this rule can only be made in very rare circumstances. See the MPhil and PhD Code of Practice for more details.

You are expected to submit your thesis within three years, but a hard deadline of 4 years applies. Exceptions to this rule can only be made in very rare circumstances. See the MD(Res) Code of Practice for more details. 

 

Key documents

 

 

PhD studentships

Applications for our main PhD recruitment round have opened. We’re searching for the brightest minds in cancer research. The deadline for applications is 17 November.

ICR values

Our values – developed together as an organisation – make it clear how each and every one of us work to meet our mission – to make the discoveries that defeat cancer.