Masters Programmes

The Wellcome Sanger Institute has several Masters Programme opportunities, see below. Please visit our potential supervisors page, for information on Faculty members and their research areas.

MPhil in Biological Sciences

Sanger Institute, Genome Research Limited
The Institute occasionally takes on MPhil students to do a 1-year research MPhil, registered at the University of Cambridge, providing they have their own scholarship funding and the support of a Faculty member at the Institute. Assessment of the MPhil is by submission of a thesis and an oral examination. Students start on the 1st October, with submission of the thesis by the end of August. Further details are available here.

MPhil in Genomic Science

In 2016, the Institute started a new 1-year research MPhil programme that aims to equip students from a number of low and middle income countries with a unique blend of experimental and informatics skills, maximising their competitiveness for future opportunities. The programme is being run in partnership with the following institutions only:

  • The KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme, Kenya
  • The Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme
  • The Africa Health Research Institute, South Africa
  • The Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit, Thailand and Laos
  • The Oxford University Clinical Research Unit, Vietnam
  • The Oxford University Clinical Research Unit, Nepal
  • MRC Unit The Gambia at LSHTM
  • MRC/UVRI & LSHTM Uganda Research Unit
  • KEMRI Nairobi, Kenya
  • University of Science, Techniques and Technologies of Bamako, Mali
  • International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh
  • The institutions of the Sanger Institute International Fellows

The programme funds (stipend and University tuition fees) up to 3 students per year and applicants must be nominated by one of the partner institutions. Assessment of the MPhil is by submission of a thesis and an oral examination. Students start on the 1st October, with submission of the thesis by the end of August.

MPhil, MRes and MSt in Genomic Medicine

The Institute is also a partner in the following University of Cambridge Masters programmes:

MPhil, MRes and MSt in Genomic Medicine

The Institute is committed to helping scientists and healthcare professionals understand and apply genomics in clinical practice. We are a member of a partnership with the University of Cambridge, EMBL-EBI and Wellcome Connecting Science Courses that is delivering a taught MPhil in Genomic Medicine (8/10 modules plus a dissertation or a literature review), a taught/research based MRes in Genomic Medicine (3 modules and a 10 month research project) as well other postgraduate degrees such as the MSt in Genomic Medicine, to NHS staff and other interested students. Funding for NHS employees is available through Health Education England, whilst non NHS employees must have their own funding. Some of the courses are full-time and some are part-time, please see the relevant course descriptions for further details.


University of Cambridge Postgraduate Virtual Open Days

The Postgraduate Virtual Open Days take place in early November. The Open Days are open to all those seeking to apply for postgraduate study at the University of Cambridge, and are hosted on the University’s Virtual Tour.

The event offers you opportunities to ask questions, find out more about the application process, and explore Cambridge virtually. Additionally, you will be able to:

  • Access webinars, films and resources from departments and faculties
  • Learn more about the courses on offer
  • Attend presentations on making an application and writing a research proposal
  • Hear from students about their Cambridge experiences and find out more about life as a student here
  • Discover funding opportunities at the University
  • Explore University facilities and Colleges using 360 degree photography, videos and photo galleries

To attend the Postgraduate Virtual Open Days, you need to register in advance.

For further information please see:


The Virtual Postgraduate Open Days 2023 will take place over 2 weeks:

Week 1 – Subject and Department sessions (23 – 27 October 2023)

Week 2 – Pastoral, College and Finance sessions  (30 October – 3 November 2023)

The Wellcome Sanger Institute will be hosting an online Presentation and Q&A session at 15:00-15:40 on Wednesday 25 October 2023. Find out more about our postgraduate programmes and meet some current students.

To book your place, go to:

Student life

Below is a testimonial about life as an MPhil student at the Wellcome Sanger Institute.

Former MPhil student (2020-21), Daniel Malawsky, wrote:

Being a student at Sanger is an incredible experience, ranging from outstanding mentorship to world-class data and a friendly, lively student environment. The funding structure of the institute allows group leaders to engage in highly collaborative, large scale projects that get at the deepest and most pressing questions in biology and genetics today.

The MPhil program allows you to dive into research, unencumbered by taught course requirements unless one wishes to take any. The year of research is demanding, but the quality of the science and mentorship make it an enjoyable and rewarding experience. I learned more in one year than I could’ve imagined, and developed field specific as well translatable skills. Ultimately, this year teaches you to be a scientist and independent thinker, where you leave wanting to ask more research questions than before you started (and perhaps continue on to a PhD to do so as I did!).

Aside from the science, Cambridge is a lovely city and the University, especially the colleges, promote an enriching social life. There are plenty of formal and informal activities and societies one can join, with something for everyone. I could not be happier with my experience at Sanger!