Programs of Study

The Churchill Scholarship is for one year of study at the University of Cambridge for one of two Master’s degrees: the MPhil (Master of Philosophy) or MASt (Master of Advanced Study). The standard MPhil is a research degree that entails full-time research in a lab and culminates in a thesis and a viva (an oral examination). The MASt is a taught degree course comprised of lectures and written examinations. A list of eligible and ineligible courses can be found below.

Some MPhil courses involve a mixture of taught courses and a research paper, and most MASt courses provide the opportunity to write a research paper. The research-only MPhil is a rare opportunity to be able to spend a full year on a single research project. In the hybrid part-lecture and part-research MPhils, students can pursue a shorter research project, while the lectures expose them to a greater breadth of topics. Former Churchill Scholars have said that lectures in Cambridge move quite quickly and tend to be less engaging and interactive in comparison to lectures in US universities.

For students in the research-only MPhil courses, you may need to search far and wide in order to find the right lab for you. The Cambridge structure is different from many American universities, and labs in closely related fields can be found in a wide variety of different departments. Just as the list of courses here may be incomplete, the University of Cambridge website may omit courses or entire research institutes. We welcome suggestions of courses that may not be listed below. Feel free to contact the Foundation with any questions.

Eligible Courses


MPhil in Archaeological Research (Only eligible for a scientific research project.)

MPhil in Biological Anthropological Science


MPhil in Astronomy

Biological Sciences

The following Departments offer the MPhil in Biological Science:

Babraham Institute (NOTE: Babraham is independent of the University, so to take this option, you must check with a research supervisor that you can pursue research there as a Cambridge student and you must apply to a Cambridge department and find a supervisor willing to support your plan.)
Cambridge Stem Cell Institute
Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit
Mitochondrial Biology Unit
Molecular Biology
Physiology, Development and Neuroscience
Plant Sciences
Wellcome Trust / Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

Cambridge Computational Biology Institute

MPhil in Computational Biology†

Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology

MPhil in Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology
MPhil in Advanced Chemical Engineering†
MPhil in Biotechnology†  (Mainly for non-bio majors)


MPhil in Chemistry

Computer Laboratory

MPhil in Advanced Computer Science†

Earth Sciences

MPhil in Earth Sciences


MPhil in Engineering
MPhil in Energy Technologies†
MPhil in Machine Learning and Machine Intelligence†
MPhil in Nuclear Energy†
MPhil in Structural Engineering


MPhil in Geography
MPhil in Polar Studies (Polar Physical Sciences only)

Materials Science and Metallurgy

MPhil in Materials Science and Metallurgy
MPhil in Micro- & Nanotechnology Enterprise† (Only eligible if the research project undertaken is scientific, rather than business-related)


(The three MASt courses are also called Part III of the Mathematical Tripos. Before you apply to Part III, please read the Foundation’s guide, Part III Mathematics for Churchill Scholars.)
MASt in Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics†
MASt in Pure Mathematics†
MASt in Mathematical Statistics†

Medical Research Council Biostatistics Unit

MPhil in Biostatistics

Medical Sciences

The following Departments offer the MPhil in Medical Science:

Cambridge Institute for Medical Research
Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute
Clinical Biochemistry
Clinical Neurosciences
Medical Genetics
MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit
MRC Epidemiology Unit
Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Modern and Medieval Languages

MPhil in Theoretical and Applied Linguistics (Language Technology Laboratory. NOTE: Only scientifc research proposals will be considered.)


MPhil in Music Studies (Only the Music and Science option is eligible.)


MPhil in Physics
MPhil in Scientific Computing†

Veterinary Medicine

MPhil in Veterinary Science

†These courses are part-taught or fully taught, and there is no need to contact supervisor in advance for your application.


Please note that your application must be for one of the above programs or it may not be considered. If you discovered another program at Cambridge that is appropriate for you, please contact the Foundation. Course offerings are always changing, and there are laboratories and research units in the University of Cambridge that are not always easily found on the Cambridge website. Some labs that do not advertise an MPhil may be willing to take a Churchill Scholar. Previous applicants have found relatively obscure programs that we have subsequently been made eligible (for example, the Faculty of Music offers an MPhil in Music Studies where Music and Science is an option).

Please contact the Foundation if you are interested in an area of study not specifically mentioned above, or if you have any questions, by emailing or by calling 212-752-3200.