The University of Oxford

Cardiovascular Science

University of Oxford
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Rank: 2 (The Complete University Guide)

Location: University of Oxford


Study mode full-time

Degree: Doctorate

Start Date: 2021/10/01

Duration: 48 months

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The information provided on this page was correct at the time of publication (October 2020). For complete and up-to-date information about this course, please visit the relevant University of Oxford course page via DPhil programme is for basic science graduates who want to undertake advanced research into cardiovascular disease. The programme provides you with a solid grounding in the study of cardiac and vascular biology through the provision of taught courses, advanced level seminars and tutorials predominantly in the first year.You are provided with a co-ordinated programme of post-graduate teaching in your first year and the possibility of experiencing research in more than one laboratory. This is followed by a three-year research project, under the supervision of a named supervisor. You will gain a greater understanding of the cardiovascular research field and can bring a broader perspective to your research project than is possible under the standard three-year DPhil.The taught components in the first year include attendance at final year undergraduate lectures in the following areas:Option A: Pharmacology and signallingOption B: Endocrinology and metabolismOption C: Cardiovascular scienceOption D: Molecular pathologyOption E: Development and diseaseOption F: InfectionOption G: ImmunityOption H: Cellular neuroscienceOption I: Systems neuroscienceOption J: Cognitive and behavioural neuroscienceYou may take first- and second-year BM courses in pathology, immunology, pharmacology and integrated systems physiology. You will have the opportunity to write an extended essay at the end of each period of advanced study.You will have access to a wide range of training in generic research skills provided through seminars and short courses. Examples of the courses that may be available to you include:

  • proteomic methodologies
  • genomics and bioinformatics
  • confocal microscopy and image analysis
  • statistics and experimental design
  • information technology/computing skills
  • written and oral presentation skills
  • laboratory experience
In your first term of graduate study in Oxford you will attend a series of seven two-day mini-rotations where you will meet graduate students and principal investigators working in seven broad areas of areas of cardiovascular science:
  • atherosclerosis, diabetes and inflammation (academic lead Charis Antoniades)
  • cardiac biology and imaging (academic lead Manuela Zaccolo)
  • developmental biology and regenerative medicine (academic lead Nicola Smart)
  • endothelial cell and vascular biology (academic lead Kim Dora)
  • epidemiology, genetics and big data (academic lead Colin Baigent)
  • target discovery and therapeutics (academic lead Shoumo Bhattacharya)
Typically you will experience research in two laboratories during your first year mini-rotations, to expose you to techniques and research modalities. You will be expected to design and execute experimental protocols, critically appraise research methods and experimental results, and communicate research results and their implications to a wide audience.You will be encouraged to develop DPhil projects that bridge the work of two separate laboratories or that involve two complementary experimental approaches. The first year of your graduate studies will be overseen by an academic mentor who will monitor your academic progress and be available to offer advice and support throughout the course of your graduate studies. The department aims for you to be associated with one host laboratory for the first nine months of your graduate studies under the supervision of a laboratory mentor who will ensure you receive appropriate training in laboratory methods and in planning, executing and analysing experiments.From the second year onwards, you will spend the remainder of the programme carrying out a specific research project.


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For complete and up-to-date information about this course, please visit the relevant University of Oxford course page via

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About this university

International students

Some 140 countries have attendees at Oxford and some 60% of the total student body is from outside the UK. There are various programs available for international students to help with orientation and integrating with life in Oxford as well as to help with legal matters such as immigration and visas. They can also help with practical matters such as dealing with finances and accessing health care with the National Health Service (NHS). Student life is filled with many traditions as befits a university of Oxford's age. One of these are the balls, held by the colleges with a formal dress code as well as smaller events regularly during the year. The Oxford University Student Union or OUSU, represents students and is their voice in debate about the university as well as organising student life organisations. There are a large number of sports available outside the classroom and many of these are of a high standard. The Boat Race is a famous example of a rowing race with nearby Cambridge University that is watched by up to 10 million TV viewers each year. There are also student newspapers and a radio station as well as performing arts groups. There are also student societies open to students who aren't studying the subject to learn something new and different.

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