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Department of Pathology


Teaching in the Pathology Department

Teaching in the Pathology Department is carried out by the 11 Professors, some 40 lecturers and associate lecturers and a number of invited specialists; in the last Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) subject review of teaching, Pathology was awarded the maximum score (24/24). The Pathology Department has also established itself as a highly successful and active research department in the field of biomedical sciences, with an annual income from research grants typically in the region of £6.5 million. The research interests of the Department are very broad, extending through immunology, virology, microbial pathogenicity, the biology of parasitic infection and the dynamics of disease processes to genomic analysis and cancer.

Our Courses at a Glance

The Pathology Department runs two Natural Sciences Tripos (NST) courses at Part II level, one associated with a research project: NST Part II Single Subject Pathology and one without NST Biological and Biomedical Sciences (BBS) Part II Major Subject Pathology. Both courses are arranged in full year modules of teaching we call options. Typically, an option comprises a series of lectures, small group interactive teaching sessions, seminars and supervisions.

Part II Pathology is about the mechanisms which regulate cells and tissues at the molecular, cellular and genetic level, and how these are disrupted in disease processes. Research and teaching in Pathology is, of necessity, multidisciplinary and draws upon elements from a broad range of subjects. The courses we offer are naturally of relevance to medicine and veterinary medicine students since an understanding of the molecular basis of disease is a useful adjunct to clinical expertise. However, the courses have also proven exciting and challenging to NST students. For those planning a career in research for example, it is worth pointing out that in 2008, the UK's budget for basic biological research was some £594m, but for biomedical research, some £1,200m!

In the Part II Pathology ("Single Subject") and Part II BBS Major Subject Pathology courses, two whole-year modular options are taken from a choice of five. Students taking the Part II Pathology (“Single Subject”) course also undertake a laboratory-based research project. Students taking the Part II BBS Major Subject Pathology course are required to take an additional ‘Minor’ subject within the BBS and must also undertake a 6,000 word dissertation.

NST Part II Pathology "Single-Subject". Study 2 options ¹ from:

  1. (A) Cancer & Genetic Diseases (formerly Cellular & Genetic Pathology), (B) Immunology, (C) Microbiology and Parasitology, (D) Virology, (E) Dynamics of Infectious Diseases 
    Complete a Research Project

NST Part II BBS Major Subject Pathology ². Study 2 options from:

  1. (A) Cancer & Genetic Diseases (formerly Cellular & Genetic Pathology), (B) Immunology, (C) Microbiology and Parasitology, (D) Virology, (E) Dynamics of Infectious Diseases 
    Complete a Dissertation ³

¹ Please note that the combination of Options A and E is prohibited 
² You should take note of the disallowed combination of subjects published in the Reporter by the Faculty Board when choosing your ‘Minor’ subject to combine with these courses. 
³ The Dissertation can be carried out in the non-Pathology ‘Minor’ subject if desired.

    Aims and Objectives

    The aims of the Part II Pathology courses are to provide students with the opportunity for detailed study of various aspects of pathology, to provide a stimulating and challenging learning environment where teaching is informed and enhanced by research and to provide training in scientific principles and experience in the evaluation and practice of research.

    By the end of the year:

    • Students studying the two Pathology Options (NST Part II Pathology, NST Part II Major Subject Paper Pathology) should have a specialised knowledge and understanding of aspects of the scientific basis of disease, developed skills in the analysis of arguments and data from research papers and of reasoned argument in written and oral presentation of scientific investigations. NST Single-Subject students should also have research experience and developed basic skills by means of a project.

    Teaching for 2021-22

    Part II Pathology  

    We are intending to try and run Part II Pathology in as normal a way as possible this year.   We will continue to monitor and respond to the changing public health situation.  

    Most lectures will take place in person in the Pathology lecture theatre. In some cases, lectures may run online only. These will be indicated on the timetable. Laboratory-based research projects will run in person, while research projects with a computational focus may include some remote working. Supervisions related to lectures will take place in person or online, at the discretion of the supervisor.