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Department of Pathology



Welcome to the Part II Pathology Course information pages.

These are aimed chiefly at Part IB students considering Part II Pathology and it provides information about the Department itself, the range of courses available, their objectives and how to apply.

We wish to attract students from both the NST and the MVST; we believe that our courses are of interest and relevance to both student groups and will prepare students for future careers in a wide variety of disciplines.


The Courses at a Glance

The Pathology Department runs two Natural Sciences Tripos (NST) courses at Part II level, one “Single-Subject” course and one course within the NST Part II Biological and Biomedical Sciences (BBS).

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 2020-21

Due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and government guidance, we have had to make some changes to the programme in order to mitigate against risks to health and to give you the best possible academic experience in the circumstances. We will continue to monitor and respond to the changing public health situation. 

The changes are: 

All lectures will be delivered online. 

For BBS students, dissertations will be largely unchanged, although individual supervisors or students  may need to use remote supervision, depending on their personal circumstances and the changing public health situation.

Research Projects will be arranged to allow you to achieve the same learning outcomes. However, these will be reconfigured to allow for social distancing and availability of space; further details will be provided when possible. 

Other teaching formats will also be used to allow for interactive learning.  Some may be remote, for example Q&A session with lecturers, but we will aim to hold face-to-face sessions as well; the format and frequency of these will be determined by space availability and contemporary risk assessment. 

Full details of how the course will be run will be provided later via the course Moodle site. 

Supervisions will still be provided, although the format will be variable.