MRes Medical Mycology and Fungal Immunology

Duration Full time 1 year
Part time 2 years
  • Biosciences
LocationExeter (Streatham)
Start date September


  • Opportunity to gain one of four Medical Research Council funded places

  • Top 10 in the UK for world-leading and internationally excellent research*

  • 10th for Biosciences in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020

You will be studying within the MRC Centre for Medical Mycology – a world-leading research centre recently relocated to the University of Exeter that is helping to tackle the major global threats to human health caused by fungal diseases.

The course covers aspects of medical mycology, immunity, the molecular basis of infection, and the genomics of infectious disease.

You will undertake a substantial (3-6 month) project on fungal pathogen biology or host-pathogen interactions.

The MRC Centre for Medical Mycology hosts an interdisciplinary group of internationally renowned scientists who study both the host immune response and the fungal pathogen, and is one of the largest such centres in the world.

*Research Excellence Framework 2014: based on the percentage of research categorised as 4* and 3*

Programme structure

The MRes Medical Mycology and Fungal Immunology will provide you with an extensive foundation of knowledge and key skills for a subsequent PhD project in this research area. If you are successfully funded by the Centre for Medical Mycology, a choice of PhD project will be offered to you towards the end of your MRes degree.

The programme will provide you with:

  • A thorough understanding of the general principles of medical mycology and fungal immunology
  • An ability to apply knowledge in academic and health contexts
  • Opportunities to learn from world renowned researchers in medical mycology

We will also help you to develop a range of transferrable skills including self- learning, critical evaluation, analytical skills and applied statistics, IT-based approaches, and scientific writing, whilst exposing you to cutting edge research techniques.

Please note that this programme is still in development. The following is an indicative list of modules and is subject to change. 

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

Learning and teaching

How will I learn?

  • Lectures
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops
  • Residential reading party
  • Hands-on research projects
  • Independent study

Research projects


Project 1: Medical mycology

You are required to undertake a three-month research project in medical mycology and the other in fungal immunology. Each research project is unique, is directly related to the ongoing research in the MRC Centre for Medical Mycology, and is supervised by leading experts in their respective fields. You select your topics from the offered projects that have passed stringent peer review.

Project 2: Fungal immunology

You are required to undertake a three-month research project in Fungal Immunology. Each research project is unique, is directly related to the ongoing research in the MRC Centre for Medical Mycology, and is supervised by leading experts in their respective fields. You select your topics from the offered projects that have passed stringent peer review.

Extended medical mycology project: Clinicians

You will undertake one extended six-month research project in Medical Mycology investigating an interesting aspect of pathogenic fungi and/or fungal immunology. Projects are relevant to the main research priorities of the MRC Centre for Medical Mycology, and are supervised by leading experts in their respective fields. You have the opportunity to choose from a selection of offered projects that have passed peer review.

Learning from experts

The course will be run by academics residing within the MRC Centre for Medical Mycology including:

Tutorial support

You will be allocated a personal tutor who is available for advice and support throughout your studies. There is also a postgraduate tutor available to help with further guidance and advice. In addition, the programme director will offer every student a meeting each term to review academic progress.


Assessment will involve a range of activities including end of module examinations, oral presentations, posters and project write-ups.


Employer-valued skills this course develops

We will help you to develop a range of transferrable skills including self- learning, critical evaluation, analytical skills and applied statistics, IT-based approaches, and scientific writing, whilst exposing you to cutting-edge research techniques.

Career paths

Graduates of this programme might expect to pursue a career in academic, commercial or clinical research.

Further study

Further study is a popular option for many of the graduates from our postgraduate programmes and graduates may undertake a PhD in a related research area. If you are successful in securing funding from the Centre for Medical Mycology, you will progress to a PhD in Medical Mycology and Fungal Immunology.

Careers services

Our careers teams at the Career Zone can help guide you through a wealth of information to match your skills and interests to a career that will suit you. Our staff work with regional, national and international employers to develop new work placement, project and graduate opportunities.

Further information is available through our Careers pages.

Research areas

Fungal infections have an enormous impact on morbidity and mortality, yet their influence on human health is not widely appreciated. These infections remain understudied, compared to other infectious diseases, and there is a pressing need for more research in this field to improve patient outcomes.

The MRC Centre for Medical Mycology's overarching vision is to facilitate innovative and world-leading multidisciplinary research that will substantially advance our understanding of fungal pathogenesis and host immunity, enabling the generation and utilisation of knowledge that will improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of fungal diseases in the future.

It generates knowledge that has the potential to improve the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of fungal diseases, an area of infectious disease that has enormous impact on human health.

Entry requirements

BSc or MSc degree in a relevant Biological Science degree (eg Microbiology, Biochemistry or another Biomedical Science), and Medical and Dental graduates with a minimum of 12 months postgraduate clinical experience (completion of UK Medical or Dental Foundation Year 1 competencies). Applicants with significant professional experience in medical mycology or fungal biology will also be considered.

Applicants must also provide two strong academic references.

How to apply 

In the application process you will be asked to upload the documents listed below. Please note our preferred format is PDF, each file named with your surname and the name of the document, eg. “Smith – CV.pdf”, “Smith – Cover Letter.pdf”, “Smith – Transcript.pdf”.

  • CV
  • Personal statement sharing your future ambitions and how this MRes-PhD programme will enable you to achieve those ambitions
  • Transcript(s) giving full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained. This should be an interim transcript if you are still studying.
  • If you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country you will need to submit evidence of your current proficiency in English.
  • Two references (applicants are recommended to have a third academic referee, if the two academic referees are within the same department/school).
  • If self-funded, evidence of financial support.

Requirements for international students

If you are an international student, please visit our international equivalency pages to enable you to see if your existing academic qualifications meet our entry requirements.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

Overall score 6.5. No less than 6.0 in any section.


Overall score 90 with minimum scores of 21 for writing, 21 for listening, 22 for reading and 23 for speaking.

Pearson Test of English (Academic)

58 with no less than 55 in all communicative skills.

Other accepted tests

Information about other acceptable tests of linguistic ability can be found on our English language requirements page.

Pre-sessional English

Applicants with lower English language test scores may be able to take pre-sessional English at INTO University of Exeter prior to commencing their programme. See our English language requirements page for more information.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees per year 2020/21

  • UK/EU: £17,500 full-time; £8,750 part-time
  • International: £26,500 full-time; £13,250 part-time

Fee information

Fees can normally be paid by two termly instalments and may be paid online. You will also be required to pay a tuition fee deposit to secure your offer of a place, unless you qualify for exemption. For further information about paying fees see our Student Fees pages.

UK government postgraduate loan scheme

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,609 are now available for Masters degrees. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.

Funded places

1+3 MRes-PhD programme

We offer 5 funded places for this programme, funded by the Medical Research Council in partnership with the University of Exeter. These four-year studentships start with the 1-year Master of Research (MRes) degree that provides a solid theoretical and practical foundation in fungal infectious disease. On successful completion of the MRes, students may progress to their 3-year PhD, choosing their cross-disciplinary PhD project from a broad selection of peer-reviewed proposals.

Funding includes a tax-free stipend, tuition fees and research costs are covered for the four years of the programme. Funding is available to UK/EU candidates only. However, self-funded international students with the appropriate qualifications are welcome to apply for entry to our 1-year MRes course.

Funded students will also receive additional research skills training, personal and career development opportunities, funding for travel to conferences and workshops, and support from mentors who provide independent career advice. Successful applicants will benefit from our vibrant, friendly and collegiate atmosphere, and the interdisciplinary nature of the world-leading science being performed in our Centre.

Applicants will be required to attend an interview (which may be by Skype, telephone or video link).

» Find out more and apply


1-year clinical research fellowship

The MRC CMM is seeking applications from outstanding medical and dental graduates with an interest and aptitude for developing a career in clinical academia. Our bespoke 1-year fully funded Pre-Doctoral Clinical Research Fellowship provides talented clinicians with an exciting and unrivalled opportunity for protected time to develop academic skills and gain research experience in a world-class centre of excellence for studying fungal infectious diseases.

The Fellow will be registered full time on a postgraduate MRes which is underpinned by structured taught courses to provide an extensive knowledge and skill-base in in fungal infectious diseases, followed by a 24-week cross-disciplinary research project. Fellows will be strongly encouraged and supported to develop their pilot data into an application for a highly prestigious and competitive externally funded Clinical Research Training Fellowships.

We aim to appoint two Clinical Research Fellows with successful completion recognised by the award of a MRes degree in Medical Mycology and Fungal Immunology. Fellows will be assigned a mentor to provide independent support and advice during the fellowship. Additional research and transferable skills training will be provided.

Candidates must have completed the foundation programme with a minimum of 24 months postgraduate clinical experience (successful completion of UK Medical or Dental Foundation Year 1 and 2 competencies) and be fully registered with the GMC or GDC at the time of appointment. We anticipate some candidates will have commenced specialty training (with a National Training Number) and are willing to consider applicants up to 1 year away from award of their Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT), we are unable to consider those in their final year.

Application page opening soon

Other university funding opportunities

The Funding website has information on all available options for funding open to prospective students of taught Masters programmes. You can also use the searchable database of all Scholarships and Bursaries to find funding for which you are eligible.

Global Excellence Scholarship

We are delighted to offer Global Excellence Scholarships for students of outstanding academic quality applying to postgraduate Taught programmes starting in autumn 2020.
Please note that this scholarship isn't offered for all our masters programmes.

Contact us

We welcome enquiries about the course. For further information contact:

Web: Enquire online 
Phone: +44 (0)1326 371801

The Programme Director is Professor Alistair Brown

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