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Postgraduate Study

Course closed:

Sociology is no longer accepting new applications.

Apply using the Applicant Portal

The Apply Now button on the right will take you to the Applicant Portal. There, you can create and submit your application and supporting documents, and you can also request your references.

An application is only complete when:

  1. you have submitted your application and supporting documents via the Applicant Portal
  2. you have paid the application fee if applicable. For further information on application fees, and which courses require an application fee, see here.
  3. your referees have provided their references.

If you miss the deadlines specified in this section, you will not be able to submit your application.

Applicants are advised to apply in good time before the relevant deadlines. We attach great importance to a well-motivated and viable research proposal; please read carefully the guidelines relating to the research proposal. 

We welcome applications from those wishing to study part-time. Part-time applicants from outside the UK should note that visa restrictions may apply, and that not all sources of funding are available to part-time students. Please  contact the Department for further details.


Selection Process

Applications are considered in batches. Final decisions are made at a meeting of the Postgraduate Education Committee in December, February and June.

The Department will consider applications made at any time until 1 May 2024. We advise applicants to apply by 15 February to have the best possible chance of securing a place. Those who apply by Postgraduate Funding deadline (5 December 2023) will receive a decision around late January, those who apply by 15 February will hear in early April, and those who apply after this time will hear in early June.


Shortlisted applicants are invited to participate in an interview with a prospective supervisor.    

Further information on How To Apply

Things You'll Need

In order to apply for this course you'll need to think about getting a few things ready before you apply.

  • Two academic references  
  • Transcript  
  • CV/resume
  • Evidence of competence in English  
    If required - you can check using our tool
  • Research proposal (M)
    Please upload a research proposal of around 2,000 words. Special formatting is not required. Your proposal would generally contain: • A clear, well-motivated and viable research question • A brief review of the literature, covering the theoretical basis for your research, the current state of knowledge in the field, and details of what your research will add • The research methods you propose to use • You may also want to explain the reasons for your own interest in the subject, and any previous work you have done in the area The word limit includes footnotes, appendices, figures, tables, etc, but does not include references.
  • Sample of work (optional)
    Applicants may submit written work. This can be an essay written for your previous course, a published academic article or another piece of writing that you feel shows your suitability for the course.

Gates Cambridge Scholarships

If you wish to be considered for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship you will also need to provide the following:

  • Gates Cambridge Reference  
  • Research Proposal (PhD applicants only)

See Gates Cambridge for more information.

How to Find a Supervisor

Applicants to the PhD should name a prospective supervisor on their application form. Not all members of the Department are available to take new students every year; please see the list of available supervisors at Choosing a Supervisor.

Key Information

3-4 years full-time

4-7 years part-time

Study Mode : Research

Doctor of Philosophy

Department of Sociology

Course - related enquiries

Application - related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 4, 2023
Application deadline
May 1, 2024
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2024

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Course Funding Deadline
Dec. 5, 2023
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 11, 2023

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2024, Lent 2025 and Easter 2025.

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