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Postgraduate Admissions


One to one supervision

Candidates can usually expect to have around four one-hour supervisions per term with their Principal or other supervisors. Candidates will also be appointed an advisor who they can arrange to meet on an informal basis if need be.

The University of Cambridge publishes an annual Code of Practice which sets out the University’s expectations regarding supervision.

Seminars & classes

There is a wealth of sources at Cambridge from which you can develop and consolidate the skills you need to produce a successful thesis and the methods and technology by which you realise this effectively.

The Faculty provides a general training programme for masters’ courses which PhD candidates are expected to attend where relevant, weekly research seminars and talks, peer monitoring within reading and discussion groups, and practical skills training (photography, building survey).

Students are encouraged to attend the fortnightly City Seminar series, the Martin Centre lunchtime seminar series and the ARCSOC talks.


Attending other lectures is optional but students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the wide range of activities in the Department of Architecture and other faculties relevant to their research.

Students will also have access to courses offered by the Language Centre, the Social Sciences Research Methods Programme, and the Personal and Professional Development.

Small group teaching

Students are encouraged to attend research skills seminars and workshops: two hours weekly.


Students will be provided with feedback via supervision and the supervisor's termly reports.


Thesis / Dissertation

Submission of a thesis, which is not to exceed 80,000 words.  The thesis is examined by two examiners and includes an oral examination which is usually held at the Faculty.

Footnotes, references and text within tables are to be counted within the word limit, but captions, appendices and bibliographies are excluded. Appendices (of no determined word length) may be permitted subject to the approval of the candidate's supervisor (in consultation with the Degree Committee). Appendices should be confined to such items as catalogues, original texts, translations of texts, transcriptions of interview, or tables. Permission to include such appendices must be requested well in advance of the submission of the final thesis.


Candidates for the PhD are reviewed on a regular basis.

In the third term, candidates submit a First Year Report.  Candidates’ reports are assessed by two examiners and the candidates undertake an oral examination. Candidates are required to pass in order to be registered and progress into the second year.

During their seventh term, candidates are required to give a presentation of their work at the annual PhD Conference. The candidate’s progress is assessed and documented in a short report.

In their ninth term, students have an interview with their supervisor(s) and the Director of Postgraduate Studies or any other appropriate assessor approved by the supervisor in order to monitor their progress and ensure that the student is on track to submit their thesis within three years.

Candidates submit a logbook of their research activity at the end of each year.

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Key Information

3-4 years full-time

5-7 years part-time

Doctor of Philosophy

Department of Architecture

Course - related enquiries

Application - related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Michaelmas 2022

Applications open
Sept. 1, 2021
Application deadline
May 16, 2022
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2022

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

Graduate Funding Competition
Jan. 6, 2022
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 13, 2021

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2022, Lent 2023 and Easter 2023.

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