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Postgraduate Admissions

The PhD in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies is offered at the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies to those students who wish to study Chinese Studies, East Asian Studies, Hebrew Studies, Korean Studies, Japanese Studies, Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies (Arabic or Persian), and Sanskrit and South Asian Studies.

Our researchers are engaged in internationally recognised work in the history, literature, linguistics, social anthropology, sociology, politics and contemporary culture of the Middle East, North Africa, China, Japan and the two Koreas. In addition, the work of several staff crosses traditional boundaries, both geographical and subject based. Please see our Research pages for more information about the kind of research carried out in the Faculty.

Before you apply, it is essential that you contact your prospective supervisor to discuss your proposed research.

The PhD in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies is a three to four-year course consisting of individual supervisions and guided research. Students are given guidance in areas specific to their subject and in advanced research methods. In the Easter term of the first year, students submit a PhD progress examination, which usually consists of a critical essay and a general statement about progress to date and the likely course of their future research. At the end of the programme students submit a PhD thesis, followed by a viva.

Further information about the programme and the supervisors can be found on our Faculty's website.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of each PhD programme, students will be expected to have:

  • acquired the ability to read, interpret  and translate primary sources fluently in their subject area;
  • acquired an excellent knowledge of the general scholarship on their chosen research topic;
  • acquired an in-depth and focused knowledge of the secondary literature relevant to the subject of their thesis;
  • developed the ability to formulate original research questions and produce a well-constructed argument to answer them, in the form of an independent piece of research based on the use of primary and secondary sources; and
  • developed advanced, independent library- and internet-based research skills concomitant with successful completion of a higher research degree.

Continuing

Students who wish to continue onto a PhD in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies will need to have at least 67 per cent in a relevant language bachelor's degree from a UK university or its equivalent overseas. They also must already hold a master's qualification in the language they intend to study, which should have been awarded a score of at least 67 per cent from a UK university or its equivalent overseas. They also need to satisfy any pre-existing requirements set by the Degree Committee, i.e. English language requirement.

EU and International students can find information about their country's equivalent continuation mark from the Postgraduate Admissions International Qualifications page.

Those students who are enrolled in an MPhil by Advanced Studies at the University of Cambridge and wish to continue to the PhD programme at the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies will be required to obtain at least 67 per cent overall in their MPhil by Advanced Studies degree and satisfy any pre-existing requirements also set by the Degree Committee, i.e. English language requirement.

For those students who are enrolled in an MPhil by Research at the University of Cambridge, admission is at the discretion of the Degree Committee, which judges each applicant on their own merits and in accordance with its own set of rules and regulations.  Please contact the Postgraduate Administrator if you require further details.


Open Days

The Postgraduate Virtual Open Day usually takes place at the beginning of November. It’s a great opportunity to ask questions to admissions staff and academics, explore the Colleges virtually, and to find out more about courses, the application process and funding opportunities. Visit the Postgraduate Open Day page for more details.

See further the Postgraduate Admissions Events pages for other events relating to Postgraduate study, including study fairs, visits and international events.

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Key Information


3-4 years full-time

5-7 years part-time

Doctor of Philosophy

Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

Course - related enquiries

Application - related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 1, 2021
Application deadline
Oct. 4, 2022
Course Starts
Jan. 5, 2023

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

Applications open
Sept. 1, 2021
Application deadline
Jan. 13, 2023
Course Starts
April 17, 2023

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

Michaelmas 2023

Applications open
Sept. 15, 2022
Application deadline
May 16, 2023
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2023

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

Applications open
Sept. 15, 2022
Application deadline
Oct. 4, 2023
Course Starts
Jan. 5, 2024

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

Applications open
Sept. 15, 2022
Application deadline
Jan. 15, 2024
Course Starts
April 17, 2024

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

Course Funding Deadline
Dec. 1, 2022
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 12, 2022

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2023, Lent 2024 and Easter 2024.


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