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Postgraduate Admissions

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is the Department's principal research degree for postgraduate students and the majority of our students are registered for this degree. The PhD is intellectually demanding and applicants will need to have a high level of attainment and motivation to pursue this programme of advanced study and research. 

Completion normally requires three to four years of full-time study, including a probationary period. Students will normally be required to be resident in Cambridge during that time.

The examination is by the submission of a 60,000-word thesis and subsequent oral examination.

The PhD represents a significant and original contribution to the understanding of Psychology. This may be through the discovery of something new, the connection of previously unrelated facts, or the development of a new theory, taking into account all previously published work on the subject.


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.

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Key Information


3-4 years full-time

5-7 years part-time

Doctor of Philosophy

Department of Psychology

Course - related enquiries

Application - related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Michaelmas 2022

Applications open
Sept. 1, 2021
Application deadline
April 26, 2022
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2022

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

Graduate Funding Competition
Dec. 2, 2021
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 13, 2021

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