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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 Open Day usually takes place at the beginning of November. The event is suitable for those considering applying for postgraduate study at the University. It provides opportunities to meet with academics, explore the Colleges, and find out more about 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 2021

Applications open
Sept. 1, 2020
Application deadline
April 30, 2021
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2021

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

Graduate Funding Competition
Dec. 3, 2020
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 14, 2020