skip to content

Postgraduate Study

Course closed:

Psychology is no longer accepting new applications.


This is a research-based programme and there is no formal teaching requirement. However, all candidates are expected to take part in the department's Postgraduate Education Programme and the Postgraduate School of Life Science's Skills Training Programme.

One to one supervision

Students can expect to have regular lab meetings with their supervisor and with other lab members. The regularity with which postgraduate students meet with their Supervisor varies throughout the year but meetings are likely to be more frequent to start with, during the planning stages, and during the writing-up phase. All students should have the opportunity to seek formal feedback from their Supervisor, and Supervisors should have the opportunity to give such feedback.

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

Seminars & classes

All PhD students are expected to attend a number of postgraduate courses and seminars during their first year. In addition, they are expected to develop their research skills by attending a number of optional statistics and methods courses which are recorded in a student progress log book.

The department hosts a number of additional seminar series, which all students are invited to attend.


Students will receive regular oral feedback and advice from their supervisor about performance and research direction throughout the course, and students can also expect to receive termly formal feedback reports via the online feedback and reporting system.


Thesis / Dissertation

Students are required to submit a 60,000-word thesis no later than the end of their fourth year (full-time), (80,000 words by special permission), excluding tables, footnotes, bibliography, and appendices. 


Any methods or statistics courses taken as part of the student's personal development may be assessed or
examined on their completion, but do not currently constitute any formal qualification.

All PhD students are probationary in the first year and progression to the second year (and registration for the PhD) depends on a successful first-year review. The first-year probationary review involves the submission of a written progress report that covers the research work completed, a review of appropriate literature and a clear indication of how the PhD will develop in the second and third years (i.e. future work). The report is assessed by two assessors and an oral examination of the report will be undertaken.


Key Information

3-4 years full-time

4-7 years part-time

Study Mode : Research

Doctor of Philosophy

Department of Psychology

Course - related enquiries

Application - related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 4, 2023
Application deadline
April 24, 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.