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Postgraduate Admissions

The PhD is the primary research degree that can be taken in the Department of Computer Science and Technology. The Cambridge PhD is a three to four-year programme of individual research on a topic agreed by the student and the Department, under the guidance of a staff member as the student's supervisor. 

All research students are admitted to read for the PhD degree on a probationary basis and will be registered for the Certificate of Postgraduate Study (CPGS) in the first instance. During this year students may do some additional coursework and will write a research report that is likely to form the foundation of the eventual PhD thesis. The CPGS will involve four components:

  • Research skills training
  • Practical work
  • Research report of no more than 10,000 words
  • Attendance at a research workshops and research seminars

At the end of the third term and on completion of the CPGS, students whose performance indicates that they would be able to complete a PhD in a reasonable time will be upgraded to PhD status. A student who is not upgraded to PhD status, and who has completed three terms of study, will normally be awarded the CPGS alone. They will not submit a thesis for the PhD degree.

There is an expectation that all research students will contribute to teaching in the department for which some training will be provided. Research students will submit a log - or tally-sheet - of teaching activities annually at the end of June. 

Students are expected to complete the substance of their research by the end of their third year, submitting their thesis then or within a few months.

Applicants wishing to apply to undertake a PhD on a part-time basis should refer to the Department's admissions advice for potential part-time students.


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 Computer Science and Technology

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.

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.

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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