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Postgraduate Admissions

Apply using the Applicant Portal

The Apply Now button on the right will take you to the Applicant Portal. There, you can create and submit your application and supporting documents, and you can also request your references.

An application is only complete when:

  1. you have submitted your application and supporting documents via the Applicant Portal
  2. you have paid the £70 application fee. Further information on application fees see here.
  3. your referees have provided their references.

If you miss the deadlines specified in this section, you will not be able to submit your application.

Selection Process

Each postgraduate student is assigned a principal supervisor to guide their research over all the assessed elements. They will work closely with their supervisor, particularly for the dissertation. Acceptance of any applicant will be dependent upon specialist supervision being available. Please consult the Research page on the SPRI website to obtain an idea of its current research interests.

If we cannot supervise your topic, we will decline your application regardless of its academic merit.

Applications are considered in two gathered fields. Applicants who apply by the December funding competition deadline will be reviewed in December-January and can usually expect to receive a decision between late January-February. Any applications received after this date will be considered in a second gathered field after the closing deadline. Decisions are usually made in April-May.

Further information on How To Apply


Things You'll Need

In order to apply for this course you'll need to think about getting a few things ready before you apply.

  • Two academic references  
  • Transcript  
  • CV/resume
  • Evidence of competence in English  
    If required - you can check using our tool
  • Research proposal (M)
    A statement of intended research of between 500 and 1000 words. This can be an indication of which proposed topic (http://www.spri.cam.ac.uk/graduate/mphil/dissertation.html) the student wishes to research, together with any of their own ideas they wish to bring to the topic, why they wish to research that topic, and their experience in that area. Where students have their own proposed research, this statement must include a clear and concise outline of the possible dissertation topic, the candidate's reasons for choosing the topic including relevant experience and expertise, the principal sources of information, fieldwork requirements (if appropriate), and research methods.
  • Reasons for applying (1500 characters)
  • Sample of work (1)
    You will be asked to upload a sample of your work (between 3,000 and 5,000 words) that shows your capacity to prepare and write a critical scholarly argument, using customary scholarly apparatus (footnotes etc.) to a standard necessary to undertake a Master's level research degree. In the case of mature students hoping to return to university after some years away, a professional report on a subject related to the Polar Regions will also be accepted for consideration as part of the application.

Gates Cambridge Scholarships

If you wish to be considered for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship you will also need to provide the following:

  • Gates Cambridge Reference  
  • Research Proposal (PhD applicants only)

See Gates Cambridge for more information.


How to Find a Supervisor

Before making an application, you must satisfy yourself that advanced study in your chosen field can be effectively supervised by the Scott Polar Research Institute, and applicants should make contact with their chosen supervisor.

Please consult the Research page and Academic staff page on the Scott Polar Research Institute website to obtain an idea of its current research interests.

Apply Now

Key Information


9 months full-time

Master of Philosophy

Scott Polar Research Institute

Course – related enquiries

Application – related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Michaelmas 2021

Applications open
Sept. 1, 2020
Application deadline
March 31, 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

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