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Postgraduate Admissions

Course closed:

Education is no longer accepting new applications.


At the start of their PhD students plan out a programme of research training. The duration and the frequency of sessions will likely vary depending on prior research training. There are also some opportunities for mentored teaching, and for supervision of undergraduate activities.

One to one supervision

Full-time PhD students are entitled to 18 hours of supervision each year. Part-time PhD students are entitled to nine hours each year.

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


In the first year students will be encouraged to submit draft pieces of writing for formative written feedback from their supervisor. Following the registration viva (end of first year full-time or second year part-time) students receive written feedback from their advisor and a second independent assessor. Throughout the PhD, formative feedback is provided through supervisions. At the end of each term, supervisors write an online report which can be viewed by the student via their self-service account.


Thesis / Dissertation

The word limit for the PhD thesis is 80,000 words, excluding appendices, footnotes, reference list and bibliography. All students must attend a viva (oral examination).


The status of all PhD students upon admission is "probationary". By the end of the first year (or second year for a part-time student), a formal assessment of progress will be made.  Students submit a registration report (word limit 10,000 words) and attend a registration viva. Students will only be formally registered for the PhD when they have passed their registration viva and completed any corrections to their registration report as required by the assessors.

Key Information

3-4 years full-time

5-7 years part-time

Doctor of Philosophy

Faculty of Education

Course – related enquiries

Application – related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

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

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2021, Lent 2022 and Easter 2022.

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