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Postgraduate Admissions

Course closed:

Education is no longer accepting new applications.


At the start of their PhD, students participate in a Pathways to Research programme that establishes a learning community of doctoral students and scholars in the Faculty, while at the same time orienting students to key questions, debates, and methodological innovations in contemporary, world-leading educational research.

In addition, students plan out a programme of research development that draws on resources across the University of Cambridge and beyond. The duration and the frequency of sessions will likely vary depending on prior research, education and experience.

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 are 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 the Cambridge Postgraduate Supervision Reporting System.


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, 2021
Application deadline
March 31, 2022
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2022

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

Graduate Funding Competition
Dec. 2, 2021
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 13, 2021

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2022, Lent 2023 and Easter 2023.

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