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Postgraduate Admissions

Course closed:

History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine is no longer accepting new applications.


The MPhil programme is administered by the MPhil Manager, who meets all new MPhil students as a group in early October, then sees each of the students individually to discuss their proposed essay and dissertation topics. The Manager is responsible for finding appropriate supervisors for each of these topics; the supervisors are then responsible for helping the student do the research and writing needed for the essays and the dissertation. Students will see each of their supervisors frequently; the Manager sees each student at regular intervals during the year to discuss progress and offer help and advice.

Supervisions are designed to provide students with the opportunity to set their own agendas for their studies. The supervisor's job is to support the student's research, not to grade their work – supervisors are formally excluded from the examination process.

One to one supervision

13 hours per year.

Seminars & classes

Approximately 30 hours per year.

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


22 hours per year.


Students receive formative feedback from supervisors and independent reports from two assessors on each of their three essays and the dissertation.


Thesis / Dissertation

MPhil students submit a dissertation of up to 12,000 words at the end of the Easter term. Examiners may request an oral examination, but this is not normally required.

Students are permitted to write their dissertation in the same general area as one of their essays. In such cases, the dissertation and essay have to address different questions, and the dissertation must give evidence of a substantial new research effort.


Students are also assessed by three essays of up to 5,000 words each, one from each of three subject areas, on subjects approved by the Degree Committee.

Key Information

9 months full-time

Master of Philosophy

Department of History and Philosophy of Science

Course - related enquiries

Application - related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 1, 2021
Application deadline
Feb. 28, 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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