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Postgraduate Study

Course closed:

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


The MPhil programme is administered by two MPhil Managers, who meet all new MPhil students as a group in early October, then see each of the students individually to discuss their proposed essay and dissertation topics. The Managers are 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; one of the Managers 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 their essays and 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 two essays (of up to 5,000 words and 8,000 words respectively). The two essays should be in different subject areas, on topics approved by the Degree Committee.

Key Information

9 months full-time

Study Mode : Taught

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. 4, 2023
Application deadline
Feb. 28, 2024
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2024

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

Course Funding Deadline
Dec. 5, 2023
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 11, 2023

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2024, Lent 2025 and Easter 2025.

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