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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.

Although it is possible to start the PhD in Lent term (January), we strongly recommend that all PhD students should start in the Michaelmas term (October).

Selection Process

The Department has a rolling admissions process: applications are considered as they are received.

Admission is subject to an interview with one or two senior members of the Department. The interview may be conducted in person, by phone or online (unless the interview is for the part-time PhD, in which case it must be in person).

Applicants can expect to hear whether they have been successful within six weeks of submitting their completed application and required supporting documents.

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)
    The research proposal should be a detailed description of the project of your doctoral thesis, of at least 600 words.
  • Sample of work (max. 5)
    You should submit one or more examples of your written work, such as essays or a dissertation, in areas relevant to the graduate study you wish to pursue. You may submit an essay you have written specifically for this application, but please indicate if this is the case. The writing samples must be entirely your own work, fully referenced and in English. There is no word limit.

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

Prospective applicants are advised to contact a potential supervisor with a draft proposal, CV (with grades) and writing sample at least a few weeks before the deadline. See 'Why study HPS at Cambridge?' for a list of potential supervisors.

Apply Now

Key Information


3-4 years full-time

5-7 years part-time

Doctor 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. 3, 2019
Application deadline
Oct. 4, 2020
Course Starts
Jan. 5, 2021

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

Michaelmas 2021

Applications open
Sept. 1, 2020
Application deadline
June 30, 2021
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2021

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

Applications open
Sept. 1, 2020
Application deadline
Oct. 4, 2021
Course Starts
Jan. 5, 2022

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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