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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.

Applicants for the full-time PhD should expect to enter the Department in October as we no longer accept entry at other times due to the fact that the research training programme begins in Michaelmas term. 

Part-time applicants can apply for flexible start dates, however should note the deadlines for the University's funding competitions which run on an annual basis. For residence, visa and other requirements check the Part-time Graduate Study Guide.

It is important to note that the part-time PhD at Cambridge is not a distance-learning course. Part-time students are expected to fully engage with the Institute, to integrate into the research culture of the University and to attend the University on a regular basis for supervision, study, skills training, research seminars and workshops.

Applicants can see the list of current PhD topics for an indication of the wide range of topics currently being researched, and are advised to consult the list of potential supervisors on the Institute of Criminology website. 

If you wish to contact potential supervisors before submitting a formal application, you should reflect carefully on which staff member best matches your academic interests (please consult supervisor profiles for details on their research interests). When contacting a member of staff, it is essential to send a copy of your research proposal (see below for guidelines) and not just a general statement of interest.

If no potential supervisor is expressly stated in your application, the Admissions Panel will try to match applicants with willing supervisors based on academic interests and area of expertise, but there is no guarantee that this would always be possible.

Proposals for doctoral research are unlikely to be successful if there is no suitable supervisor available within the Institute.

Applications for the PhD in Criminology must be made through the University's Graduate Admissions Office. The formal PhD application process will begin with the submission of your application through the online Applicant Portal.

Selection Process

Applications are considered as they are received on a rolling basis. Interviews may be conducted in person, over the phone, or via Skype depending on the location and availability of parties involved. Applicants applying for funding need to ensure their applications are submitted in full by the relevant deadlines and that their applications make clear how they meet any specific selection criteria stated by the funder.

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
  • Statement of interest (1500 characters)
  • Research proposal (M)
    Please upload a research proposal no more than four pages (~2,000 words) in length (not including the bibliography). You can view further guidance on the Institute of Criminology website: https://www.crim.cam.ac.uk/Courses/ph-d-courses/how-to-apply
  • Sample of work (1)

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

Applicants can see the list of current PhD topics for an indication of the wide range of topics currently being researched, and are advised to consult the list of potential supervisors on the Institute of Criminology website. 

If you wish to contact potential supervisors before submitting a formal application, you should reflect carefully on which staff member best matches your academic interests (please consult supervisor profiles for details on their research interests). When contacting a member of staff, it is essential to send a copy of your research proposal (see below for guidelines) and not just a general statement of interest.

If no potential supervisor is expressly stated in your application, the Admissions Panel will try to match applicants with willing supervisors based on academic interests and area of expertise, but there is no guarantee that this would always be possible.

Proposals for doctoral research are unlikely to be successful if there is no suitable supervisor available within the Institute.

Apply Now

Key Information


3-4 years full-time

5-7 years part-time

Doctor of Philosophy

Institute of Criminology

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.

Applications open
Sept. 3, 2019
Application deadline
Jan. 14, 2021
Course Starts
April 17, 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 2, 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.

Applications open
Sept. 1, 2020
Application deadline
Jan. 14, 2022
Course Starts
April 17, 2022

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

Graduate Funding Competition
Jan. 7, 2021
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 14, 2020

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