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Postgraduate Study

Teaching

One to one supervision

Students might reasonably expect to see their supervisor every 2-3 weeks. Supervisors normally take care to provide written comments on written work, and give constructive criticism, but students should not expect actual marks. There is no need for written work to be provided for every meeting: general discussion and planning are vital too. The length of supervision can vary, depending on the stage a student is at and on the nature of the written work, if any, to be discussed. As a rule, however, such meetings generally last between 30 and 60 minutes.

Generally, a student will receive around 10-12 hours of supervision over the course of each academic year.  For part-time students, this is 6-7 hours.

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

Seminars & classes

Students are encouraged to attend the German postgraduate research seminars and the Section research colloquia.

Lectures

Attending lectures is optional but students are encouraged to take advantage of lectures offered across the university which are relevant to their research.

Feedback

Feedback on progress is provided through regular meetings with the supervisor. Termly supervision reports are written and are made available to the student online.

Assessment

Thesis / Dissertation

There is a normal word limit for the thesis of 80,000 words (including footnotes and appendices but excluding bibliography). The thesis should represent a significant contribution to learning through the discovery of new knowledge or through the connection of previously unrelated facts, or the development of new theory, revision of older views or some combination of these. In writing the thesis you are expected to take account of previously published work on the subject and the thesis should be clearly and accurately written, paying due attention to English style and grammar. Candidates for the PhD in Cambridge are guided by a supervisor, though they will normally also discuss their work with a number of other experts in their field.

Following the submission of the thesis, an oral (viva) examination is held.

Other

Regular progress interviews constitute a system for the formal monitoring by the Degree Committee of the progress of all students working towards a PhD. 

Postgraduate students are admitted in the first instance for a probationary period during which they are not registered as a candidate for the PhD degree. The registration interview in the third term (or fifth term for part-time candidates) is the context in which formal registration as a candidate for the PhD is formally considered. Satisfactory progress is a condition for being registered as a doctoral student.

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Key Information


3-4 years full-time

4-7 years part-time

Doctor of Philosophy

Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics

Course - related enquiries

Application - related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 15, 2022
Application deadline
Oct. 4, 2023
Course Starts
Jan. 5, 2024

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

Michaelmas 2024

Applications open
Sept. 4, 2023
Application deadline
May 16, 2024
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2024

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

Applications open
Sept. 4, 2023
Application deadline
Oct. 2, 2024
Course Starts
Jan. 5, 2025

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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