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Postgraduate Admissions

Teaching

One to one supervision

Students might reasonably expect to see their supervisor fortnightly or at least three times a term. Supervisors normally take care to provide written comments on written work, and to 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 could expect 10-12 hours of supervisions over the course of each academic year.

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 Section research seminars and public lectures.

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

Annual progress interviews constitute a system for the formal monitoring by the Degree Committee of the progress of all students working towards a PhD. Termly progress interviews take place in the fourth year of the 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 first-year interview is the context in which registration as a candidate for the PhD is formally considered. Satisfactory progress is a condition for being and remaining registered as a doctoral student.

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Key Information


3-4 years full-time

5-7 years part-time

Doctor of Philosophy

This course is advertised in multiple departments. Please see the Overview tab for more details.

Course – related enquiries

Application – related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

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.

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

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