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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 £75 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.

Please upload your Undergraduate as well as Master’s transcripts (if available) to enable us to better assess your academic background. Failure to upload your undergraduate transcripts may delay the processing of your application. 

Selection Process

Due to the large volume of applications that the Department of Chemistry receive we encourage applicants to apply as soon as possible.  All applicants eligible for the funding competition will be considered in a gathered field after the funding deadline has passed. However, some groups like to get started with interviews before this deadline to spread the workload, so we strongly advise applicants to submit their applications as early as possible to maximize their chance for an interview. 

Please note that incomplete applications (those missing one or both academic references) will be seriously disadvantaged. Applicants should ensure that academic referees submit references BEFORE the funding deadline.

The Department will be conducting interviews of shortlisted applicants by panels of at least two academic members of staff. Most of these interviews will take place in January, but some groups may also schedule interviews in December. Successful applicants will be made offers and entered for the funding competition by mid-February. 

Applicants for January or April start dates can compete for funding as long as they submit an application by the University funding deadline. However, January or April start dates are not generally encouraged as these students are unable to participate in our primary induction week in October, and we have found that students in these smaller cohorts miss out on social activities to make them feel at home in their first few weeks.

There are several categories of outcomes you could fall into following your application submission. Please make a note of the dates below before contacting admissions regarding the status of your application:

  • Shortlisted scholarship eligible candidates interviewed for competition – January.
  • Entered into scholarship competition – your offer will be processed at Departmental level and you will be informed that you have been entered into the scholarship competition by mid-February. Candidates who require an offer for specific external funding should inform the postgraduate office of this before mid-February
  • Interviewed but not entered into scholarship competition – your application may be on hold until the outcome of the scholarship competition is known (this can be up to the end of June) in order to gauge available places. During this time, you may be offered a place if other funding becomes available – this should be discussed directly with your prospective supervisorIf you are able to self-fund, please indicate this on your application. 
  • Not interviewed for scholarship competition - Your application will be considered with the gathered field for supervisor’s own funding. You will either receive a rejection or your application may be kept on hold until the outcome of the scholarship competition is known.

If you have not heard anything by April, please get in touch admissions@ch.cam.ac.uk

Applications submitted after the University funding deadline will be considered on a rolling basis. We strongly advise that you contact any prospective supervisor(s) BEFORE submitting an application as the small number of places available will have been filled by earlier applicants. These applicants should expect to hear whether they have been successful within six weeks of their completed application having been received. 

For more details please check here.

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
  • Experience
  • Supervisors
  • Research interests

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

There is an expectation that applicants will have a good idea of the area of chemistry in which they wish to conduct research, and that they will have already identified and made contact with the most suitable supervisor(s).  A list of Prospective PhD Supervisors can be found on the Department website. 

While it is not compulsory for applicants to have made contact with prospective supervisors, our successful applicants are often those who have made some contact prior to submitting their application.

We strongly advise contacting prospective supervisors if applicants are submitting after the University Funding deadline to avoid disappointment as many places will have already been filled.

Please note general and unfocused applications with no suitable prospective supervisor are likely to be seriously disadvantaged or rejected.

Apply Now

Key Information


3-4 years full-time

5-7 years part-time

Doctor of Philosophy

Department of Chemistry

Course - related enquiries

Application - related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

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.

Michaelmas 2022

Applications open
Sept. 1, 2021
Application deadline
May 16, 2022
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2022

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

Applications open
Sept. 1, 2021
Application deadline
Oct. 4, 2022
Course Starts
Jan. 5, 2023

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

Applications open
Sept. 1, 2021
Application deadline
Jan. 14, 2023
Course Starts
April 17, 2023

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

Graduate Funding Competition
Dec. 2, 2021
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 13, 2021

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2022, Lent 2023 and Easter 2023.


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