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Postgraduate Admissions

The PhD is a research-based course that introduces students to research skills and specialist knowledge.

The Materials Science Department in Cambridge leads a wide spectrum of cutting-edge materials research with state-of-the-art facilities. The Department has a thriving postgraduate school with more than 130 research students studying for the PhD degree in areas that address key problems in materials science (see details via the Materials Challenges page on the Department website.)

Up to 40 students are admitted to full-time PhD studies in materials science each academic year. The majority start in October, but a small number are admitted in January and April. Students are fully integrated into the research culture in the Department and join a research group and are supervised by one or two members of our academic staff.

Students wishing to apply for a PhD in Materials Science should investigate opportunities on the Department website. We encourage students to make contact with potential supervisors prior to applying.

Educational aims of the PhD programme

  • Give students with relevant experience at master's level the opportunity to carry out focused research in the discipline under close supervision.
  • Give students the opportunity to acquire or develop skills and expertise relevant to their research interests.
  • Give students training in transferable skills to broaden their horizon above and beyond the focus of their research in the Department.

Learning Outcomes

Through completion of a PhD in Materials Science and Metallurgy, students will have:

  • gained a comprehensive understanding of techniques, and a thorough knowledge of the literature, applicable to their own research;
  • demonstrated originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in their field;
  • shown abilities in the critical evaluation of current research and research techniques and methodologies;
  • demonstrated some self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and acted autonomously in the planning and implementation of research;
  • followed a comprehensive transferable skills training programme to develop skills and attributes for future careers and;
  • produced a thesis for examination.

Open Days

The Postgraduate Virtual Open Day usually takes place at the beginning of November. It’s a great opportunity to ask questions to admissions staff and academics, explore the Colleges virtually, and to find out more about courses, the application process and funding opportunities. Visit the Postgraduate Open Day page for more details.

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Key Information


3-4 years full-time

5-7 years part-time

Doctor of Philosophy

Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy

Course - related enquiries

Application - related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

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. 13, 2023
Course Starts
April 17, 2023

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

Michaelmas 2023

Applications open
Sept. 15, 2022
Application deadline
May 16, 2023
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2023

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

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.

Applications open
Sept. 15, 2022
Application deadline
Jan. 15, 2024
Course Starts
April 17, 2024

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

Course Funding Deadline
Dec. 1, 2022
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 12, 2022

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2023, Lent 2024 and Easter 2024.


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