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Postgraduate Study

Course closed:

Philosophy is no longer accepting new applications.

The PhD course offers close supervision and extensive training, and is the standard entrance to the academic profession. The Faculty welcomes applications for this degree in a wide range of philosophical areas. The PhD culminates in the production of a thesis of up to 80,000 words, to be submitted between three and four years from the commencement of study for full-time study.  The PhD may also be done part-time, in which case the deadline for completion will be a minimum of five and a maximum of seven years. An oral examination will be conducted on the subject of the thesis and on the general field of knowledge within which it falls.

The PhD degree is awarded for an extended thesis which makes a substantial original contribution to learning.


Candidates currently studying for the MPhil  in Philosophy are welcome to apply while at Cambridge to continue to the PhD. Such applications are considered alongside external applications.

Open Days

The Postgraduate Virtual Open Day usually takes place at the end of October. 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.

See further the Postgraduate Admissions Events pages for other events relating to Postgraduate study, including study fairs, visits and international events.

The Faculty will hold an offer holders' event in March 2024 for PhD and MPhil offer holders (by invitation).

Key Information

3-4 years full-time

4-7 years part-time

Study Mode : Research

Doctor of Philosophy

Faculty of Philosophy

Course - related enquiries

Application - related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 4, 2023
Application deadline
Dec. 5, 2023
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2024

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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