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Postgraduate Admissions

Course closed:

Philosophy is no longer accepting new applications.

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 £70 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.

Selection Process

Applications are considered as a gathered field, once the application deadline has passed. The Faculty aims to notify all applicants of the outcome of their application during February, and by March at the latest.

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
  • Sample of work (1)
    All applicants must provide one piece of philosophical work of between 3,000 and 5,000 words long. (Please note that one longer piece is not acceptable). An applicant needs to be able to write concisely as well as clearly, so exceeding the word limit will harm an application.
  • Sample of work (2)
    All applicants must provide a second piece of philosophical work of between 3,000 and 5,000 words long. (Please note that one longer piece is not acceptable). An applicant needs to be able to write concisely as well as clearly, so exceeding the word limit will harm an application.
  • Reasons for applying (1500 characters)
    Applicants should use this space to explain briefly their motivations for postgraduate study in philosophy: e.g. aspiration for an academic career, pursuing particular research projects, desire to work with particular faculty members, acquiring skills relevant for non-academic careers.
  • Statement of interest (1500 characters)
    Applicants should use this space to describe their research interests and to explain why the Faculty at Cambridge would be a good fit for their intended projects – e.g. research interests of particular faculty members, research groups in relevant areas.
  • Research proposal (M)
    Please provide a detailed research proposal of approximately 500 words.

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

It is not a condition of applying to the PhD in Philosophy that applicants have already secured in-principle agreement from a potential supervisor. However, an important consideration for the Faculty when deciding which students to admit would be having staff within the Faculty who are able to supervise a student. Applicants can see a list of Faculty staff and their areas of interest here.

Applications would be looked at as a whole - i.e. academic record, references, writing samples, research proposal and fit with the Faculty. However, if an applicant's proposed area of research doesn’t fit in with the areas of interest of Faculty staff, then applicants might be best advised to look at other courses/departments.

Key Information


3-4 years full-time

Doctor of Philosophy

Faculty of Philosophy

Course – related enquiries

Application – related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 1, 2020
Application deadline
Dec. 3, 2020
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2021

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

Graduate Funding Competition
Dec. 3, 2020
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 14, 2020

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2021, Lent 2022 and Easter 2022.


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