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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 £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.

Applications are considered by the Admissions Committee on a rolling basis once applications open in September.

The course receives many applications and feedback on applications can not be given.

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
  • Statement of interest (1500 characters)
    Applicants must include a statement of interest explaining why they wish to do this course and how it fits into their long-term career plans.
  • Research proposal (M)
    Please provide an outline of the proposed research topic, indicating: the background and aims of the research and the methodology and data to be applied (if relevant).
  • Sample of work (1)

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

Supervisors can be named from the Centre of Development Studies. Your research topic must come within their area of expertise and there must a strong link to Development Studies. Applicants should contact an available supervisor to discuss their proposal before applying. Academics currently available for PhD supervision are listed here.

In exceptional circumstances, applicants may name a supervisor from another department, if the research proposal and the proposed supervisor both have a strong link to Development Studies. In these cases, before submitting the application the proposed supervisor should confirm their willingness to supervise the candidate and contact the PhD Director to outline why the PhD would be best undertaken in the Centre of Development Studies rather than their own department.

In all cases, following appropriate research on the most relevant choice, a suitable and available supervisor and a proposed research title must be included in the correct place on the application. (This is found on the first page of the Application Form, in the "Research" section, "Proposed Supervisor" and "Proposed title of Research")

Please note that applications will be rejected should they fail to propose an available supervisor and/or a research title.  

Apply Now

Key Information


3-4 years full-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
Jan. 7, 2021
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2021

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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