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Postgraduate Admissions


There are different funding deadlines, depending on what course you’re applying for and if you are a US citizen applying for a Gates Scholarship:

*Please note these deadlines are for applicants for courses starting in the University's three termly starting points: Michaelmas 2022, Lent 2023 and Easter 2023.

These deadlines relate primarily to University and UKRI funds. Departmental and College funding may have different deadlines, which you should check carefully. 

Please check the course directory to find out which course funding deadline applies to you.

There are three ways to apply for University funding:

1. Automatically through the Postgraduate Applicant Portal

By ticking ‘I want to be considered for funding’ when applying through the Applicant Portal, you will automatically be considered for:

  • Most Cambridge Trust funds*, including the Vice-Chancellor’s Awards
  • ESRC (where eligible)
  • EPSRC (where eligible)
  • STFC (where eligible)
  • Some department and College funds

*The Cambridge Trust has a large number of varied funds, some of which have quite specific eligibility requirements. Therefore, you are invited in the Applicant Portal to indicate if there are any funds you feel you are particularly eligible as this will help us identify the most suitable funding for you. You are not required to indicate any specific funds in order to be considered.

To be considered for these funds, you will need to apply by the course funding deadline.

2. Through the Applicant Portal with some additional information

Other funds are still applied for through the Applicant Portal but require either additional fields within the form to be completed or an additional application form to be uploaded:

Gates Cambridge Trust

You are required to complete additional questions within the Applicant Portal (more information about applying to the Gates Cambridge Trust is available on their website).

NERC You are required to apply for a specific project, which you must list on funding section of the application form. A list of projects can be found on the NERC DTP page.
AHRC You are required to complete and upload an additional form. More information, including the form, can be found on the OOC DTP website. (Cambridge is part of a consortium with Oxford and the Open University; you are free to apply for admission to study at as many of the consortium institutions as you wish, but you must decide in advance which one you would like to apply to for DTP funding.)

Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholars Programme (HDPSP) 

You are required to provide a personal statement within the Applicant Portal - more information about applying for a Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholarship and guidance on writing the personal statement can be found on the HDPSP website.

Please note if you miss your relevant funding deadline, you cannot be considered for any of the funding opportunities above, though other departmental or College funding opportunities may still be open to you.

3. Through a separate form

Various other funds are administered separately and may require an additional form. A number of these are listed on the Student Funding Search but students are also advised to check the following websites:

  • Cambridge Trust: some of the Trust’s partners require a separate application form to be submitted directly to them but you must tick the funding box on the Application Portal form in order to be considered. The deadline for the additional application may be different to the course funding deadline.
  • Colleges
  • Departments

Other funded opportunities

From time to time the University receives studentship money for specific projects (usually from Research Councils), which are administered outside of the usual admissions process. These funded studentships are usually listed on the University jobs page but can also be found on the Funded Studentships page under Courses.

There are also other sources of funding outside the University available; please see the Loans and External Sources of Funding pages.

Once you’ve become a current student (usually doctoral, not Masters), there may be opportunities to supervise undergraduate students to gain teaching experience and a small additional income, though you should not depend on this when planning your finances. Some departments may offer Teaching or Research Assistantships, though these are rare.

Q. When will I hear?

The majority of funding is offered in March and April. However, some Research Councils (NERC and MRC) may offer as early as February and other funding offers (for example from the Cambridge Trust) may be made as late as July. If you have not heard by the end of July, you should assume you have not been successful in securing University funding.

Q. What are my chances?

See more detailed breakdown on our funding infographics for recent admissions cycles:

Q. How is funding allocated (when applied for through the Applicant Portal)?

Q. How is funding paid to students?

How students are paid their stipend (maintenance) varies between funders, for example it may be monthly, termly or quarterly. Your funder will let you know as part of their offer of funding. Payment of fees will be directly between your College (who creates the invoice) and your funder.

Q. Are there any means-tested or widening participation funds available?

There are Widening Participation Masters bursaries available for UK students applying for a Masters course in 2022/23 who come from a disadvantaged background or underrepresented group.

Q. If your research involves travel, how can this be funded?

This depends on which department you are in and on how you are funded. Some funders will offer support for ‘additional research costs’, which may include travel. A number of departments and Colleges will also have specific travel funds.

Q. What is a Cambridge Doctoral Studentship?

Some funds may describe themselves as a ‘Cambridge Doctoral Studentship’. This indicates that the fund meets a certain level of support for students that includes: covering fees either at the home or oversea rate; a maintenance stipend at the UKRI rate for up to 3.5 years; support for students taking intermission for medical or parental reasons; covering visa and health surcharge costs for overseas students.