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Department of History and Philosophy of Science




When should I apply?

We will accept applications from 15 September 2022 for admission in October 2023.

The deadline for applications is 28 February 2023 for the MPhil and 16 May 2023 for the PhD.

However, there are earlier deadlines for applicants who are applying for funding. See the table below:

15 September 2022 Postgraduate admissions open
12 October 2022 Deadline for Gates Cambridge (USA)
1 December 2022 Deadline for Gates Cambridge (other countries), Cambridge Trust and AHRC
28 February 2023 Final deadline for MPhil applicants
16 May 2023 Final deadline for PhD applicants

All deadlines are 12noon UK time on the date stated.

We receive a large number of applications each year, so early submission is advisable.

Is there an interview?

Yes, admission is subject to an interview. The interview, with one or two senior members of the Department, can be conducted by phone or online if it is not practical for you to travel to Cambridge (unless the interview is for the part-time PhD, in which case it must be in person).

Should I submit three academic references?

No, we will not accept more than two academic references.



Can you tell me if I am sufficiently qualified to be admitted to the MPhil course?

The best way for us to assess your suitability is for you to submit a complete application. We are unable to give you a preliminary assessment of the chances of your application being successful.

Our normal requirement is a first class honours degree from a university in the UK, or a degree of an equivalent standard from an overseas university.

Postgraduate Admissions: International qualifications

Can I be admitted straight to PhD studies or do I have to complete the MPhil first?

Applicants are not normally admitted as a PhD student unless they have completed either the MPhil or Part III course in the Department or a similar course at another university. If you apply for the PhD we may offer you a place on the MPhil course instead if we judge that it would be more appropriate for you.

My first language isn't English. Do I have to take an English language test before I can apply?

No, you do not have to submit an English language test result with your application, but you may be required to pass an English language test before you can start the course.

Postgraduate Admissions: Competence in English

Do I need to take a Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test?

No, this is not a requirement; we are unable to accept GRE test results.


Study mode

Can I study HPS as a part-time student?

We offer a part-time PhD, but the MPhil can only be taken as a full-time course.

Should I apply to start the PhD in Lent Term?

Although it is possible to start the PhD in Lent Term (January), we strongly recommend that all PhD students should start in Michaelmas Term (October). Please note that you will not be eligible for any University funding if you start in Lent Term.

Can I study by distance learning or online learning?

No, we do not offer any distance learning or online learning courses.


Further information

Where can I find information about the number of applicants?

Postgraduate Admissions: Admissions statistics

Who should I contact if I have any other questions?

Please contact the Department.