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Department of Psychology

Application deadline - To start October 2024

Applications for October 2024 will open from September 2023.

Funding Round Deadline
Gates Cambridge (USA) Wednesday 11 October 2023
All other funding rounds Tuesday 5 December 2023

All deadlines are 12.00 (UK time).

The Department will continue to accept applications up until Wednesday 24 April 2024 for October 2024 start date. Any application submitted after 5 December 2023 will not be considered for the funding round.

Watch the School of Biological Science Virtual Postgraduate Open Days 2023

Step 1 - Identify a potential supervisor/supervisors

Prospective PhD and MPhil students must nominate a prospective supervisor on their application. It is essential that applicants contact a prospective supervisor, and receive their support to apply, before submitting their application. The support of a prospective supervisor does not guarantee the applicant a place on the course, nor does it guarantee funding.

You are expected to make email contact with those staff whose research is of interest to you in order to discuss research possibilities, and to determine whether the potential supervisor is able and willing to support your application. When contacting a potential supervisor you are requested to state the degree for which you wish to be considered and provide the following:

  • curriculum vitae detailing your academic record
  • brief details of your area of interest​​

Individual members of staff will be pleased to answer informal enquiries about specific research areas, and indeed candidates who are certain of their field of interest are encouraged to contact a potential supervisor at an early stage, to discover whether their research interests match those of the potential supervisor. This need to identify a supervisor willing to support your application early in the application process differs from a North American graduate school. At Cambridge candidates do not spend an extended period conducting research projects in different labs or taking courses in a large range of fields. Instead they begin research work at once under the guidance of their supervisor, attending lectures devoted to their chosen field and to general principles of experimental design and analysis.

Please inform the Postgraduate Administrator of whom you intend to contact and the outcome of your discussions. There are many reasons that a potential supervisor might not be willing or able to support your application.  However, if you receive a positive response to your enquiry and you wish to be considered for funding then you must proceed to step 2 as quickly as possible.  Please note the funding deadlines.

*Getting the support of a prospective supervisor is just the first step in the admissions process and does not automatically guarantee you a place on the course.


Step 2 - Submit a formal application

In order to submit your online application, you must consult the University's central Postgraduate Admissions pages. Here you will find all the information you need to submit your application.

It is important that you advise the Department's Postgraduate Office when you have submitted your application.

Research proposal

All prospective postgraduate students are required to submit a research proposal as part of the application procedure. 

The research proposal is an opportunity to show your prospective supervisor that you have interesting ideas, and that you have some idea of how to evaluate them.

It should consist of about two sides of A4, including references and it should include:

  • a clear empirical objective
  • some idea of the research methods you would use
  • relevant theoretical background

Firstly you need to lay out the theoretical background to your research question, and then provide a rationale for testing a hypothesis or two. You should briefly outline your methods, your sample, and the various techniques you hope to use. Finally give a brief statement of how the data will be analysed, and outline what various findings might mean.

If your proposed research will require you to work away from Cambridge for more than 3 weeks (e.g. fieldwork overseas), please let the Postgraduate Office know straight away, as Degree Committee approvals will be required before you can be offered a place or considered for funding.

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Funding Round Deadline
Gates Cambridge (USA) Wednesday 11 October 2023
All other funding rounds Tuesday 5 December 2023

The Department will continue to accept applications up until Wednesday 24 April 2024 for October 2024 start date. 

Any application submitted after 5 December 2023 will not be considered for the funding round.


Research Councils​

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