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Department of Psychology


The PhD degree is a minimum of three years of full-time research with an individual supervisor followed by examination of a research thesis in an oral examination. This is the principal research degree offered in the Department of Psychology and the great majority of our students are registered for this degree.

At the end of their first year of study students are required to complete a satisfactory First Year Report and Viva. A brief report (without viva) is required at the end of the second year and third year.

All candidates are expected to take part in the Department’s Graduate Education Programme and the Graduate School of Life Science’s Skills Training Programme.

Applications are usually considered in one round - for October entry. This allows applicants to compete for funding and to attend the Graduate Induction events held at the beginning of the academic year.

In some circumstances, it is possible to defer entry to Lent or Easter terms, or apply for a January or April start date. However, applicants should contact the Graduate Administrator in advance of submitting their application to discuss whether this option would be available to them.

Eligibility and application

Applications for graduate study in the Department of Psychology are made through the University's Graduate Admissions. We recommend that potential applicants take the time to familiarise themselves with the useful material on their web pages.

Academic requirements

Candidates who wish to become research students in the Department should usually have a good degree in psychology, neuroscience or in another related subject (for example, physiology, sociology, linguistics, computer science, or engineering), which may provide sufficient background for research in certain areas of psychology. Experience and/or training in psychology is not always a requirement, but may be advantageous for some research projects.

Graduate work in Cambridge is intense and very intellectually demanding and so the University has high academic entry requirements. You are normally expected to hold or to be about to achieve:

  • at least a 2.I honours degree from a UK university or an equivalent standard from an overseas university (On a 4-point GPA, we require a minimum of 3.5 out of 4)
  • a fluent command of the English language
  • completion of any current training or education course

You are not required to provide GRE scores.

Application deadline - To start October 2019

Applications for October 2019 opened on 3 September 2018.

The application deadline is 26 April 2019.


Find the answers to frequently asked questions.