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Application Information

Applications for the MPhil and PhD in Sociology are made via the postgraduate admissions website, simply search for "Sociology" in their course directory.


The Department of Sociology operates a “gathered field” admissions process in which applications are collected and processed in three rounds. All applicants are encouraged to apply early, if possible, as the availability of supervisors will decrease from round to round as places are awarded.


Deadlines for applications

Funding Competition

Outcomes of applications

1st Round

5 Dec 2023


Early February

2nd Round

15 Feb 2024


early April

3rd Round

24 April 2024 (MPhil)

1 May 2024 (PhD)


Early June

Entry Requirements

Applicants to our postgraduate programmes must meet the minimum entry requirements specified by the University of Cambridge. These requirements include:

  • MPhil: A high 2.1 (3.6/4 GPA) or international equivalent, in a bachelor’s degree in Sociology or a related discipline (see "Requirements" FAQ).
  • PhD: A Merit grade or international equivalent, in a master’s degree in Sociology or a related discipline (see "Requirements" FAQ). Students registered for an MPhil at Cambridge must achieve an overall mark of 70% for their MPhil, and a mark of 70% for their dissertation.
  • English proficiency: If English isn’t your first language, you will be required to submit evidence that you meet the University’s English language requirement.

Research proposal

All applications should include a research proposal, the length of which, excluding references, should be approximately:

  • 1,000 words for MPhil applicants
  • 2,000 words for PhD applicants

The research proposal should contain:

  • A clear, viable and well-motivated research question
  • A brief literature review, outlining the state of knowledge in your chosen area and the gaps which your research is intended to fill
  • The data and research methods you propose to employ
  • You may also like to explain your own interest in the project, and any skills or experience which mean you are particularly well equipped to undertake the work.

No special formatting is required; please do not include appendices.

Nominating a supervisor

Postgraduate applicants are required to indicate a preferred supervisor in their application using the designated box on their application form.

Supervisors act as academic advisors that help students plan their individual study programmes and provide guidance throughout the course of study. As a result, it is important that there is some overlap between students and their supervisors in terms of research interests or approach. Applicants can find a list of supervisors, their research interests and availability in our list of available supervisors.


You will need to supply at least two academic references, and your referees will need to upload these before the application deadline. Please ensure that you contact your referees in plenty of time, because if the references are not received by the course deadline, your application will be withdrawn.


The Department of Sociology will usually interview all competitive PhD applicants. Topics to be covered in interviews will vary depending on the nature of particular candidates’ application, their proposed research project and their particular academic background.

Candidates need not prepare for these interviews but should anticipate a discussion pertaining to their research proposal and preparation for postgraduate study in the Department. These interviews also give candidates an opportunity to ask any questions they may have about the University, Department or course.

Fees and Funding