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Academic requirements

To study either the MPhil or the PhD in Sociology applicants should have achieved the equivalent of at least a high 2.1 (A-, 3.7/4 GPA) grade in their relevant bachelor or master degree.

To be eligible for PhD studies in the Department of Sociology applicants must have a master degree. Please note that neither the MPhil nor the PhD are conversion courses. You need to have studied sociology or a closely related subject such as political science or economics. Exceptions can be made if sociology and research methods modules were taken during undergraduate studies or master studies respectively.

Students continuing from a Cambridge MPhil onto the PhD in Sociology need to gain at least 70% in their MPhil dissertation and 70% overall.

English proficiency

You will have to fulfill the requirements set by Graduate Admissions

Supporting documentation

Research proposal

The research proposal should be around:

  • 1,000 words long for the MPhil application.
  • 2,000 words long for the PhD application.

Special formatting is NOT required.

The research proposal should contain
•    A clear research question. Give a clear idea of the viability and importance of the research you propose.
•    Methodology by suggesting appropriate research methods.
•    A brief literature review that describes the viability and importance of the research you propose.
You may also want to mention your ability and interest in doing the work.


Applications should contain transcripts of ALL previous university studies. It is not sufficient to upload only degree certificates. Applicants should also mention on the Applicant Portal any studies they have withdrawn from.


Two academic references are required, one of them preferably by the supervisor of the last course studied. For Gates Scholarship funding a third, personal reference is required.

Written work

Applicants may submit written work. This can be an essay written for your previous course, a published academic article or another piece of writing that you feel shows your suitability for the course.