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Sociology Seminar

PhD in Sociology

The PhD in Sociology offers a world-class programme of research study in sociology supervised by experts in their respective fields. The Department of Sociology at the University of Cambridge is ranked first for Sociology in the Guardian's Best Universities league table and first for Sociology in the Complete University Guide League Table 2024. And the QS World University rankings list our departments as 2nd out of over 500 Sociology Departments across the world in 2023.

In the first year you are encouraged to take research methods courses offered by the Department and the Social Science Research Methods Programme (SSRMP) to build the methodological grounding of your individual research projects. 

The Department also offers a programme of seminars covering transferable skills such as academic writing, presentation skills and in-depth information about how to progress the PhD and the academic career. PhD students are supported by their supervisor and a faculty adviser.

Watch our open day video

The Programme

The course aims to provide all students with the skills they need to be professional researchers and academics. There is an organised programme of courses for first-year PhD students, which has three major components:

  • Basic academic and research skills, designed to provide the essential tools of academic work
  • The core training programme, which covers issues of social science research in general
  • Issues of research specific to particular disciplines or areas of interest, and research design, including the integration of methodological, theoretical and substantive issues

The standard period for PhDs is 3-4 years full-time or 5-7 years part-time.   Click here for further information about part-time PhD studies.

Part-time PhD

The part-time PhD course is 5-7 years in length. 

  • Part-time research students are expected to be in Cambridge for around 45 days per year, spread throughout the year, for lectures, supervision and other training.
  • International students who require a student visa to study in the UK are expected to apply for the full-time programme. This is owing to the restrictions of a part-time student visa. The University will only sponsor a student visa for the part-time option if the reason for studying part-time is due to a disability. Further information is outlined on the International Students webpages.

Meet our Candidates

Rebwar Salih

Rijak Grover 200

Rijak Grover

Amarpreet Kaur

Jennifer Chisholm 

(Graduated 2019)

What you can do with your PhD

Students who complete graduate programmes in Sociology have the opportunity to develop the analytical and writing skills to help them succeed in academia but also in careers such as health and social care, marketing and public relations, politics, and education, amongst others.

Choosing a supervisor

Postgraduate applicants are required to nominate a supervisor as part of their application. Find a list of the research areas and availabilty of our supervisors here.

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Making an application

Browse the essential information for applying to Sociology, including deadlines, entry requirements, the reseach proposal, nominating a supervisor, and our interview policy.

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Fees and funding

Check the financial considerations for postgraduate study at Cambridge, including fees and funding, accomodation and living costs, as well as career opportunities.

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Postgraduate FAQs

Find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding our postgraduate programmes, regarding applications, coronavirus guidance, course start dates, funding, references and more.

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