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How to Apply

How to Apply for a PhD or Masters in Classics at Cambridge

Key Dates

  • 5th September 2016 - Applications Open
  • 12th October 2016 - Gates USA Funding Deadline
  • 12th November 2016 - Postgraduate Open Day
  • 7th December 2016 - Gates & Cambridge Trust Funding Deadline
  • 4th January 2017 - AHRC Funding Deadline
  • 27th April 2017 - Applications Close
  • October 2017 - Graduate Courses Begin!

Note for MPhils: Even if you are not seeking funding from Cambridge sources, you are strongly urged to apply by 4 January 2017. The number of offers we make is capped centrally and we review applications as a gathered field. Later applicants may find that places are already committed.

Note for PhDs: New PhD students can begin their course at the start of any term throughout the year. However, the funding timetable is structured around an autumn start, and the same applies to graduate seminars, Freshers events, etc.

The Application Procedure

All applications are made electronically with an online Applicant Portal through the University's Graduate Admissions Office

The Faculty itself has extra requirements, further to the standard application form. These are uploaded to your application as supporting documents.

NB: After submitting your online application form, there may be a delay of up to 48 hours before you are able to access your self-service account and submit supporting documentation.

Funding

If you are seeking funding for your course, there are specific deadlines and eligibility criteria for each distinct funding competition. Please check the Student Registry funding webpages for details of eligibility and the Funding Overview section of the Graduate Admissions Office website for application deadlines. The Faculty also has information on its own funding competitions, here.

For funding purposes, the deadline refers to the date on which you submit your online application. Supporting documents can be uploaded later. It is vital that you submit your application by the earliest relevant deadline for any funding that you wish to be considered for.

Application Checklist

If you are applying from outside Cambridge, your application needs to include:

  1. Two academic references
  2. Transcripts from your previous degree(s)
  3. Research proposal (up to 500 words) - see note 1
  4. Summary of Attainments in Classics - see note 2
  5. Samples of academic written work - see note 3

Additionally, you may need:

  • a personal reference (if applying for Gates Trust funding)
  • proof of your English Language qualification (if English is not your first language)

Current Cambridge Students

If you are applying from within Cambridge, you will not need to supply:

  • a Cambridge transcript
  • samples of written work
  • a summary of attainments in Classics

Should your self-service page prompt you for these items, please upload a document stating, "This condition has been waived".

After the Application - What Next?

  1. Once you press submit, your application is forwarded to the Faculty.
  2. Two academics (with relevant expertise) will read your application, and decide whether or not to invite you to interview.
  3. If you are invited to interview, this will either be in person (for UK applicants), or via Skype (for international applicants).
  4. Afterward, your interviewers will write a joint report that is sent to the Faculty's Degree Committee.
  5. The Faculty carefully examines both the application and the joint report, and then makes its own recommendation to the central University.
  6. The University then sends out a notification to the applicant, either of an offer being made, or of rejection.

Due to the unusual structure of Cambridge University, these decisions can take a little while to filter through the various committees and departments that must consider them. As a result it may take several weeks for a decision to come through after your interview. We thank you in advance for your patience!

Applications are usually considered in gathered fields, grouped around the funding stages. For example, those applying for Gates Funding are considered together, interviewed and then shortlisted for funding, before moving on to the next group.

Please be aware that this process may take several months. You can check the status of your application at any time via your self-service page but if you have any particular queries or concerns please .

Notes

[1] Research Proposals: While there is a box on the application form for a research proposal, the space is limited and formatting is very sparse. It is recommended that you upload a research proposal (of no more than 500 words) as a separate document.

Also note:-

MPhil Applicants - As the MPhil is primarily a research course, your chances of acceptance will be greatly improved if you submit a brief research proposal, outlining some of the areas, themes and questions that you might wish to examine. It is also worth considering how these ideas might fit into the framework of the MPhil course (i.e. three essays and a thesis). This does not need to be detailed, as we are well aware that interests change and projects develop.

PhD Applicants - You should give as much information as possible about your likely subject of specialization. This should outline the basis for your interest in the proposed subject (including some bibliography), detail your sense of the principal issues of current debate and where you stand with respect to them, and inform us of what exactly you hope to be able to achieve or contribute to our understanding of the field through your own research.

This does not prevent you from negotiating a change in your topic later, but it does help us to decide how well we can cater for your needs, whether you are qualified to undertake the research, and who your initial main Supervisor should be. You are free, if you wish, to say on your application form who your preferred Supervisor would be, and you may find it helpful to contact possible Supervisors to discuss possible projects before applying.  (You can find on this site a list of Faculty members and their research interests).

[2] Attainments in Classics:

MPhil Applicants - Please give us an idea of your experience with the classical world to date. A list of texts that you have read in the original Greek or Latin would be ideal. If you have not previously had an opportunity to read much Latin or Greek, then an idea of the modules you have studied and a list of texts you have studied in translation. This is particularly important if your undergraduate qualification is not entirely in Classical subjects.

PhD Applicants - So that we have an idea of the extent of your experience of Greek and Latin where that is relevant to your research proposal, please list all the Latin and Greek texts that you have read at any point in the original language (e.g. Homer Odyssey 11–13; Thucydides 1; Plato Crito, Meno, Laws 10; Lucretius 3, Vergil EcloguesGeorgics 4, Aeneid 1, 4, 8, 12, Juvenal Satires (all); Tacitus Annals15).

[3] Samples of Academic Written Work: The Faculty has no rigid requirements for samples of work. We typically receive two essays of up to 5,000 words each, or a single piece of up to 10,000 words. Ideally, we want to see recent academic writing (on a relevant subject) in which the applicant examines a question with some degree of depth. That said, we are aware that many degree courses only ask students to write shorter pieces than this, and that is also acceptable.

It is obviously a great help if the work is written in (or translated into) English, but our academics are used to reading work in the major languages of classical scholarship (English, French, German and Italian).

RSS Feed Latest news

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Professor Jack Davis and Dr Sharon Stocker (Department of Classics, University of Cincinnati), ‘Sometimes All That Glitters Is Gold: The Tomb of the Griffin Warrior at Pylos’, 5 pm on Monday 10 October. To reserve your place please reply to pylos.lecture@classics.cam.ac.uk by Monday 3 October.

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Applications are welcome for two temporary lectureships in Classics (Ancient History) from 01 January 2017. Please see the Jobs & Vacancies page for further information.

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Applications are sought for a Research Associate (Archaeology) from 01 November 2016. For more information and details on how to apply, please see the Jobs & Vacancies page.

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Aug 19, 2016

Tim Whitmarsh, A. G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture, will deliver his Inaugural Lecture, “Oedipus the Atheist”, on Friday 14 October at 5pm in the Little Hall, Sidgwick Site. This begins a weekend of Classics celebrations including the Greek Play and a Symposium on Greek Drama at Newnham College.

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