Research course

History and Philosophy of Science

University of Cambridge · History and Philosophy of Science

Entry requirements

Applicants for this course should have achieved a UK Masters (Distinction).

If your degree is not from the UK, please check International Qualifications to find the equivalent in your country.

Applicants for the PhD are expected to have previous training at master’s level in a relevant field, with a first-class/distinction result (or non-UK equivalent). Applicants will only be admitted to the PhD programme if they have an exceptionally strong background in the field and a well-conceived research proposal on a topic that can be plausibly supervised by academics in this department (in collaboration with colleagues from other departments if necessary).

Months of entry

January, October

Course content

The Department of History and Philosophy of Science currently has around 70 PhD students, their thesis topics covering the full range of history and philosophy of the sciences and medicine. PhD students are part of an exceptionally lively interdisciplinary community, with unparalleled opportunities to learn from and exchange ideas with staff, postdoctoral researchers and visitors here and across the University, and to use the outstanding facilities.

Before a student can be admitted, a member of the Department's teaching staff, approved by the Degree Committee, needs to agree to supervise the PhD. The supervisor is responsible for guiding the student's studies throughout their years at Cambridge, including by giving regular and detailed feedback on written work. In addition, each student is assigned an advisor by the end of the first term who then continues as part of the supervisory team throughout the PhD.

Students are encouraged to attend the research seminars, workshops and reading groups that make the Department a hive of intellectual activity. The Department also offers a postgraduate training programme, which focuses on research skills and career development.

Information for international students

Language Requirement

IELTS (Academic)

Element Score

Listening 7.0

Writing 7.0

Reading 7.0

Speaking 7.0

Total 7.5

TOEFL Internet Score

Element Score

Listening 25

Writing 25

Reading 25

Speaking 25

Total 110


Score: Grade A & B (overall score of 193, with no element lower than 185 plus a Language Centre assessment)


Score: Grade A, B, or C (with at least 200 with no element lower than 185).

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    full time
    36-48 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    48-84 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details