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Course options

  • Qualification

    PhD/DPhil - Doctor of Philosophy

  • Location

    University of Cambridge

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date

    01-OCT-22, 05-JAN-23, 17-APR-23

  • Duration

    3 years

Course summary

If you are exploring the possibility of a PhD degree in Earth Sciences, you will:

  • have either done an undergraduate degree in an earth science subject or, perhaps, want to use your degree from another science subject such as physics, chemistry, mathematics or biological sciences;
  • be relishing the stimulus of one of the UK's premier research departments.

Our students are greatly sought-after. Over the last five years, about 25 per cent of our 80 PhD graduates have gone into the energy and other industries; 25 per cent to research fellowships; 30 per cent to work on research grants and contracts; 10 per cent directly into university teaching posts and 10 per cent into non-scientific posts including the civil service. Many of the research fellows have also subsequently gone into industry, university and research institute posts.



The thesis is not to exceed, without the prior permission of the Degree Committee, 275 numbered pages of which not more than 225 pages are text, appendices, illustrations and bibliography. A page of text is A4 one-and-a-half-spaced normal size type. The additional 50 pages may comprise tables of data or computer programmes reduced in size.

The examination shall include an oral examination on the thesis and the general field of knowledge within which it falls.


All PhD students will be expected to submit a short report within eight months of starting. The report will be up to 2,000 words in length (plus figures). It should summarise the aims of the project within its wider research area, the student's activities and results so far, and outline plans for the next stages of work. Progress will be determined by the assessment of this report.

Students will also be expected to complete transferable skills training during the PhD.

By the end of the programme, students will have:

  • a comprehensive understanding of techniques, and a thorough knowledge of the literature, applicable to their own research;
  • demonstrated originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in their field;
  • shown abilities in the critical evaluation of current research and research techniques and methodologies;
  • demonstrated self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and acted autonomously in the planning and implementation of research; and
  • produced a thesis for examination.

Application deadline

16 May 2022, 04 October 2022, 14 January 2023

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 33,972per year

Tuition fees shown are for indicative purposes and may vary. Please check with the institution for most up to date details.

University information

University of Cambridge

  • University League Table


  • Campus address

    University of Cambridge, The Old Schools, Trinity Lane, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, CB2 1TN, England

Subject rankings

  • Subject ranking

    1st out of 30

  • Entry standards

    / Max 240
    223 100%


  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    90.0 90%


  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5

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