The PhD in Digital Humanities, run by Cambridge Digital Humanities and based in the Faculty of English, is a research-intensive programme that will enable students to engage at doctoral level with projects demanding the use of digital methods, tools, or adopting critical/theoretical orientations. The programme expands the humanities offering at research postgraduate level at Cambridge by offering a route for cross-disciplinary engagement, responding to the growth of the field of Digital Humanities as a research area.

The programme is designed to enable students from many areas of the arts and humanities to develop practical skills and knowledge and to generate the necessary critical literacy to understand and engage with digital research, and digital cultures, and to respond to questions arise around the ethics of automation, algorithmic analysis, privacy/surveillance, virtual cultures, data sharing, intelligent agency and creativity, archival justice and digital histories, and to explore work in relation to collections and heritage issues.

Through supervisions and technical support from a research software engineer, contextualised by a research culture providing research led seminars and lectures, guest seminars, and practice-driven workshops, CDH provides the conditions for original PhD research in Digital Humanities or in other arts, humanities, and social science disciplines that make a significant intervention into shaping the field.

Watch the 2023 applicant information session below. Register to attend the 2024 applicant information session.



Digital Humanities is an intrinsically interdisciplinary field: we therefore will consider candidates from almost any academic field. You might have a grounding in History, Archaeology, Literature, Linguistics, Art History, Economics, Computer Science, etc. The degree itself involves working with a range of materials from Cambridge Libraries, Museums and Collections and other disciplines.

Academic qualifications

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

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

University Minimum Academic Requirements

MPhil students in Digital Humanities from Cambridge who wish to continue to the PhD may apply to do so, subject to meeting certain conditions. The expected standard for continuation to the PhD at Cambridge is normally:

  • An overall mark of 70 or more for the MPhil course
  • A mark of 70 or more for the dissertation/portfolio submitted as part of the MPhil course
  • Other conditions may also be imposed as deemed necessary

See general entry requirements for the University of Cambridge




2025-2026 fees TBC

2024 Home students: £9,387

2024 Overseas students: £28,401


Anyone who applies to a postgraduate course at Cambridge can also apply to be considered for funding.

Every year the University of Cambridge awards over £100m in scholarships to new postgraduate students. This money comes from many generous University and College endowments, as well as government Research Council (UKRI) funds. A lot of our students also fund their studies from external sources such as charities or government schemes and loans.

Our major internal sources of funding are:

    • Cambridge Trust
    • Gates Cambridge Trust
    • Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholars Programme (HDPSP)
    • Research Councils (UKRI)
    • Colleges and departments

Find a general funding overview here 

European Funding Guide

The European Funding Guide is the largest online-platform in the EU for finding financial aid. The platform contains over 12,000 scholarships, grants and awards across the whole EU worth more than 27 billion Euros per year. Over 4,000 of these are specifically targeted at UK students.


General Enquiries:

Postgraduate Administrator (Suzanne Daley):

Admissions Enquiries:




Applications for PhD entry in the academic year 2025-26 will open in September 2024. The deadline is usually early January.

Applications for entry via Gates (US) scholarships  in the academic year 2025-26 will open in September 2024.

For more information and a link to the application portal, look up Digital Humanities in the Postgraduate Course Directory after applications open.

Subscribe to the postgraduate mailing list to be informed when deadlines are announced.


Do I need to contact my prospective supervisor to discuss my proposal?

Doctoral applicants need not send enquiries to potential supervisors prior to application. Supervisors are allocated after the admissions process and allocation depends on a number of factors in addition to research interests.

What kinds of methodologies and projects are most popular at CDH? What research areas are  CDH develop in the future?

Our aim is to further an expansive form of Digital Humanities that encompasses work with collections, literature as digital humanities, global digital humanities, critical media theorisation, digital media, methodological advancement, future and emerging technologies including AI and machine learning, and much more. You can find out more about our research activities at and a general statement about our research areas at

Regarding the application, what is an eligible ‘sample of work’?  

The sample of work can be one long piece or several shorter essays (max. 5) amounting to around 5,000—7,000 words in total. You will also need to provide an 800-word research proposal. Find the full list of materials required for PhD applications.

Does you accept applicants who already hold a PhD?

Yes. However, applicants who do not hold a PhD are not at a disadvantage.

If we are currently awaiting results from our MA/MSc studies, would it be best to wait for these results to be released before applying, or is it okay to apply beforehand?

You can apply before you have been awarded your marks for your MA/MSc, but you will have to have your marks before you are administered to the PhD course. You would simply add a predicted grade to your application form e.g. ‘Merit predicted’.

What should the research proposal look like?

A PhD research proposal should be 800 words long. It needs to give those assessing your application an impression of the strength and originality of your proposed research, and its potential to make a contribution to knowledge. It should be written in clear, jargon-free, and unexceptionable prose. Grammatical mistakes and typographical errors give a very bad impression. You should make sure you cover the following areas (without explicitly dividing the proposal into headings).

  • the research topic: briefly outline the area and topic of your research.
  • the research context: relate your proposed research to other work in its field or related fields, and indicate in what ways your research will differ; you might mention monographs on the subject, as well as important theoretical models or methodological exemplars. This is a chance to show your understanding of the background against which your research will be defined.
  • the contribution you will make: this is your chance to show how you have arrived at your position and recognised the need for your research, and what it is that makes it both new and important; you should indicate what areas and debates it will have an impact on, what methodological example it sets (if appropriate) – in short how it contributes to knowledge and to the practice of our subject. Give examples of the sort of evidence you might consider, and of the questions it might help you to raise. Show that you are already thinking about the area in detail and not only in outline.
  • your methods: in some cases there will be little to say here, but if there is something striking about your methodology, you should explain it.
  • the sources and resources you will use: you should delimit your field of enquiry, showing where the project begins and ends; in certain cases, Cambridge will have unique collections and resources of central relevance to your project, and you should mention these.
  • how the project will develop: you might indicate some of the possible ways in which the project could develop, perhaps by giving a broader or narrower version depending on what materials and issues you uncover

My research looks at a topic that isn’t fully covered by the supervisory team at CDH. Can I still apply to the programme?

Research proposals that move beyond the specialisms of our supervisory team may still work within CDH, however, you may wish to consider applying to a PhD programme in another department. You will be able to engage with our programme and graduate training opportunities as a Cambridge student even if you aren’t based in CDH.

How can I better evaluate whether my research would fit with Cambridge Digital Humanities?

If you are unsure whether your intended research fits with the research specialisms available at CDH, please contact us at

Can we apply for part-time studies at CDH?

Yes, you can apply for part-time study.

Does the October deadline for the Gates scholarship apply to US students already studying in the UK? Is the early round of the Gates scholarship exclusively for US-citizens?

Please see the Cambridge Gates Scholarship website for more details about application deadlines and eligibility.

Can I submit one of my publications as the writing sample for my application?


How do I find funding?  

The main way to find funding is via the University’s Postgraduate Funding Search, which contains:

A lot of our students also fund their studies from external funding sources such as charities or government schemes and loans. Anyone who applies for a postgraduate course at Cambridge can also apply to be considered for funding to help cover their fees and costs. There are also specific funding opportunities available to applicants from underrepresented backgrounds from both UK households and abroad, including application fee waivers. Normally ‘full’ funding covers everything (including fees and living expenses), but there are sometimes opportunities for partial funding though this is less common.

For general information about postgraduate funding visit:

For contextual data and widening participation funding, visit:

If you can’t find what you’re looking for, please email us with any questions at

Is there a difference between funding opportunities for part-time and full-time PhD applicants?

Tuition fees are essentially the same, just divided up into more years. We don’t control funding directly, so you should check with the specific funder you are targeting.

For more information about postgraduate funding, visit:

Is it normal to expect to do fieldwork for the PhD project?

It depends on the nature of the project – fieldwork might be appropriate if you are carrying out interviews or observations, but if you are working on archival sources, it wouldn’t be.

Where can applicants find details relating to the word count and format for the covering letter, the proposal, and writing sample?

To apply for this course, you’ll need to prepare a number of materials. Please see the full list of requirements on the ‘How to Apply’ section of the application portal:

  • Two academic references 
  • Transcript 
  • CV/resume
  • Evidence of competence in English: If required – you can check using our tool
  • Covering letter: Applicants need to submit a single page covering letter explaining their rationale for wishing to undertake the course and justifying their case for a place.
  • Research proposal: Please submit a 800-word research proposal
  • Sample of work (max. 5): Please submit a sample of work which can be one long piece or several shorter essays amounting to around 5,000–7,000 words in total.

If you wish to be considered for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship you will also need to provide the following:

  • Gates Cambridge Reference 
  • Research Proposal (PhD applicants only)

See Gates Cambridge for more information.

If we have mitigating, contextual circumstances that have impacted our grades (e.g. health issues, family situations), how can we best share this context with the department on our applications?

There is room on the application form to include contextual circumstances.

When is the deadline to apply?

The general deadline for autumn 2025 entry will be early January 2025 (date to be confirmed in September). US citizens, who are based in the US, and are applying for a Cambridge Gates Scholarship must submit their application by early autumn – date to be confirmed soon.

To be notified when further information becomes available, subscribe to the postgraduate mailing list.



Professor Caroline Bassett

Professor Caroline Bassett

Director, Cambridge Digital Humanities; Professor of Digital Humanities

Dr Leonardo Impett

Dr Leonardo Impett

University Assistant Professor in Digital Humanities

Dr Anne Alexander

Dr Anne Alexander

Senior Research Associate; Learning Director

Dr Hugo Leal

Dr Hugo Leal

Teaching Associate

Cambridge Digital Humanities

Tel: +44 1223 766886