The Division has a thriving PhD programme in Human Evolution and Behaviour, Human Population Biology and Health, and Primate Ecology and Genetics. Applications to carry out doctoral research within these research areas are welcomed from well-qualified candidates.
The PhD is an opportunity for original research leading to a dissertation within a structured research environment that encourages both independence and collaboration. A PhD degree in Biological Anthropology is normally obtained after three years of study (five years part-time) on an approved subject within the field of Biological Anthropology, and includes an oral examination of the thesis and the general field of knowledge in which it falls.
The thesis topic is normally proposed by the student and then decided between the student and the supervisor, and assistance is provided on elements of methodology and analysis, as well as with the written presentation. The thesis must satisfy the examiners that the candidate can design and carry out investigations, assess and interpret the results obtained, and place the work in the wider perspective of the subject. Most PhD students begin their studies in October, but starting dates at the beginning of January or April are also possible. The PhD is assessed solely on the basis of the thesis examination.
A PhD thesis in Biological Anthropology must represent a significant contribution to knowledge of not more than 80,000 words, excluding appendices, footnotes and bibliography. Students may be required to complete courses in research design, statistical analysis, interpretation, communication and University safety during their first Michaelmas term at Cambridge, and attend such lectures and courses as are considered appropriate by their supervisor.
A PhD thesis in Biological Anthropology is expected to be a lucid, scholarly and substantial research contribution to knowledge on its topic, and to demonstrate a good understanding of the wider context of the chosen topic.
MPhil students wishing to continue to the PhD in Biological Anthropology are required to achieve a High Pass mark of 68 overall in Biological Anthropology or a related subject, to submit a PhD research proposal and to obtain the support of an appropriate supervisor. In some circumstances additional academic conditions may be set to ensure that appropriate skills, such as language competence, are in place prior to admittance on the PhD programme.