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Who can apply for a Higher Doctorate?

An application for a Higher Doctorate can be made by:

  • A graduate of the University of Cambridge of not less than eight years standing from admission to his/her first degree (to qualify as a graduate, a candidate must have a degree - qualifications such as diplomas and certificates are not degrees).
  • A person who has been admitted:
    both to some office in the University or to a Headship or a Fellowship of a College; and to the degree of Master of Arts under Statute B, III, 6; or to a degree of the University by incorporation;
    and is of not less than eight years standing from admission to his or her first degree of some other university

What evidence is needed?

In order to qualify for a Higher Doctorate, you will need to:

  1. Provide proof of distinction by some original contribution to the advancement of science or learning.
  2. Meet the eligibility criteria for the degree.

    In order to check if you do, please see the appropriate regulations below. The relevant Chapter of the Ordinances is Chapter VII.


Please check the eligibility criteria very carefully. Please note that the term 'admission' to a degree means the date on which the degree was conferred on a candidate, not the date the candidate began the degree.

How do I submit my application?

1. Complete and sign both an application form and a declaration form - these can be emailed to the Student Registry, sent through the post, or delivered in person (but please see below for information about current closure).

2. Submit your published works in support of your application by:

  • citing your publications by date using a full citation* - or
  • emailing pdf copies of the papers to the address below - or
  • sending two hard copies of any papers/books to the address below (but please see below re: current closure of Student Registry)

Hard copies of any books will need to be submitted - even if you are citing or sending pdf copies of any papers - and should a Referee ask for hard copies of papers you will need to undertake to supply these.

* The Degree Committees for History and Law require all works to be submitted as hard copies

Please note that 

Please note Student Registry is currently closed due to the covid-19 pandemic. If you need to submit hard copies of any materials we regret you will have to wait until Student Registry reopens - please do not post anything to us. If you email we will contact you when we are open. 

How do I contact the Student Registry?

Records and Exams, Student Registry, The Student Services Centre, New Museums Site, Cambridge CB2 3PT

  • By Email:
  • By Phone: 01223 766302 (number currently unavailable)
  • Materials can be posted to the address above (but please see above for information about current closure)


When will the Student Registry contact me?

The Student Registry will acknowledge receipt of your application, check your eligibility, forward your application to the relevant Degree Committee for consideration (provided you are eligible) and communicate their decision to you regarding whether there is, prima facie, a case for further examination of your work. Please note that consideration of an application may take longer than a year. 

Review and appeal: Note

Candidates should note that there is no procedure in University regulations for appeal or review of decisions in respect of applications for Higher Doctorates; the decisions of the Postgraduate Committee and of the Degree Committees concerned are final.