Graduate Study at Pembroke

Often people decide to move to other universities for graduate work, because they want a change or are attracted by particular courses. Equally, many wish to stay in Cambridge to take advantage of its world-class research reputation and opportunities. Listed below are the opportunities for graduate study at Pembroke and where you might go for further information and advice. The College has a lively graduate community with, currently, 160 registered for PhDs and about 50 on various one-year courses (including MPhil). About half are from overseas.

Information and advice

Frances Kentish in LL4 runs the Graduate Office, and assists the Graduate Admissions Tutor, Nick McBride, in dealing with admissions matters. He is happy to explain about the Board of Graduate Studies (BGS), application forms, funding procedures, deadlines etc. Many of the deadlines are set fairly early in the academic year, so it is important to start thinking about your plans now. The Tutor for Graduate Affairs is Professor Loraine Gelsthorpe (SPS/Law) and the team of graduate tutors also includes Dr Caroline Burt (History), Dr John Durrell (Engineering), Dr James Gardom (Theology) and Dr David Huggins (Chemistry) who, together with your Director of Studies and Tutor, are available for discussion. (Fellows’ knowledge of graduate admissions matters goes well beyond their individual subjects.) There is a good deal of information about graduate study on the University and Pembroke websites.

The Graduate Parlour (GP)

The GP runs a lively social programme, including a regular weekly BA dinner in the Old Library and other activities such as Pembroke Papers, a discussion forum. For details consult the Graduate Parlour officers.

Financial support

Securing funding for postgraduate study is even more competitive than securing a place on a postgraduate programme. Pembroke values its postgraduate community, and historically we have offered generous financial support to our postgraduates. We aim to maintain, and ideally to enhance this support in the coming years.

Pembroke Master’s Awards offer a contribution to funding for Pembroke undergraduates intending to remain at Pembroke to study for Master’s degree. They are awarded on merit and are open to students in all subjects, and eligibility will normally be restricted to students who proceed with a Master’s degree within two years of taking a BA.  Any Pembroke undergraduate who wishes to be considered for a Pembroke Award must ensure that the College has received their Master’s application by 15 February 2018.  Applicants should bear in mind that different departments have different deadlines.  As the budget for these awards is finite, they will be allocated according to the following criteria:

  • Academic achievement (normally denoted by a First in finals).
  • Academic promise (as evidenced through an intention to continue with a PhD and through supporting letters from two referees).
  • Students must apply for all other forms of financial support they are eligible for, and will be expected to take up those awards in the first instance.

Because the level of funding available is finite and depends on the number of successful applicants, the college intends to announce the sum that will be offered to each applicant by the end of February 2018. It will be at least £6000 for any student who takes or has taken a First in finals.

Additional grants are available to subsidise research expenses for PhD students – for example conferences, archival visits, books, fieldwork and medical electives.


Pembroke students who are considering taking a PGCE are welcome as graduate students in the College.

Foundation Award Holders

Students who are awarded a Foundation Scholarship whilst an undergraduate at Pembroke and who continue to graduate work at Pembroke, will become Foundation Award Holders and will receive £200 p.a. in each subsequent year that they remain a student at Pembroke, until they qualify for the MA (ten terms after graduation).


Currently 60% of all Pembroke graduate students are housed in College accommodation. Some prefer to live out of College, but the College hopes to be able to offer accommodation to all those Pembroke students continuing onto graduate work. There is a limited number of flats for couples or those with children. For all graduate students, accommodation can only be confirmed at a fairly late stage, once funding arrangements have been agreed, and so some Pembroke undergraduates may prefer to look for private lodgings earlier in the year.