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Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)

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Entry Requirements

  • It is a requirement for applicants to hold at least a 2.i honours degree from a UK university or a minimum GPA of 3.7 from a US university or the equivalent. (Please click here for country equivalent
  • For those whose first language is not English and who have not previously studied for a degree in an English language university, evidence of proficiency in English: an IELTS score of 7.5 (with a minimum of 7.0 in each individual component).
  • A desire to make a positive impact on public policy – whether in government, industry or the third sector, at a national or international level.
  • As this course is aimed at career professionals, we are looking for candidates with at least two years professional experience. For exceptional applicants, we will consider less than this but are very unlikely to admit applicants who have not yet completed their Undergraduate degrees.

Please note: If you are not predicted to achieve these academic requirements it is very unlikely you will be offered a place on the course as we receive a large volume of applications from very well qualified applicants. If you do not achieve the required English Language scores you will not be admitted.

Selection Criteria

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Applicants who have been accepted or whose application has been rejected will be notified as soon as a decision has been made.

Apply Online 

To apply for this course see the information on the Postgraduate Admissions webpage.

When you have completed the necessary preparation and you are ready to begin your online application, you should take note of the following important information before you create your application.

  1. There is an application charge of (GBP Sterling) £50 per application. You can make the payment by providing your card details when you submit the online application.
  2. Your application is not complete without the required supporting documentation which can be uploaded via the Application Portal. 

Please see our Postgraduate Application Guide for further information on the application process.

Upload Supporting Documentation

Applications should be made using the Graduate Applications Portal, all supporting documents should also be uploaded using the portal.   

Applications will not be considered by the Department until all the documents are uploaded, as the Graduate Admissions Office only releases complete applications to Departments. Incomplete applications will not be considered for funding, even if you apply in time. We do not chase applicants for missing documents. 

Incomplete/inactive applications (i.e. those which have been missing documents for a considerable length of time) will be withdrawn by Graduate Admissions, and will therefore never reach the Department. 


Required Documentation

First Academic Reference
Second Academic Reference

Please see this website for information on who to nominate as your referees, and how they submit their references. 

Personal Reference
This is only required if you are applying for the Gates Cambridge Scholarship.


Please see this website for information on how to upload your transcripts. 

Evidence of Competence in English if English is not your first language

You do not have to have a language test certificate when you apply. Whilst this is preferable, this can be uploaded during any part of the application process - and if an offer is made, can be included as one of the conditions of admission. You can find the "No Current Language Test Form" on this website.

The same form should also be used when you wish to request a language test waiver - there is an option on the form for this purpose. 

An 800 word statement of interest

This should outline the applicant's interest in public policy, why the applicant is choosing to study in Cambridge and where they see their career progressing after leaving the course

A 1000 word writing sample

This should detail a policy issue of interest, why it is important and how it should be tackled. It can be presented in the format of a policy brief or as a conventional essay.

Your current CV