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Postgraduate Study

Course closed:

Asian and Middle Eastern Studies by Research (Japanese Studies) is no longer accepting new applications.


Students who take the Japanese Studies research pathway are expected to work closely with their supervisor throughout the year on a thesis of not more than 25,000-words which is submitted by mid-August.

During the year, MPhil students attend various training opportunities offered by the Department in codicology, text reading, fieldwork and other skills, depending on their chosen research topic. They are also encouraged to attend fourth-year undergraduate lectures and Faculty seminars, where relevant. They also attend postgraduate work-in-progress seminars where they have an opportunity to present their own work to their peers for feedback in a supportive environment. In consultation with their supervisor, students will also, where relevant, be encouraged to attend appropriate courses and seminars offered elsewhere in the university in subject areas related to students' research interests.

All prospective MPhil applicants are advised to read the staff profiles on our website to familiarise themselves with the research and teaching interests of staff members. Applicants should contact potential supervisors well in advance of their application by email, and discuss the proposed MPhil thesis topic both by email and either in person or by Skype/Zoom.

One to one supervision

Ten hours per year.

The University of Cambridge publishes an annual Code of Practice which sets out the University’s expectations regarding supervision.

Seminars & classes

There is no taught element to this course and no exams other than the defence of the thesis, but students are required to audit (actively participate) the Theories and Methodologies Seminar (JM1) for postgraduate students on Monday afternoons as well as attending public lectures.


Students will receive feedback on their work throughout the year from regular one-on-one supervisions with their supervisor. Supervisors will produce feedback via online termly supervision reports.


Thesis / Dissertation

Students will submit a thesis of not more than 25,000 words, including footnotes and appendices but excluding bibliography on a subject approved by the Degree Committee. All MPhil theses must include a brief abstract at the start of the thesis of no more than 400 words.

Students must have a viva examination (oral examination in person), which is normally held in September.

Key Information

12 months full-time

2 years part-time

Study Mode : Research

Master of Philosophy

Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

Course - related enquiries

Application - related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 4, 2023
Application deadline
May 16, 2024
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2024

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Course Funding Deadline
Dec. 5, 2023
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 11, 2023

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2024, Lent 2025 and Easter 2025.

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