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Postgraduate Study

Course closed:

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


This MPhil is by thesis only. It aims to give students an opportunity to develop their analytical, research and writing skills in preparation for further academic research or as a way to complement and enrich their interest in the Indian religious and intellectual traditions. The thesis-only format entails working closely with one supervisor throughout the year on a thesis to be submitted in mid-August.

The thesis will be on a subject approved by the Degree Committee, and has a word limit of not more than 25,000 words, including footnotes and appendices but excluding bibliography. An oral examination on the thesis and the general field in which it falls will be required.

Even though there are no taught courses, students taking the MPhil in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies by Research (South Asian Studies) may attend a weekly postgraduate seminar and other reading groups with PhD students and post-doctoral researchers, thus having an opportunity to interact with their peers and seniors in a supportive environment. They may also receive training in codicology, manuscriptology, and other skills. Where relevant, they are also encouraged to attend advanced undergraduate lectures and language courses. Students can also benefit from access to Hindi language literary sources under the guidance of the Faculty's teaching officer in Hindi.

All prospective MPhil applicants are advised to peruse the staff profiles on our website to familiarise themselves with the research and teaching interests of staff members. Applicants should contact prospective supervisors by email and discuss potential MPhil thesis topics.

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.


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