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Postgraduate Admissions

I am a current PhD student in the ASNC department having completed my MPhil in 2014–15, and I am very thankful for the excellent preparation for my current studies that the MPhil provided. The MPhil program helped me to hone my research skills for my PhD by testing a variety of skills including reviewing literature and orally presenting research. I found the interdisciplinary emphasis of the department, as well as the stress on broadening knowledge beyond my own subject area of Old English literature, to be extremely valuable. The reading in the MPhil seminar of key medieval texts was a helpful means of engaging with the intellectual background of my own texts. The graduate seminars and the graduate CCASNC conference were a fascinating window into the wide-ranging fields of research across the Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic area, and these encouraged me to consider my own research in a wider context. The department itself is very friendly and welcoming, and this, along with its excellent resources, made it a great environment in which to complete my MPhil.

Emma Knowles (April 2016)

I'm currently a second-year PhD at ASNC, having done the MPhil here in 2013–14. I arrived as a slightly terrified teenager, uncertain as to what it would be like to join a different university and department. Fortunately, it just so happens that ASNC is one of the most welcoming and inclusive departments anyone could hope for. It’s one of the smallest departments in the university, and, partly because of this, there’s a strong camaraderie between all levels of the department: academic staff, administrative staff, graduates and undergraduates.
The cohesive nature of the department also contributes to the high level of interdisciplinary interaction. Not only are all members of staff leading experts in their fields, they’re also extremely approachable and generous with both knowledge and time. This can have a direct impact on the research of graduate students – there aren’t many departments in the world where a student researching Old Irish literature, for instance, has access to leading specialists in Old Norse literature as well. There’s also a broad range of research and specialisations within the graduate community itself, making it another useful source of stimulation and advice. To be an ASNC student is to be immersed in a melting pot of medieval goodness. The ASNC MPhil course is rigorous and challenging. But undergoing these challenges is extremely rewarding. Having continued into the PhD after my MPhil, I’ve experienced first-hand just how important each aspect of the MPhil was in training me in some of the most crucial skills required in academia. Knowing how to produce different types of written work, including reviewing existing scholarship, is essential. Knowing how to interact with primary texts of different genres and origins is essential. Being able to divide time between numerous academic commitments is essential. Within nine months, the MPhil course trained me to do all of these things – and more – to the level expected of a PhD student.



Jonathan Hui (April 2016)

I was a graduate student (MPhil and PhD) in ASNC in 2001–6 and I am constantly aware of the excellent basis for a career in academia that the Department offered me. Presenting at the graduate seminars (and at the annual symposium the graduates organise) was invaluable preparation for speaking at bigger conferences, and the experiences I had supervising and lecturing were similarly beneficial. Yet, the graduate provision far exceeded the chance for 'trial runs' of various kinds. The vibrant and friendly interdisciplinary culture of the Department and – above all else – the incredible care and attention my work received from my supervisor, made ASNC a stimulating, supportive and rewarding place in which to be a graduate student. On submitting my PhD in 2005 I was fortunate to be appointed as Junior Research Fellow at Trinity College, for four years, but then in 2008 the chance of a permanent post came along, so I took up my position as Lecturer in Celtic in the Department of Celtic and Gaelic at the University of Glasgow. My employers have been very generous and far-sighted in allowing me, after a year's teaching, to return to Cambridge for one more year to finish my Research Fellowship and it's great to be back.

Geraldine Parsons (March 2010)

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Key Information

9 months full-time

Master of Philosophy

This course is advertised in multiple departments. Please see the Overview tab for more details.

Course – related enquiries

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Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Michaelmas 2021

Applications open
Sept. 1, 2020
Application deadline
June 30, 2021
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2021

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

Graduate Funding Competition
Jan. 7, 2021
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 14, 2020

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2021, Lent 2022 and Easter 2022.

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