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Postgraduate Admissions

Course closed:

Medieval and Renaissance Literature is no longer accepting new applications.

The MPhil in Medieval and Renaissance literature is one of the most successful courses of its kind. Each year it attracts a first-class intake of students from the UK and abroad, and its graduates have an outstanding record in gaining employment in the academic world and outside. The Medieval and Renaissance strands are separate, but it is possible to borrow some elements, and this is not uncommon. Each student works closely with a member of the Faculty on his or her chosen dissertation topic, as well as participating in seminars and classes. Training in how to read a manuscript and early printed materials ensures that every student on the course is able to make use of the extensive collections in the University Library and in College libraries.

Cambridge has a distinguished international reputation in English and in many other fields in the humanities (for example, Classics, Modern and Medieval Languages, History, Philosophy, and History of Art), and students on this course may be able to attend lectures offered by any faculty within the school. This creates a learning environment which naturally enables interdisciplinary work. The course lasts nine months, with the last few months being devoted to intensive work on the dissertation.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course students should have developed:

  1. comprehensive knowledge of their chosen area of research and of the critical debates within it;
  2. a wider knowledge of the literary writing of the period and the traditions that inform scholarship devoted to that writing; and
  3. skills in palaeography and codicology which will enable them to undertake research in the field.


MPhil students may apply to continue to a PhD in English; the minimum academic condition for continuation is a pass in the MPhil course. Other conditions may be imposed.

Open Days

The Open Day usually takes place at the beginning of November. The event is suitable for those considering applying for postgraduate study at the University. It provides opportunities to meet with academics, explore the Colleges, and find out more about the application process and funding opportunities. Visit the Postgraduate Open Day page for more details.

Key Information

9 months full-time

Master of Philosophy

Faculty of English

Course – related enquiries

Application – related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 1, 2020
Application deadline
Jan. 7, 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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