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Postgraduate Admissions

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The MPhil in Modern European History is a nine-month full-time programme which combines elements of formal teaching with extensive independent research. Students on the MPhil will join a group of researchers of all levels within the field of modern European history, allowing them to integrate into the research culture of modern European history at Cambridge.

The MPhil involves three assessed components:

  • a core course (eight two-hour classes) examined through an essay of 3,000-4,000 words (excluding footnotes and bibliography), worth ten per cent of the overall mark
  • two option courses (see representative list below; eight two-hour classes for each option) examined through an essay of 3,000-4,000 words (excluding footnotes and bibliography), each worth ten per cent of the overall mark
  • a dissertation (15,000–20,000 words) worth 70 per cent of the overall mark

In addition to the above, students will attend the weekly modern European history graduate workshop. Students must present their work once in the academic year at the workshop, and offer feedback on the work presented by others.

One to one supervision

All students admitted to the MPhil in Modern European History will be assigned a supervisor to work with them throughout the course, but crucially on the dissertation.

Students will meet regularly with their supervisor for one-on-one supervisions throughout the course. Frequency of supervisions will vary depending on the time of year, with the regularity of meetings increasing as the year progresses and the student begins to focus more on the dissertation. Students can expect at least one supervision session per term and normally eight across the year.

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

Seminars & classes

All students will take the core module, Controversies in Modern European History. The module is run with weekly seminars and key readings throughout Michaelmas term and aims to help students come to a foundational understanding of the key themes in modern European history, historiography and methods.

Students will also select two modules from a list of options offered by the Faculty's seven MPhil courses. Typically, students will select one module in Michaelmas term and one module in the Lent term. The courses offered each year may vary.

In recent years, the optional courses offered by Modern European History have included the following:

  • Europe on the Move: Central Europe in the 20th Century
  • The 1848 Revolutions
  • The Modern Mediterranean
  • The Soviet Union and Russia Since 1970
  • Year of Revolt: 1968 in Europe
  • Time and Temporality in History
  • Neoliberalism as a historical problem: European perspectives

Students are required to attend and participate in the weekly modern European history graduate workshop. This workshop is an excellent and extremely helpful forum for postgraduates to present work and also to learn a variety of skills. There are special sessions, for instance, on library and archival research, and on getting published, but it also provides a space for postgraduates to share work formally and informally.

Lectures

Although not compulsory, students are encouraged to attend relevant undergraduate lectures as indicated by their supervisor.

Posters and Presentations

All students will present their work at least once during the academic year and will receive feedback from academics and peers on their work-in-progress. This is not an assessed element of the course but is a valuable feedback tool for the dissertation.

Feedback

Students will receive regular constructive feedback throughout the MPhil.

Students can expect to receive:

  • regular oral feedback from their supervisor, as well as termly online feedback reports;
  • written feedback on essays and assessments;
  • oral feedback from peers during graduate workshops and seminars;
  • written and oral feedback on dissertation proposal essay to be discussed with their supervisor; and
  • formal written feedback from two examiners after examination of a dissertation.

Assessment

Thesis / Dissertation

The dissertation is Part II of the MPhil in Modern European History.

All students will submit a  of 15,000–20,000 words, worth 70 per cent of the overall mark. 

At the discretion of the examiners, the examination may include an oral examination on the dissertation and the general field of knowledge within which it falls.

Essays

Each of three modules in Michaelmas and Lent terms (one compulsory core, and two options) will require a 3,000–4,000-word essay (or equivalent). 

Each will count toward ten per cent of the final degree mark, for a total of 30 per cent. Taken together, these are Part I, and students must receive passing marks in order to move to Part II.

Students will also prepare a 2,000-word dissertation proposal essay due in the Lent term. This essay will be unassessed but students will meet with their supervisor to discuss the essay and get feedback in preparation for the dissertation.

Practical assessment

All students will present their work at least once during the academic year and will receive feedback from academics and peers on their work-in-progress. This is not an assessed element of the course but is a valuable feedback tool for the dissertation.

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Key Information


9 months full-time

Master of Philosophy

Faculty of History

Course - related enquiries

Application - related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Michaelmas 2023

Applications open
Sept. 15, 2022
Application deadline
March 31, 2023
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2023

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

Course Funding Deadline
Dec. 1, 2022
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 12, 2022

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2023, Lent 2024 and Easter 2024.


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