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Postgraduate Study

I was eager to study for a PhD in French at Cambridge after getting a taste of the vibrant academic community at MMLL during my MPhil in European, Latin American, and Comparative Literatures and Cultures. What appealed most was the opportunity to continue working with academics in my immediate field of nineteenth-century French. Over the years, I have learned much from the stimulating papers and discussions that have taken place at the Nineteenth-Century French Seminar and have gained some wonderful friends and colleagues too.  More broadly, the French Section and the Faculty have offered a wealth of opportunities that have benefitted my personal and professional development: I’ve had the chance to attend, present at, and convene the French Graduate Research Seminar; I’ve received fieldwork funding to support archival research in Paris; and I’ve gained experience in teaching and lecturing undergraduate students. Not to mention, the host of practical workshops on making funding applications, turning a thesis into a monograph, and preparing for careers in and beyond academia.    

Eleanor (May 2023)

The French department was the most important part of my time at Cambridge. Through the department, I gained access to a whole range of resources, including funding for lengthy research trips to Paris, support for conference organization, and a structured professional development programme. Even more important than this professional support was the intellectual generosity which characterises the department. Not only did I have access to close dialogue with experts in twentieth-century philosophy, but I also benefited immensely from considerate advice given by specialists in a diverse range of fields – from contemporary film to nineteenth-century fiction, from medieval literature to early modern thought. This type of generosity and attentive engagement marked my whole experience of the department. I saw this continuously in the commitment, rigour and abundant support offered to me by my supervisor; but also, in the dedication and respect shown by academic and administrative staff to students, as well as the exuberant and stimulating atmosphere among the graduate students. This generosity makes the department a wonderful intellectual community and a nurturing and stimulating environment to pursue a PhD.

Cillian (April 2020)

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Key Information


3-4 years full-time

4-7 years part-time

Doctor of Philosophy

Department of French

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Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 15, 2022
Application deadline
Oct. 4, 2023
Course Starts
Jan. 5, 2024

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

Michaelmas 2024

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.

Applications open
Sept. 4, 2023
Application deadline
Oct. 2, 2024
Course Starts
Jan. 5, 2025

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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