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Postgraduate Study

The MPhil at Cambridge is a challenging and rewarding experience that provides students with the chance to pursue independent research supervised by an outstanding Faculty. The program offers students who are so inclined maximum flexibility in developing and pursuing a research program commensurate with their interests and strengths. That flexibility can be daunting, but it also lays a solid foundation for pursuing further graduate study. If you require more structure for your learning or wish to undertake significant further graduate coursework, then the Cambridge MPhil may not be ideal for your purposes. But if you are looking for a program that will allow you to become a better philosopher while researching the topics that interest you, together with the help of skilful and generous supervisors, then I cannot recommend the MPhil at Cambridge highly enough. The program’s structure also gives students the time to attend many of the Faculty’s reading groups, workshops and seminars and to engage fully in the life of the Colleges and University. I have learned an immense amount since arriving in Cambridge and have thoroughly enjoyed my time here, so much so that I am still here for my PHD.

Alex Horne, MPhil Student 2017–18 (May 2019)

Overall being on the MPhil has been a challenging but very rewarding experience. 

It gave me the opportunity to work in three different areas of philosophy which I made use of working in philosophy of language, history of political philosophy and feminist philosophy. While I very much enjoyed doing so much independent work, organising my day was at times difficult, especially at the beginning. But I believe that having learned how to do and structure independent research during this MPhil will help me while working on a PhD. 

A further advantage of graduate study in Philosophy at Cambridge is the Graduate Centre with desks and computers where I work almost every day and leave my books. This allows me to hardly ever work at home, to be around other philosophers while working and I usually leave the Graduate Centre in the early evening. I, therefore, managed to make time for relaxation and non-academic activities much better than I did during my undergraduate degree also at Cambridge.

During the MPhil I also found time to participate in faculty life: organising reading groups, attending seminars and lectures as well as presenting my own work and doing some teaching has both deepened my philosophical knowledge in areas I am interested in and helped me gain confidence as a philosopher.

Paula Keller, MPhil Student 2018-19 (May 2019)

The MPhil at Cambridge was a chance to write longer papers and "do philosophy" in more depth. This formed an important bridge for me – over the course of the year, I narrowed down what I was interested in, and considered whether or not to do a PhD. My supervisors were very generous with their time and rigorous in their feedback.

Our regular meetings were a constant encouragement during a sometimes-hectic programme, and the highlight of my MPhil experience. The MPhil seminars provided a welcoming space to learn from others in my year group. Under the friendly guidance of two members of the teaching staff, we got plenty of practice at giving and chairing talks, as well as asking and answering questions.

Apart from this, the flexibility of the MPhil allowed time to pursue areas of interest through attending some of many lectures, seminars, reading groups and conferences going on in the University, which are open to all students. Overall, it was a great year allowing a taste of many aspects of academia – research, discussion, and even a bit of teaching. 

Rachel Robertson, MPhil Student 2014–15 (May 2017)

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Key Information

9 months full-time

Master of Philosophy

Faculty of Philosophy

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Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Michaelmas 2024

Applications open
Sept. 4, 2023
Application deadline
April 24, 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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