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Graduate Admissions

Course closed:

Medieval and Renaissance Literature is no longer accepting new applications.


Students must attend regular seminars in Michaelmas and Lent terms on the Interpretation of Literary Texts (Medieval strand of the MPhil) or Texts, Context, and Methods (Renaissance strand), and weekly classes on Textual and Related Studies in Michaelmas Term.

Participants on the MPhil are required to attend a minimum of ten sessions selected from the fortnightly graduate research seminars for the year which must include the Renaissance seminar or the Medieval seminar as appropriate.

Students are also welcome to attend lectures in the English Faculty, as well as, if they wish, lectures in other adjacent faculties whose teaching might be of interest and relevance.

One to one supervision

At least eight one-to-one hours per year.

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

Seminars & classes

60-67 hours per year


Each student has a supervisor who gives advice on planning the year’s work and the dissertation in particular. Advice on the coursework essay is given by the convenor of the appropriate class and further supervision is offered by the dissertation supervisor, who reads a draft. Documentation offering specifications and guidance in relation to each element of assessed work is provided to students.

Progress is monitored through the discussion with each student of draft sections of their dissertations by their supervisor and through submitted work. The short written exercise, which is submitted in the Michaelmas term, is returned with feedback through the supervisor; the first coursework essay, which is submitted at the end of Michaelmas term, is returned with two examiners' comments at the beginning of Lent term; the Lent-term coursework essay and the TRS exercises are returned with comments at the beginning of Easter term. Supervisors write termly reports online which can be accessed by the student.



A 12,000–15,000 word dissertation submitted at the end of Easter term which contributes 50 per cent to the final mark.


A short written exercise related to the dissertation which is marked on a pass/resubmission basis.

Two 4,000-word essays. One is submitted at the end of Michaelmas term the other at the end of Lent term. These relate to the work pursued in the seminars taken which contribute 15 per cent each to the final mark.

A Textual and Related Exercise submitted at the end of the Lent term which contributes 20 per cent to the final mark.

For the Renaissance strand, there is also an examination in palaeography at the end of Michaelmas Term.

Key Information

9 months full-time

Master of Philosophy

Faculty of English


Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 2, 2019
Application deadline
Jan. 7, 2020
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2020

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

Graduate Funding Competition
Jan. 7, 2020
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 9, 2019

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