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Graduate Admissions

The MPhil in Modern European History focuses on the study of continental Europe from roughly the middle of the 18th century to the present day. The course offers an introduction to key themes and selected topics in modern European history, as well as intensive methodological and historiographical training in the social, cultural, political and economic history of modern Europe. Taught options vary from year to year but have recently included courses on 19th-century France, Imperial Russia, the Eastern Bloc, the Cold War, Fascism, and the politics and culture of the 18th century.

The MPhil in Modern European History combines taught and research elements over a nine-month full-time programme. The taught elements include three modules, as well as training workshops and seminars, and all students will also complete a long piece of independent research (15,000–20,000 words). Students will usually need a reading knowledge of the language of the country they wish to study, though this is not a formal requirement, especially for topics with a transnational focus.

Throughout the course, students will be individually supervised by an expert in the field, who will guide their research towards the completion of an original historical subject chosen and developed by them. In addition, students will benefit from Cambridge’s vibrant research environment in modern European history, attending and participating in guest talks, workshops, research seminars and other events throughout the year.

The course is designed for those who have completed degrees in which history is the main or at least a substantial component and who want to consolidate their knowledge of modern European history. It is particularly appropriate for those who may wish to continue on to a PhD, at Cambridge or elsewhere, but it is also well-suited for those who seek simply to explore modern European history at a deeper level. It is expected that this will be the normal means by which those without an appropriate master’s degree from elsewhere will prepare for the PhD degree in modern European history at Cambridge.

Cambridge graduates in modern European history go on to enjoy successful careers in many fields within and beyond academic life, including law, journalism, and the administration of NGOs and international organisations.

Learning Outcomes

Students on the MPhil in Modern European History will be provided with an in-depth study of some of the key areas of research in modern European history and all students will have a supervisor who will guide them through the requirements of the course and, most crucially, the dissertation.

In this manner, all students are provided with the historiographical knowledge and analytical skills necessary to understand and evaluate existing research and to pursue research in their own fields of intellectual interest. Through individual supervisions and group classes, students are introduced to the more specialised and intensive nature of research required at a postgraduate level.

By the end of the programme, students will have acquired:

  • a deeper understanding of their chosen area of modern European history and the critical debates within it;
  • a conceptual and technical understanding that enables the evaluation of current research and methodologies;
  • the technical skills necessary to pursue primary research in their chosen area; and
  • the ability to situate their own research within current and past methodological and interpretative developments in the field.

Continuing

The Faculty’s MPhil programmes provide excellent preparation for doctoral study and many of our MPhil students choose to stay at Cambridge to pursue a Cambridge PhD.

Students wishing to continue to the PhD are normally expected to achieve an overall average of 70 in their MPhil with a mark of at least 70 in their dissertation.

Admission to the PhD is always subject to the availability of a suitable supervisor.


Open Days

The University of Cambridge will be hosting its Cambridge Postgraduate Open Day on Friday 1 November 2019. Visit the Postgraduate Open Day page for more details.

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Key Information


9 months full-time

Master of Philosophy

Faculty of History

Enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Michaelmas 2020

Applications open
Sept. 2, 2019
Application deadline
March 31, 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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