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Graduate Admissions

Teaching

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:

  1. a core course (eight two-hour classes) worth ten per cent of the overall mark
  2. two option courses chosen from a list offered by the Faculty (eight two-hour classes for each option) each worth ten per cent of the overall mark
  3. 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.

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, and the onus is on students to organise these sessions, but students can expect at least one supervision session per term.

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 optional modules from a list of courses offered by the Faculty. 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 have included the following:

  • Russia and the West in the 18th and 19th centuries
  • Year of Revolt: 1968 in Europe
  • European Spring: New Perspectives on the 1848 Revolutions
  • Europe in the Age of the Barricades
  • The USA and Cold War Europe

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

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

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

All students will submit a thesis 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 thesis 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

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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