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Graduate Admissions

The French Section offers PhD supervision in an exceptional range of areas of French and francophone studies. It contains world-leading researchers in the literature, thought, and culture of the Middle Ages, the early modern period, the 19th century, and the 20th and 21st centuries, as well as in cinema and linguistics. There is usually more than one specialist in any given field, which helps to broaden the PhD student’s approach to and understanding of his or her topic. There is a dynamic culture of research seminars. 

The PhD in French is awarded on the basis of a dissertation, a substantial piece of writing which reports original research into a closely defined area of enquiry. The completion of the PhD dissertation is generally expected to take three years, and most funding is based on this assumption. It is  also possible to take a part-time route through research degrees, and the expected timeframe would be five years. The important notion of "original" can be defined in a number of ways, but basically the thesis should represent a significant contribution to learning, through the discovery of new knowledge, or through the connection of previously unrelated facts, or the development of new theory, or the revision of older views, or some combination of these different criteria. In writing the thesis, you are expected to take due account of previously published work on the subject, and you should ensure that the thesis is clearly and accurately written, paying due account to English style and grammar. The thesis must be written in English, apart from quotations. There is a normal word limit of 80,000 words, including footnotes and appendices, but excluding the bibliography.

During your research, you will  work closely with a supervisor who is a specialist in your research area. You will also be assigned an advisor, who will normally have an interest in your research area and who is able to offer advice whenever needed. In addition to providing specialist supervision, the Faculty runs a programme of professional training for the benefit of all research students.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of a PhD course, students will have produced a piece of extended original research, of publishable or near-publishable quality.

They will have obtained:

  • an expert knowledge of a particular field of French studies;
  • a knowledge of the methodology or methodologies appropriate to their field;
  • a set of research skills appropriate to their field;
  • the ability to produce scholarly writing in English of a sufficiently high standard; and
  • an appropriate set of transferable skills, such as work planning and time management.

 

 


Continuing

For those applying to continue from the MPhil to PhD, the minimum academic standard is a distinction on the MPhil.


Departments

This course is advertised in the following departments:

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Key Information


3-4 years full-time

5-7 years part-time

Doctor of Philosophy

This course is advertised in multiple departments. Please see the Overview tab for more details.

Enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Michaelmas 2019

Applications open
Sept. 3, 2018
Application deadline
May 31, 2019
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2019

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

Applications open
Sept. 3, 2018
Application deadline
Oct. 4, 2019
Course Starts
Jan. 5, 2020

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

Graduate Funding Competition
Jan. 3, 2019
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 10, 2018

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