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Graduate Admissions

This is a postgraduate course with a substantial research component. It is designed both for students who want to enhance their understanding of the social, cultural, political and economic history and present condition of South Asia and for those who want to go on to further primary research. It provides intensive research and language training for those who wish to go on to prepare a doctoral dissertation, but it is also a freestanding postgraduate degree course in its own right.

The MPhil is associated for examination purposes with the Faculty of Human, Social and Political Sciences. But teaching and learning for the course take place in the Centre of South Asian Studies and the various humanities and social science faculties and departments. The course covers South Asia from the early modern period to the present. The areas studied cover the modern states of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal.

The MPhil aims to introduce students to the latest research topics, methods and debates in South Asian studies at an advanced level. It provides training in the use of printed, manuscript and other sources relevant to South Asian studies. It provides essential language training in Hindi and Urdu. It offers training in the advanced use of a library and archival facilities and the appropriate use of electronic databases for the location, identification and evaluation of source materials. It provides a structured introduction to key debates in South Asian history, development economics, politics and sociology through a variety of intensive courses. Finally, it offers close supervision in undertaking an original research project.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

By the end of the course, students should have acquired:

  1. a deeper understanding of their chosen area of South Asian studies and the critical debates within it;
  2. a conceptual and technical understanding that enables the evaluation of current research and methodologies;
  3. the technical skills necessary to pursue primary research in their chosen area;
  4. the ability to situate their own research within current and past methodological and interpretative developments in the field; and
  5. an understanding of and proficiency in a modern South Asian language.

Skills and other attributes

By the end of the course, the students should have acquired:

  1. the skills necessary to locate, read, interpret and analyse the primary source material relevant to their area of interest;
  2. the skills necessary critically to evaluate their own and others' work;
  3. the ability to formulate a research proposal using the appropriate primary materials and to place this within its relevant academic context, to locate and assimilate relevant secondary source material and to discuss pertinent interpretative debates;
  4. the ability to reach an independent judgement, based on their own research; and
  5. a facility in communicating the results of their ideas, research and its conclusion in a written form as a work of historical scholarship, and as an oral contribution in a research colloquium.

Continuing

The MPhil is a freestanding degree, but it is expected that many candidates, because of the significant research-training component of the course, will proceed thereafter to pursue a PhD. The course offers a thorough preparation for doctoral research, through the historiographical and conceptual emphasis of the taught component, through the specialist options, and through the dissertation. All MPhil students who wish to continue to a PhD will be encouraged to discuss their progress with their supervisor. Marks of 70 and above are strong marks to support the case for continuation to the PhD in, for example, the Faculty of History. However, this requirement varies from faculty to faculty.


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.


Departments

This course is advertised in the following departments:

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Key Information


9 months full-time

Master 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 2020

Applications open
Sept. 2, 2019
Application deadline
June 30, 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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