MPhil in American History
Covering the history of what is now the United States from the colonial period to the modern era, the MPhil in American History helps you develop expertise and consolidate your knowledge in this expanding field of historical scholarship. At its core, the MPhil provides the opportunity to shape your own intellectual trajectory and questions through undertaking your dissertation in consultation with leading historians in the field. The individual and closely supervised dissertation work is complemented by coursework that will widen your intellectual range and by a dynamic weekly seminar.
The MPhil in American History offers taught courses and a dissertation over a 9-month programme. Students take three courses in the first two terms – a common core course focusing on historiographical debates and thematic approaches, and two Option courses, which allow students to develop their interests and/or contextualize their dissertation research.
The 15–20,000 word dissertation is the centrepiece of the course, and will be planned and undertaken through close work with your supervisor. Regular supervisions will enable the identification of key questions and ideas to address, as well as archival sources and a sense of the wider significance of your research. The supervisor will be chosen prior to admission according to your research interests, and will assist you throughout the course to make the most of the intellectual resources that Cambridge can offer.
If you plan to continue onto a PhD in American History or simply wish to explore American History at a deeper level this course may be right for you.
At a glance
Students also produce three 3,000-4,000-word essays, two in Michaelmas term and another in Lent term; each essay is worth 10% of the final degree grade.
All students admitted to the MPhil in American 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 throughout the course.
Students can expect to receive:
- regular oral feedback from their supervisor, as well as termly online feedback reports;
- written feedback on essays and assessments and an opportunity to present their work;
- 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.
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