MPhil in Economic and Social History
Economic and social history has always formed an important part of the teaching and research in the Cambridge History Faculty, which is widely regarded as one of the best in the world. Much pioneering work in the ‘new’ social history of communities, demographic history, business history and the history of economic thought has been done here. The MPhil in Economic and Social History provides an extremely thorough training in statistical and social science methodology, while building on other strengths such as an emphasis on researching economic relations and institutions as cultural phenomena.
There are approximately 20 members of academic staff associated with the MPhil, ranging in specialisation from early modern economic history to modern Asian history. The course teachers are also associated with two major research institutions: the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure and the Centre for History and Economics.
Past and current topics for dissertations include: ‘The Evolution of Ownership and Control in British IPOs before WWI’; ‘Consumer protection in Britain from austerity to affluence, 1945-65’; ‘Plague of Poverty: The World Health Organization, Tuberculosis, and International Development c.1945-1980’; ‘Encouraging Emigration: An analysis of the Estado Novo regime’s approach to emigration in the early 1960s in Portugal’.
In addition to the course seminars there are also 16 faculty research seminars and around 320 other graduate students doing MPhils and PhDs. Combined with the excellent resources found in the University library, this provides one of the most vibrant historical research cultures in the world.
At a glance
All students will submit a thesis of 15,000–20,000 words, worth 70 per cent toward the final degree.
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 Economic and Social 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.
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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