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Postgraduate courses

Postgraduates join an active community of hundreds of historians, exploring the past, debating their research in our extraordinarily broad seminar series, and honing their analytic skills.

American History at the University of Cambridge is a dynamic field which covers the history of what is now the United States from the colonial period to the modern era. The MPhil in American History enables students to develop expertise in this ever expanding field of historical scholarship, drawing on established strengths in histories of enslavement, the growth of cities, modern politics, international relations and conflicts over land.

The MPhil in Early Modern History provides intensive training in the history of early modern Britain, Europe and the wider world to enable its students to explore the latest historical literature and produce their own substantial piece of historical research.

The MPhil in Economic and Social History, taught over 11 months, provides an extremely thorough training in statistical and social science methodology, while building on other strengths such as an emphasis on global interconnections, understanding causation and integrating economic, social and cultural phenomena.

Cambridge University's 800-year history makes it a uniquely rich place to be a medievalist. We have a wealth of medieval buildings and traditions, as well as countless manuscripts and printed books held by our many libraries.

The MPhil in Medieval History forms an integral part of the teaching and research here at the History Faculty (widely regarded as one of the best in the world). The course provides students with intensive training in medieval concepts and methods, as well as skills in Latin and Palaeography, to turn them into innovative, cutting edge medieval scholars.

British History at the University of Cambridge combines the study of the interacting nations of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, set within the contexts of the European continent and the British Empire.  It draws on established strengths across the Faculty in political thought, political history, gender history, social and cultural history and global history to consider Britain’s modern experience since around 1750 in the light of broader geographical and analytical perspectives. 

The course covers Europe from roughly the middle of the eighteenth century to the present. The principal countries studied are France, Germany, Russia, Italy and Spain. It offers an introduction to key themes and selected topics in Modern European History, as well as intensive methodological and historiographical training. Particular attention is paid to the production of an independently conceived, lengthy piece of original research.

The MPhil in Political Thought and Intellectual History is aimed at students who have an interest in both the theory and history of political thought, understood in global perspective. It also welcomes students whose previous study had a more specialised historical or theoretical (or philosophical) bent. It encourages dialogue between different approaches, as well as offering intensive training in methodologies and traditions of political thought and intellectual history.

World History at the University of Cambridge combines the study of global and imperial history with the study of Asian, African, Latin American and Pacific histories. It draws upon the expertise of faculty members in each of these areas, as well as in Middle Eastern, Oceanic and American history. The MPhil in World History enables students to develop strong expertise and research skills in this rich and expanding field of historical scholarship.

The Cambridge PhD is designed as structured, flexible and individual preparation for becoming a professional researcher. It will help students develop the core skills needed by arts, humanities or social sciences professional researcher of the future, which are valued by both academic and non-academic employers.

This two-year, part-time Master’s programme is designed for those who wish to study at postgraduate level and are keen to develop high-level skills in historical research. It is run by the Institute of Continuing Education.

Shilpa Thipperudraiah
MPhil student
What I found especially attractive about the MPhil was its focus on developing rigorous and original thought. While the course is undoubtedly challenging, it has been a very insightful and an intellectually fulfilling experience.
Studying at postgraduate level

Choosing postgraduate study

The Faculty of History is internationally renowned for its research and the originality and significance of work done by its academics. Your study will benefit from the breadth of the Faculty, which spans history from around the globe, from the ancient world to the present.

At the heart of our approach is your work with a supervisor. You may wish to nominate one during your application process (although it is not guaranteed the person will be able to accept you). Our people pages will help you locate a specialist in your field.

Practical information

How to apply & deadlines

Applications for Postgraduate study are managed centrally in Cambridge.  You should make your application to the Graduate Admissions Office, and check the relevant deadlines for course and funding applications


Right to work


You will need to have the right to work in the UK.   There is help available (for Tier 4 visas) from the International Student Team's Visa Advice Service.

Postgraduate support

Both the Faculty and the University have a great number of resources which are made available to our Postgraduate Students. These include resources to help you with your studies, including dedicated research space for Postgraduates, and opportunities to develop your skills, including language classes and computer courses and sessions on how to publish your first book. 

Prospective students may also wish to see the central University's pages on Academic Resources for more information about what Cambridge has to offer.

Where next?

Is History at Cambridge right for you?  Take a look at what to expect when studying here and look at the kind of careers other students have followed after their course.