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Introduction

MPhil in American History

American History

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. 

The MPhil in American History combines taught and research elements over a 9-month programme. The taught elements include three modules, as well as training workshops and seminars, all of which are worth 30% of the final degree mark.  There is also a long final thesis (15,000-20,000 words) worth 70% of the final degree mark. 

The course is designed for those who have completed degrees in which History is the main or at least a substantial component and who want to consolidate their knowledge of American history. It is particularly appropriate for those who may wish to continue on to a PhD, at Cambridge or elsewhere, in American history.  It is also well-suited for those who seek simply to explore American history at a deeper level. It is expected that this will be the normal means by which those without an appropriate Master’s degree from elsewhere will prepare for the PhD degree in American history at Cambridge.

Cambridge graduates in American History have taken up posts in universities and academic-related spheres of work around the world.  The MPhil in American History provides a point of entry into this rich tradition.  


Structure

We combine taught and research elements over a 9-month full-time programme. This includes skills training, training workshops and seminars, and students will also complete an independent research dissertation.

Michaelmas Term (Oct-Dec)

Core Course: Debates in American history and historiography

  • Teaching: Weekly seminars
  • Assessment: Essay (3-4,000 words)

Option 1

  • Teaching: Weekly seminars
  • Assessment: Essay (3-4,000 words)

Preparatory dissertation work

  • Independent research and 1-on-1 supervisor meetings
  • No assessment

Lent Term (Jan-Mar)

Option 2

  • Teaching: Weekly seminars
  • Assessment: Essay (3-4,000 words)

Dissertation proposal

  • Independent research and 1-on-1 supervisor meetings
  • Dissertation proposal & bibliography (2,000 words)

Easter Term (Apr-Jun)

Dissertation

  • Independent research and 1-on-1 supervisor meetings
  • Dissertation (15-20,000 words)

 

Supervision & Research

Throughout the course students are supervised by a dedicated member of staff, who guides their work, leading to an original piece of historical research in the form of a final dissertation.  For more about potential supervisors, please see the American History Subject Group listings.

Beyond this, students are encouraged to engage in Cambridge’s vibrant research environment. Every term has a full calendar of classes, workshops, seminars and lectures led by academics at every level, from graduate researchers to eminent guest professors.

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