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MPhil in Early Modern History

Samuel Johnson by Joshua ReynoldsThe 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 produce a substantial piece of historical research and historical writing. This stimulating 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 the period between 1500 and 1800. It aims to deepen students’ understanding of how early modern history has been studied and to explore how traditional and innovative methods can be used to interpret it.

The MPhil in Early Modern History combines taught and research elements over a 9-month full-time programme. The taught elements include three modules, as well as training workshops and seminars, and all students will also complete a long piece of independent research (15,000 – 20,000 words).

Throughout the course students will be supervised by a dedicated member of staff, who will guide their research towards the completion of an original historical subject chosen and developed by them. In addition, students will benefit from Cambridge’s vibrant research environment, attending and participating in guest talks, workshops and other events throughout the year.

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 early modern history. It is particularly appropriate for those who may wish to continue on to a PhD, at Cambridge or elsewhere.  It is also well-suited for those who seek simply to explore early modern 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 Early Modern History at Cambridge.

Cambridge graduates in Early Modern History have taken up positions in UK and international universities or followed careers in business, the media, law and politics. 


 

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: Sources and Methods

  • 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 Early Modern 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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