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Course Outline and Schedule

Course Components

The course is composed of two formally assessed parts, as well as a number of ancillary non-assessed components designed to help students integrate into the Cambridge research environment.

(i) Introduction to Research Resources and Seminars, composed of:

      a) Introduction to Research Resources in History.
      b) Introduction to Research Seminars.

(ii) Part 1 (30%)

Every candidate must pass a qualifying test consisting of the following courses:

a)  Central Concepts and Problems of Economic and Social History and Theory (10%)
b)  Research Methods Course (Pass/Fail), composed of:

A Social Science Research Methods Course (Attendance required), with:

  • A Standard Stream, introducing students to quantitative analysis
  • A Fast Stream, for students already proficient in quantitative analysis aimed at refreshing and developing their skills further.
  • A mini-series in Quantitative Methods in Historical Research in Lent.
  • Additional optional courses on quantitative and qualitative research methods, including interviewing and oral history are available through the History Faculty and the SSRMC programme. 

A Dissertation Proposal Essay (Pass/Fail at 60+)

c)  Two Advanced Papers in Economic and/or Social History chosen from a specified list of subjects (10% each to total 20%).

free_books[1].jpg(iii) Part II – Dissertation (70%)

A dissertation of between 15,000 and 20,000 words (including appendices and tables, but excluding footnotes and bibliography) to be submitted at the end of August (67%).

A pass mark of 2.1 (60+) standard will be required for each assessed component of the course. All work (essays and dissertations) apart from the Research Methods Training Course, is double marked. Examiners for all work award marks independently. A marginal fail (59) mark from one of the two examiners in any one element of Part I must be compensated for by two marks of at least 63 in the dissertation.  Since in Cambridge higher degrees are not classified, the MPhil degree as a whole is classed only in simple Pass/Fail terms. Students who receive a mark of 75 or more overall, however, will receive a distinction.

Summary Timetable

Number of hours (weekly)

Michaelmas Term

Introduction to Research Resources 1
Central Concepts for Economic and Social Historians 2
Social Sciences Research Methods 6
Advanced Paper 2

Lent Term

Quantitative Research in History 2 (4 weeks)
Social Sciences Research Methods 6
Advanced Paper 2

Easter Term and Long Vacation to last week of August