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MPhil in Modern European History

The MPhil in Modern European History is a taught postgraduate course with a substantial research component, which runs for nine months covering the three terms (Michaelmas, Lent and Easter) of the Cambridge Academic Year. It is designed both for students who want to enhance their understanding of the social, cultural, political and economic history of modern Europe, and for those who want to go on further primary research. It provides intensive research training for those who wish to go on to prepare a doctoral dissertation, but it is also a freestanding postgraduate degree course in its own right.

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.


Course Structure

There are four components to the MPhil in Modern European History:

  1. Core Course
  2. First option
  3. Second option
  4. Dissertation

In the first term, students on the course will be offered an intensive training programme consisting of classes, seminars, workshops, individual and group assignments. Each student will take a compulsory core course on major historiographical controversies, drawing on specialist lecturers and key readings. Spanning the first two terms, the course provides a foundational understanding of central themes in Modern European History. Students will also choose two Options from a range of courses provided each year, evolving with the research interests of Faculty members currently teaching on the MPhil. The majority of these will be taught in the Michaelmas term, although some may take place in Lent.

In the second part of the course, during the Lent and Easter terms, students will write a substantial dissertation based on independent research, with the aid of a supervisor who will be a specialist in the field in which their dissertation falls. 

Assessment will be based on three essays (from the Core Course, and the two Option Courses) worth 30% of the final result, and the dissertation which will account for 70%.

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