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MPhil in English Studies: 18th Century and Romantic Studies

Course Description

The M.Phil. in 18th-Century and Romantic Studies provides a nine-month course of literary study in 'the long eighteenth century' (roughly 1688 to 1832), the period of Enlightenment and the rise of Romanticism, during which many of the structures of our modern world were formed. The course, which consists of seminars and classes together with individual study and supervision, allows students to range widely across a rich array of literary and intellectual sources.

Training in relevant research skills is included. Students will have access to the magnificent resources of the Cambridge University Library, one of the few copyright libraries in the UK, as well as to many special holdings in College libraries. They will be able to take courses from other selected MPhils and to attend lectures in the English Faculty and in related faculties such as History, Classics, Modern Languages, History of Art, Philosophy, and History and Philosophy of Science.

See the website http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/elelmpesr

Course detail

By the end of the course students should have:

- developed a deeper knowledge of British 18th century and romantic literature in general, and of their chosen area of research in particular;

- developed an understanding of critical debates which allows the evaluation of current research in their dissertation field


The required elements of the course consist of two seminars in both Michaelmas and Lent term selected from the course-options offered. Students may substitute one of the two courses required per term from another M.Phil. in the English Faculty or from another Faculty subject to the approval of the convenor.

In addition to the mandatory seminars students must attend the Resources and Methods classes in Michaelmas and Lent Term and the Dissertation Workshops in Lent Term:

Participants on the M.Phil are required to attend a minimum of ten sessions selected from the fortnightly Graduate Research Seminars for the year which must include the Eighteenth-Century and Romantic Graduate Seminar

Each student has a supervisor who gives advice on planning the year’s work and the dissertation in particular. Supervision on the coursework essays is offered by the convenor of the appropriate class. Documentation offering specifications and guidance in relation to each element of assessed work is provided to students. Progress is monitored through the discussion with each student of draft sections of their dissertations by their supervisor and through submitted work: The short-written exercise, which is submitted in Michaelmas Term, receives feedback from the supervisor; the first course-work which is submitted at the end of Michaelmas term is returned with examiner’s comments at the beginning of Lent term; the Lent-term course-work essay returned with comments at the beginning of Easter term. Supervisors write termly reports online which can be accessed by the student.


- A 12,000 – 15,000 word dissertation submitted at the end of Easter term which contributes 50% to the final mark.
- A short-written exercise which is marked on a pass/resubmission basis.
- Two 5,000-word essays. One is submitted at the end of Michaelmas Term the other at the end of Lent Term. These relate to the work pursued in the seminars taken and contribute 20% and 30% respectively to the final mark.


If you wish to continue from the MPhil to the PhD you must obtain a minimum of 70 across the coursework with a minimum of 70 for the dissertation.

How to apply: http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/applying

Funding Opportunities

There are no specific funding opportunities advertised for this course. For information on more general funding opportunities, please follow the link below.

General Funding Opportunities http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/finance/funding

Visit the MPhil in English Studies: 18th Century and Romantic Studies page on the University of Cambridge website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Applicants for this course should have achieved a UK High II.i Honours Degree. At least a high 2.i honours degree from a UK university or equivalent. Applicants should note, however, that the majority of those accepted onto English Faculty MPhils have a first-class honours degree or equivalent. Applicants will normally be expected to have taken a substantial number of English courses at university level and to possess a sound background in the literature of the period covered by the course.

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Recipient: University of Cambridge
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