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MPhil in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (Chinese Studies)

Course Description

All prospective MPhil applicants are advised to peruse the staff profiles on our website to familiarise themselves with the research and teaching interests of staff members. Applicants should contact potential supervisors by email and discuss potential MPhil dissertation topics.

Once admitted into the MPhil in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (Chinese Studies), applicants will have the option of studying one of two streams:

Modern and contemporary Chinese Studies; or
Pre-modern Chinese Studies
With the consent of their supervisor and the relevant teacher(s), applicants may combine papers from both streams. Students can expect to receive one-to-one supervisions four times per year.

Students are required to choose three papers – courses usually run over two terms – in addition to doing a 15,000-word MPhil dissertation under the supervision of a supervisor. The dissertations are submitted no later than mid-August following the start of the course.

Visit the website: http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/amammpchs

Course detail]

Students admitted for the MPhil in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (Chinese Studies) will have the option to choose from one of the following programmes of study:

(1) Modern and Contemporary Chinese Studies or (2) Pre-Modern Chinese Studies.

With the consent of their supervisor and relevant teachers, students may be permitted to combine papers from options (1) and (2).
Students taking the MPhil in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (Chinese Studies) choose three papers from either:

(1) Modern and Contemporary Chinese Studies:

REQUIRED: Asia in Theory - [Team taught; theoretical and methodological approaches]

Students then choose TWO optional papers from the following list:

- War and Modern China
- The Anthropology of China
- Japanese Imperialism in East Asia
- Chinese Linguistics
- Advanced Readings in Chinese on a relevant subject [e.g. Qing and Republican historical documents, Modern Literary texts etc.]
- Alternative Exercise (to be arranged with specific instructors).

or from:

(2) Pre-Modern Chinese Studies:

For pre-modern Chinese Studies, students need to choose THREE of the following papers:

- Classical and Literary Chinese Texts (received and excavated texts, manuscripts)
- Early China, specified topic - Medieval China, specified topic
- Asia in Theory [team-taught; theoretical and methodological approaches: with the supervisor's permission as the focus of this paper is on the modern period]
- Japanese for Sinologists [reading Japanese scholarship on pre-modern China]
- Alternative Exercise (to be arranged with specific instructors).

Most papers are assessed by long essays and research projects. Some advanced text papers are assessed through examination. Please note that not all papers will be available every year and are subject to modifications if necessary.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the MPhil programme, students will be expected to have:
- acquired the ability to read, interpret and translate primary sources in Modern and/or Classical Chinese;
- acquired a good knowledge of the general scholarship on Modern and/or Pre-Modern Chinese culture(s);
- acquired an in-depth knowledge of the secondary literature relevant to the subject of their dissertation;
- developed the ability to formulate original research questions and produce a well-constructed, argument to answer them, in the form - of an independent piece of research based on the use of primary and secondary sources;
- acquired the skills to use library and internet resources independently.


Applicants for the PhD will be expected to have scored at least 67% or above (or the equivalent from an overseas University) in their Master's degree which should be related to the PhD programme they wish to pursue. All applicants should submit with their GRADSAF (graduate application) a workable and interesting research proposal and demonstrate that they have the required academic knowledge and skills to carry out their project.

Admission is at the discretion of the Degree Committee, which judges each graduate applicant on his or her own merits and in accordance with its own set rules and regulations.

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

Funding Opportunities

- Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) -

NB: Applicants should check the Faculty's website before the academic year 2016 - 2017 is due to start to see if AHRC funding is available to apply for. Home PhD and MPhil students and EU students who satisfy home residency criteria may be eligible for a full studentship which covers the University Composition Fee and College Fees plus an annual maintenance stipend. EU students are eligible for a fees-only award.

Further information: http://www.cambridgestudents.cam.ac.uk/fees-and-funding/funding/ahrc-funded-students

- Louis Cha Scholarship in Pre-Modern Chinese Studies at St John's College -

St John's College at the University of Cambridge is offering a Louis Cha Scholarship, which will commence in October 2015 to help financially assist students to undertake their research in the fields of Chinese Literature, Chinese History and/or the Culture of Early and Dynastic China (Pre-1912). The successful applicant will be selected from those who have secured a place at St John's College in Cambridge to read for the MPhil or PhD degree in a relevant subject. The scholarship will be available for the duration of the student's course and given for us up a maximum of three years. The scholarship will comprise of (a) a maintenance grant of up to £13,500 per annum and (b) approved College and University fees. Applicants applying for this award should note payments which they have secured from other sources. For further information, please refer to the following webpage on the Faculty's website:


Visit the MPhil in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (Chinese 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. High 2:1 or a 1st at B.A. level from a UK university or equivalent. Good working knowledge (oral and written) of Modern Chinese. Find University Minimum Academic Requirements here View Website

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