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MPhil in Philosophy

Course Description

The main aims of the MPhil in Philosophy are:

- To give students with relevant experience at first-degree level the opportunity to carry out focused research in the discipline under close supervision.
- To give students the opportunity to acquire or develop skills and expertise relevant to their research interests.

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

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the programme, students will have:

- a comprehensive understanding of techniques, and a thorough knowledge of the literature, applicable to their own research;
- demonstrated originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in their field;
- shown abilities in the critical evaluation of current research and research techniques and methodologies;
- demonstrated some self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and acted autonomously in the planning and implementation of research.


Students work individually with supervisors to write three 5,000 word research essays and a 15,000 word research thesis. One essay is due at the end of Michaelmas Term, and two at the end of Lent Term; and the thesis is due at the end of Easter Term. Students are also required to take part in a weekly seminar, in which they learn presentation and discussion skills by presenting their own research and by discussing presentations by other students in the MPhil group.

Students receive feedback from the supervisors of each of their four pieces of work (three 5,000 word essays and a 15,000 word thesis), typically meeting their supervisor about four times for each piece of work. They also receive feedback and termly reports from an overall advisor, and marks and examiners' reports for each of their pieces of work.


MPhil candidates submit a 15,000 word thesis at the end of Easter Term. The examination includes a viva.

MPhil candidates submit three 5,000 word essays. One is due at the end of Michaelmas Term, and two at the end of Lent Term.


Candidates accepted initially for the MPhil are welcome to apply while at Cambridge to continue to the PhD. Such applications are considered alongside external applications.

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

Funding Opportunities

There are many potential sources of funding for graduate work in Philosophy. Further details can be found in the Philosophy Graduate Prospectus (http://www.phil.cam.ac.uk/prosp-students/prosp-grad ) .

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

Visit the MPhil in Philosophy page on the University of Cambridge website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Matthew Dougherty

The MPhil at Cambridge is one of the most challenging and enjoyable experiences I’ve had, and there are two primary reasons for that. The first is the amount of freedom and independence allowed in the program. The MPhil student’s schedule is largely his or hers to make, and this leads to a fair amount of pressure but also allows for time to explore topics that might have been considered only fringe-interests before. It also allows for time to enjoy college life and explore the city of Cambridge, both of which are like nothing I had experienced. There are concerts every week, the city is easy to get to know on foot or bicycle, and there are college dinners and frequent student events, both in the colleges and the Faculty. The second reason is the high quality of supervisions and seminars. My supervisors were a great source of critique and encouragement, so I especially looked forward to my meetings with them; and seminars were an additional way to learn and be engaged in philosophy while also recuperating from intensely studying my then-current topic of research. I would recommend the MPhil to anyone who finds these things appealing.


Entry Requirements

Applicants for this course should have achieved a UK High II.i Honours Degree. Applicants must have, or expect to obtain, a good Upper Second Class BA Honours Degree (67%) or the equivalent (USA GPA 3.6) with a minimum of two years' full-time study in Philosophy (10 courses in the USA).

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