M.Phil. in Criticism and Culture
|Claude Heath, Blue Face, 1999|
The M.Phil. in Criticism and Culture is an innovative nine-month course of literary study with an interdisciplinary and comparative focus, running from October until the end of June. It aims to provide an introduction to and training in different aspects of contemporary literary criticism and literary and cultural theory. You will be encouraged to develop a critical and methodological framework, and to pursue questions relating to literary and cultural production alongside your individual research project. Within a flexible framework, you will be able to study particular areas in depth or explore topics broadly relevant to your intended research. Each student works closely with a member of the Faculty on his or her chosen dissertation topic while participating in collaborative seminars and classes.
The three-term course will consist of a changing program of seminars. You will write papers in the first two terms, followed by a final dissertation on the research topic of your choice. You will be able to construct an individual program tailored to your research interests, in close consultation with an advisor who will usually also serve as your dissertation supervisor for the third and final term. All M.Phil. students are strongly encouraged to attend the English Faculty's graduate research seminars, which consist of presentations by outside speakers, faculty, and graduate students. You will also have the chance to attend lectures in other fields in the Humanities and to explore the interdisciplinary possibilities of graduate study at Cambridge. In addition, you will be able to draw on the University's language-learning facilities and exceptional library resources and special collections.
The M.Phil. in Criticism and Culture is designed to provide a gateway
to a wide range of different research areas, including areas that are
historically based. You will be able to take courses and subjects from
other M.Phils. in English, as well as from M.Phils in certain other faculties
(see below). Registration for the Ph.D. on topics that fall within the
purview of the Criticism and Culture Graduate Subject Committee will normally
require students to have completed either the M.Phil. in Criticism and
Culture or one of the English Faculty's other M.Phils at an appropriate
level, or the equivalent at another university.
Seminars run throughout the first two terms, Michaelmas and Lent. You will be able to choose two courses per term from a changing selection (usually three or four courses) on offer each term, depending on the research interests and availability of academic staff. At least one course would normally be drawn from the list of courses specific to the Criticism and Culture M.Phil.. In either term (timetable and availability permitting) qualified students may opt to take one of their courses from another M.Phil. in English or from an M.Phil. in certain other faculties. M.Phils currently offered in English are Medieval and Renaissance Literature, 18th Century and Romantic Studies , and Modern and Contemporary Literature. M.Phils. with which English has exchange arrangements at present include European Literature (Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages [MML]), History of Art and Architecture, and the History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine (Faculty of History and Philosophy of Science [HPS]).
Michaelmas Term 2012
Dr M. Hrebeniak
‘Polis is this’: Space, Community, Biology, 1955-75
Dr C. Warnes
Writing and Remembering in South Africa
Dr C. Preedy
Dramatic Theory in Practice
Lent Term 2013
Dr D. Milne
Dr A. Houen
Sacrifice in Film and Literature since WWII
Prof. D. Trotter
Naturalism in Literature and Film
Prof. S. Connor
Earworks: Auditory Culture and Criticism
|Photo courtesy of Kettle's Yard|
Course requirements include a 5,000 word paper for one course at the
end of each term, and a 12-15,000 word dissertation in the third term. Any courses
you take in other faculties will be assessed by the requirements for that
course in the host faculty. To prepare for your dissertation, you will
produce a detailed bibliography by the end of the first term, and a detailed
dissertation prospectus by the end of the second term, to be approved
by your advisor.
In addition to familiarizing yourself with the resources of the University Library and electronic resources for research, you will have the opportunity to participate in the broader intellectual life of the Cambridge research community. As well as graduate research seminars in the English Faculty, you may attend University lectures in English and other Humanities faculties. Interdisciplinary seminars and reading groups take place at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities (CRASSH). You are also encouraged to make use of the University's language-learning facilities.
The interests of those teaching the Criticism and Culture M.Phil. span, for instance, philosophy and literature, visual culture, post-colonial and commonwealth literature, psychoanalysis and literature, critical theory, Marxist literary theory, and performance theory. Many faculty members also have period-specific interests that range from Medieval and Renaissance literature to twentieth-century and contemporary writing. Members of the Faculty available to teach on this M.Phil. are listed below.You may want to consult the full list of Members of the English Faculty for the interests of faculty and to contact potential supervisors in relation to your research interests.
|Convenor: Dr Drew Milne||Professor Peter de Bolla|
|Dr Michael Hrebeniak||Dr Priyamvada Gopal|
|Dr Ian Patterson||Dr David Hillman|
|Professor Simon Jarvis||Professor David Trotter|
|Dr Alex Houen||Dr Christopher Warnes|
|Dr Chloe Preedy||Professor Steve Connor|
You may find it helpful to find out about funding for home students or funding for overseas students before you apply. You should also consult our guide for prospective graduates. All graduate students in Cambridge are members of a College as well as of a Faculty of the University, and those applying through the Graduate Admission website for a place on the course will find themselves invited to list a number of Colleges in order of preference. It is a good idea to consult the prospectuses of a number of Colleges before you apply.
Applications are first considered by the Faculty. Potential supervisors are then consulted. Successful applications are then offered to the Colleges of the student's choice, and may be then passed on to the second or third choice. Since this can be a lengthy process it is very much in the interests of applicants to apply in good time.
Applicants for funding should be aware that many funding bodies require a firm acceptance from the University before they will consider your application. If you hope to have a decision from the University in time to apply for funding, you should apply well before the appropriate funding deadline.
Even if you are not seeking funding from Cambridge sources, you are strongly urged to meet the 11 January 2013 deadline, since MPhil places are now capped centrally and some courses fill up early.
Note that these deadlines also apply for the submission of supporting documentation.
No applications for the academic year starting October 2013 will be considered after 31 May 2013.
*Please note that we are now full and are therefore not accepting any more applications.*
Most of our graduate students have a first-class undergraduate degree or international equivalent. The Faculty is willing in principle to accept candidates with strong 2.1s, or mature students who have not pursued an orthodox pattern of higher education, provided that such applicants have strong backing from their referees, have a feasible topic, and are well qualified for their proposed course of research. We recognise both that things sometimes do not go candidates’ way in examinations and that a sparkling examination style is not always the best qualification for graduate work. Applicants should note, however, that the vast majority of those accepted onto the M.Phil. do have a first class BA degree or its overseas equivalent, and the vast majority of students accepted for the Ph.D. have similarly strong MA marks. Applicants whose first degrees are in other disciplines are always considered, provided they can give an account of how their interest in literary study has developed. We welcome qualified UK, EU, and overseas applicants (those for whom English is not a first language will be required by the Graduate Admissions Office to provide evidence of linguistic proficiency).
Applicants should include specific proposals for advanced study or research (of around 500 words). A piece of written work, of 5,000 - 7,500 words, should accompany a formal application. Applicants may submit any work they like, but it is worth choosing work which is recent and which relates to your proposed area of study, if this is available. Many applicants submit their undergraduate dissertation or similar extended piece of work. In reaching decisions about applications the Degree Committee takes particular account of:
- The applicant's academic record and references
- Their suitability for the proposed course (including knowledge of foreign languages)
- The applicant's research proposal, which should suggest a realistic program of work for a 15,000 word dissertation.
- Whether a suitable supervisor can be found for the proposed research
- The written work which a candidate submits in support of their application
Enquiries should be addressed to:
The Director of Graduate Studies,
Degree Committee of the Faculty of English,
University of Cambridge
9 West Road