The MPhil in English Studies

About the MPhil

The Faculty of English's MPhil in English Studies is an innovative, flexible nine-month course offering first-class teaching from a Faculty with a distinguished international reputation in English. Students will be encouraged to pursue bold lines of enquiry relating to literature, criticism and culture.

This taught MPhil offers a rare combination of range and opportunity to specialise. Within the course framework, students will be able to study particular areas in depth, drawing on a wide-ranging programme of seminars to build a coherent, focused sense of historical or conceptual specialism, or to explore very diverse topics.

Teaching for the MPhil is research-led, offering students a cutting-edge view of the discipline. Small-group teaching is an established strength here and the MPhil thrives on bringing students together in lively, supportive groups. Students are also supported, throughout the course, by their individual supervisors, who help them plan a coherent programme of study and oversee the research and writing involved in an individual research project, the dissertation. This combination of detailed personal attention and intellectual community is one of the great strengths of the course.

The MPhil in English Studies is an ideal preparation for further research in English and associated disciplines, and includes focused training in research methods and skills. It also provides a basis for success in a wide range of non-academic careers.

Life in the Faculty

The Cambridge Faculty of English has a long-standing reputation for excellence in both historical and conceptual work. Members’ interests span the full range of literature in English, from medieval to contemporary, with specialisms including environmental humanities; lyric and the history, theory and practice of poetic forms; post-colonial and world literature; editing and textual scholarship; histories of the book and media institutions; the digital humanities; critical theory; Marxist literary theory; performance theory; the cognitive humanities; psychoanalysis and literature; philosophy and literature; and visual culture.

To learn more about particular members’ interests, search our list of academic staff.

The Faculty is home to a vibrant research culture in which all MPhil students are encouraged to take part. Groups of students and faculty with shared interests can participate in the Faculty's research 'Centres' (for example, the Centre for Material Texts, or the Judith E Wilson Centre for Poetics). Students and faculty also participate in Postgraduate Research Seminars (for example, ‘Medieval’, ‘Post-colonial and Related Literatures’, ‘Queer Cultures’, ‘American Literature’, ‘Eighteenth-Century and Romantic’), which welcome speakers both from within Cambridge and from other universities. Interdisciplinary seminars and reading groups take place at the nearby Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities (CRASSH).

There are also a number of research groups based in the Faculty.

MPhil students are free to attend the Faculty’s undergraduate lectures, and to access the excellent resources and staff of the English Faculty Library. Students can also draw on the University’s language-learning facilities, including an ab-initio Latin course, run annually, just prior to the MPhil, and exceptional library resources and special collections, for example, at the University Library, one of only five copyright libraries in the UK.