The MPhil in African Studies offers a taught course with a substantial research component, and provides an excellent foundation for students wanting to develop their knowledge of Africa. It is designed for students who wish to enhance their historical and contemporary understanding of Africa’s societies, politics, economies, and cultures, as well as for those who wish to apply for advanced research degrees. The degree thus offers a highly regarded postgraduate qualification relevant to a wide range of professional careers, as well as intensive research and language training for students planning to prepare a doctoral dissertation. The course introduces the latest research approaches and methodologies in African studies at an advanced level. Students have the advantage of developing an interdisciplinary approach to critical thinking and academic writing, the opportunity to develop skills in an African language, and also receive specialist research training. The MPhil in African Studies is structured by four key elements: a core course, an option course, a dissertation and language training. Full details of the course can be found on the Centre’s website.
This MPhil caters both for beginners in Akkadian and those with some previous knowledge of the language. A demanding course, this MPhil delivers competence in language and specialist knowledge of culture and history over a relatively short time. All MPhil students in the Division of Archaeology take a Research Skills Module and write a dissertation (15,000 words maximum). The MPhil in Assyriology also includes three taught modules, chosen in consultation with the supervisor according to the student's interests. The student's first choice must be a language course. The student's second and third modules can be chosen from the modules listed below, and with the consent of the module's instructor and the MPhil in Assyriology Coordinator one of these may be any other appropriate MPhil module offered in the Division of Archaeology.
Sumerian language and texts
Archaeology of Mesopotamia
Topics in Mesopotamian history and archaeology
This MPhil is appropriate for students who are prepared for graduate work and who wish to undertake research in Egyptology, but who need further training in either the language(s) or the archaeology of the region. The student may choose either an archaeological or a linguistic emphasis. All MPhil students in the Division of Archaeology take a Research Skills module and write a dissertation (maximum 15,000 words). In addition, students taking the MPhil in Egyptology select three taught modules, chosen in consultation with the supervisor. Modules on offer include: Introduction to Egyptian Language; Advanced Egyptian Language; Coptic; Demotic; Landscapes, Built Environment, and Material Culture of Ancient Egypt; Historical Archaeology of Ancient Egypt I; Historical Archaeology of Ancient Egypt II; Topics in Egyptology; or any other MPhil module offered in the Division of Archaeology (with consent of the module's instructor and the MPhil in Egyptology Coordinator).
The MPhil in 18th Century and Romantic Studies provides a nine-month course of literary study in the period of 'the long eighteenth century'. The course consists of seminars and classes, together with individual study and supervision. 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.
The MPhil 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 MPhil in Modern and Contemporary Literature is a nine-month course that runs from October to June. This exciting MPhil explores the rich array of literature in English from 1830 to the present, and encourages students to pay particular attention to the relationship of literary texts and their historical and intellectual contexts. The course structure is designed to enable flexibility in terms of period and specialism: you can choose to concentrate on nineteenth- or twentieth- and twenty-first-century literature, or take a selection of seminars in both. The flexible framework allows you to build a programme of specialised study in line with your own particular research interests. Guidance on developing your course of study will be given by a designated Faculty member who will also act each term as your dissertation supervisor.
The MPhil course of study includes lectures, seminars and individual supervision, with teaching provided by University and College Lecturers. The MPhil comprises a Core Course and two taught modules of your choice. Assessment takes the form of three assessed essays of 5,000 words and a 15,000-word thesis. A background in literature, anthropology, modern languages, area studies, history or the social sciences is useful but not essential. Evidence of interest in or commitment to Latin America is expected. Students already at Cambridge applying to continue from the MPhil to the PhD should have attained, or be expecting to obtain, an overall mark of 73% with at least 75% in the thesis or the coursework.
The MSc in African Studies is a three-term course, designed both as a stand-alone interdisciplinary introduction to current debates about Africa, and as a preparation for doctoral research on Africa. This advanced degree programme provides an excellent foundation for those who wish to expand their knowledge of African studies.
Methodology, Ethics and Research Strategies
Themes in African History and Social Sciences
Understanding Contemporary South Africa: Post-apartheid politics and society
Culture and Society of West Africa
Democratization and Multi-Party Politics in Africa
Power and Punishment: Creating Social Order in Africa
Violence and Historical Memory in Eastern Africa
Violence and Civilisation
History and Politics of the Two Sudans
The Cold War in Sub-Saharan Africa
Education in Africa
Migration and Displacement in Africa
Kiswahili Language, Politics and Culture