University of Cambridge: Programme Specifications MASTER OF PHILOSOPHY IN MODERN SOUTH ASIAN STUDIES

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1 University of Cambridge: Programme Specifications Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this programme specification. Programme specifications are produced and then reviewed annually by the relevant faculty or department and revised where necessary. However, we reserve the right to withdraw, update or amend this programme specification at any time without notice. Further information about specifications and an archive of programme specifications for all awards of the University is available online at: MASTER OF PHILOSOPHY IN MODERN SOUTH ASIAN STUDIES 1 Awarding body University of Cambridge 2 Teaching institution Faculty of Human, Social, and Political Science 3 Accreditation details None 4 Name of final award Master of Philosophy 5 Programme title Modern South Asian Studies 6 JACS code(s) T330 7 Relevant QAA benchmark statement(s) None 8 Qualifications framework level 7 (Masters) 9 Date specification was produced/ April 2013 last revised 10 Date specification was last reviewed April 2013 Programme Structure Programme Structure ENTER October Assessed coursework will consist of a core course, and 1 module selected initially from a list of at least two options. Optional courses will last for the eight weeks of the Michaelmas Term, the core course will continue for a further eight weeks of the Lent Term. Progression Requirements A language course will be taken by all students which will run throughout the Michaelmas and Lent Terms and until the beginning of the examination period in the Easter Term. The core course will be Debates in South Asian Studies. Page 1 of 5

2 By the First day of Lent Term - January By the end of January By the end of week six of the Lent Term One essay of no more than 5,000 words for the selected option counting for 15% of the final assessment to be submitted by 4 pm on the first day of the Lent Term. The dissertation topic must be submitted to and approved by the supervisor by the end of January. One essay of no more than 5,000 words for the Core course counting for 20% of the final assessment to be submitted by 4 pm on the Friday of week six of the Lent Term. Progression requirement for MPhil is to acquire 60% for this essay together with the option essay (or compensation if a marginal fail). June Submission of Dissertation, 15,000 20,000 words, by 4 pm on the last day of the Easter Term. One three-hour unseen written examination and one one-hour oral examination for the language course counting for 15% of the final assessment to be taken during the May/June examination period. This element accounts for 50% of the final assessment. All students must achieve 60% in this element in order to pass. In the case of marginal fail (59%) the students will have a viva voce. Progression requirement for MPhil is to acquire 60% for this element. Educational aims of the programme To: - give students the opportunity to acquire or develop the technical skills for research in the field of modern South Asian Studies; - make students aware of the importance and value of an interdisciplinary approach to the study of South Asia; - give students the opportunity to carry out focused research under close supervision; - give students the opportunity to complete a foundation course in the Hindi or Urdu language; - provide the appropriate academic and intellectual background for students who successfully complete the MPhil to proceed to register for the PhD in one of the Faculties or Departments of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences; by: - providing a thorough grounding in the debates and controversies surrounding the modern history, contemporary politics culture and development economics of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh with some comparative work on Sri Lanka and Nepal. - instructing students in a variety of methodologies in historiography, sociology, development economics and anthropology which bear on the study of the Indian Subcontinent - providing students with the skills and knowledge they need to locate and use printed and unprinted sources existing anywhere in the world relating to their fields of interest - helping students to gain a foundational knowledge of a major South Asian language to be developed later by intensive study in one of the countries in the region Page 2 of 5

3 - helping students to develop a viable research project, write a proposal, construct a bibliography and use internet-based technology relevant in this area. - by fostering a lively research culture of discussion and debate through attendance at dedicated seminars for this MPhil and also existing graduate seminars and training sessions provided by the Faculties and Departments of the School in South Asian Studies. All students will be provided with a general introduction to the methodologies of South Asian studies and to the ancillary disciplines and technical skills that support work in each field. All students will be provided with the historiographical knowledge and the analytical and technical tools and skills necessary to understand and evaluate existing research and to pursue research in their own field of interest. All students will be provided with one-to-one supervision towards the dissertation; precise titles must be formulated by the student under the guidance of the supervisor by the end of January. Learning Outcomes Knowledge and understanding By the end of the course, students should have acquired: 1. a deeper understanding of their chosen area of South Asian studies and the critical debates within it 2. a conceptual and technical understanding that enables the evaluation of current research and methodologies 3. the technical skills necessary to pursue primary research in their chosen area. 4. the ability to situate their own research within current and past methodological and interpretative developments in the field 5. an understanding of and proficiency in a modern South Asian language. Skills and other attributes By the end of the course, the students should have acquired: 1. the skills necessary to locate, read, interpret and analyse the primary source material relevant to the student's area of interest 2. the skills necessary critically to evaluate their own and others' work 3. the ability to formulate a research proposal using the appropriate primary materials and to place this within its relevant academic context, to locate and assimilate relevant secondary source material and to discuss pertinent interpretative debates 4. the ability to reach an independent judgement, based on their own research 5. a facility in communicating the results of their ideas, research and its conclusion in a written form as a work of historical scholarship, and as an oral contribution in a research colloquium. Teaching methods (1), (2), (3), (4) and (5) are developed through: Page 3 of 5

4 weekly seminars and classes led by an academic with specialist knowledge in the relevant subject area or methodology an intensive course in a South Asian language instruction in the relevant research skills weekly participation in research culture (i.e. the weekly South Asian Seminar and the History Faculty s graduate World History Workshop). one to one supervision towards the dissertation personal study Skills are developed through: regular classes on key debates and concepts within the field training classes in key research skills one to one supervisions on research the optional, although encouraged, presentation of a brief paper to a graduate workshop or seminar Assessment methods (1), (2), (3), (4) and (5) are assessed through the writing up and submission of two essays of no more than 5,000 words, one each for the core course and one for the selected optional course, as well as through completion of a thesis of between 15,000 and 20,000 words in length. The language course will be assessed by one three-hour written examination and one hour-long oral examination. The course will be assessed by: a. the submission of an essay of no more than 5,000 words in length for the core course; b. the submission of an essay of no more than 5,000 words in length for the optional course selected; c. one three-hour unseen written examination and one one-hour oral examination for the language course; d. the submission of a dissertation of between 15,000 and 20,000 words in length. Student support All students are members of a College as well as the Faculty and have access to learning support from both College and University. Each student has an overall supervisor who gives advice on planning the year's work. Progress is monitored through supervision and through the completion of the elements of the language course. The Academic Secretary of the MPhil Sub-Committee can also offer advice, as can the Administrator of the Centre of South Asian Studies. The College Tutor for Graduates will also play a role in induction, support and guidance. Students will receive support from the staff at the Centre of South Asian Studies with regard to all aspects of the course. An MPhil Handbook is available. The library and archive of the Centre of South Asian Studies represent a significant resource for scholarship of international repute. The University's holdings in modern South Asian Studies are particularly fine and there is a very rich and varied seminar and workshop culture. Graduate employability and career destinations Preparation for employment is provided in the opportunities for acquisition of relevant skills outlined in Section 11. For further information, see the University of Cambridge s policy on employment skills on the Career Service s website: Page 4 of 5

5 Management of teaching quality and standards The Faculty participates in the University's quality assurance and enhancement system. 1. At the beginning of Lent Term, the MPhil Sub-Committee will assess the progress of all students by examining reports from supervisors and the Language Teaching Officer. 2. All coursework and dissertations will be read by two examiners other than the supervisor. All coursework and dissertations with seriously discrepant marks will be sent to a third reader. 3. External Examining: the MPhil in Modern South Asian Studies will have an External Examiner who will submit a report to be considered by the MPhil Sub-Committee, the Degree Committee, the Faculty Board and the General Board s Education Committee. The External Examiner s Report will also be seen by the Director of the Centre of South Asian Studies. The External Examiner will normally read a number of intermediate essays in his or her own field of expertise. He or she will also examine a number of final dissertations in his or her field and scrutinise a number of other dissertations across the whole range of marks awarded. 4. The MPhil Sub-Committee will solicit formal feedback statements (in the form of questionnaires) from the students taking the course; these will be forwarded to the External Examiner and to the Director of the Centre of South Asian Studies. A summary of feedback results will be incorporated in the Academic Secretary's annual report to the Degree Committee. 5. Responsibility for executing any policy proposals arising from the External Examiner's report or from student feedback will lie with the Secretary of the MPhil Sub-Committee and the Director of South Asian Studies. 6. The approval of the Degree Committee the General and the Education Committee of the General Board will be obtained before any major revisions or adjustments to the MPhil programme and its delivery are carried out. Quality indicators The MPhil in Modern South Asian Studies is taught by a team of experts with an international reputation. The Centre of South Asian Studies is recognised as a leading resource in the study of South Asia. Under new criteria in the 2008 exercise, Cambridge submitted the work of 18 scholars of Asian Studies for assessment. 15% of the outputs were graded at 4* ( world-leading ) and 35% at 3* ( internationally excellent ). 80% of the outputs fulfilled the university requirement of achieving a grade of 2* ( recognised internationally ) or above. Further information Further enquiries can be sent via or telephone +44 (0) Instructions on how to apply online and general information about graduate study at the University of Cambridge are available from: The Student Registry, University of Cambridge, 4 Mill Lane, Cambridge CB2 1RZ Telephone: +44 (0) / Page 5 of 5

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