MASTER of PHILOSOPHY in MODERN EUROPEAN HISTORY

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1 University of Cambridge: Programme Specifications Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this programme specification. At the time of publication, the programme specification has been approved by the relevant teaching Faculty or Department. It is, however, natural for courses to develop and change over time and we reserve the right, without notice, to withdraw, update or amend this programme specification at any time. MASTER of PHILOSOPHY in MODERN EUROPEAN HISTORY 1 Awarding Body University of Cambridge 2. Teaching Institution Faculty of History 3. Accreditation Details n/a 4. Name of Final Award Master of Philosophy 5. Programme Title Modern European History 6. UCAS Code n/a 7. Benchmark Statement(s) n/a 8. Qualifications Framework Level M 9a. Date of Revision March b. Last Reviewed March 2009 Educational aims of the programme to give students the opportunity to acquire or develop the technical skills and expertise necessary for research in the field of Modern European History to give students the opportunity to carry out focussed research under close supervision to provide the appropriate academic and intellectual background for the student who successfully completes the MPhil to proceed to register for the PhD. by: i. providing a thorough grounding in the development of historiography, principally in Britain, France and Germany, but also taking in where appropriate Italy and Eastern Europe, since the Enlightenment ii. developing students understanding of debates, arguments and models in the field through the systematic study of key concepts, thereby broadening their appreciation of the principal issues that shape a given field and encouraging them to develop insights that might form the basis of an original contribution to the debates in question iii. instructing students in the variety of methodologies applied to the study of modern European history iv. providing students with the skills and knowledge they need to discover what printed and nonprinted sources exist anywhere in the world relating to their fields of interest v. showing students how to marshal and get to grips with the relevant secondary bibliography (including the use of computer and internet-based technology) Page 1 of 6

2 vi. guiding students in the choice of a viable and original research project, constructing a research project, writing a proposal, compiling a bibliography and writing a thesis that observes appropriate scholarly protocols vii. giving students the opportunity to attend research seminars and lectures by eminent historians in the field and the opportunity to present their own research and issues arising from it before an audience of peers and staff members All students attend History Faculty research training courses designed to help them to discover what printed and non-printed sources exist anywhere in the world relating to their fields of interest. All students are provided with a general introduction to the methodologies of modern European history 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. Programme Outcomes Knowledge and Understanding: Teaching and Learning By the end of the course, students should have acquired: 1. a deeper understanding of their chosen area of modern European history 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. Teaching and Learning (1), (2), (3) and (4) are developed through: weekly seminars and classes led by an academic with specialist knowledge in the relevant historiographical subject area or methodology instruction in the relevant research skills weekly participation in research culture (i.e. seminars and graduate workshop) one to one supervision towards the dissertation personal study Page 2 of 6

3 Assessment (1), (2), (3) and (4) are assessed through the writing up and submission of three essays of no more than 5,000 words, one each for the Core Course and the two selected Optional courses, as well as through completion of a thesis of between 20,000 and 25,000 words in length. 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 historical 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 and Learning 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) presentation of a brief paper to the graduate workshop Assessment Part One: 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 each of the Optional courses selected from a list of approximately 5 alternatives Part Two: the thesis Page 3 of 6

4 Programme Structure Programme Structure Progression Requirements ENTER October By the First day of Lent Term - January By the end of January Assessed coursework will consist of Core Course and Options. Each course will last for the eight weeks of the Michaelmas Term. The Core Course will be Controversies in Modern European History Three essays of no more than 5,000 words each, one essay for the core course and options taken; each counting for wasn t 10% each? of the final assessment; all three essays 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. Progression requirement for MPhil is to pass this element which accounts for 35% of the final assessment. June Submission of Dissertation, 20,000 25,000 words, by 4 pm on the last day of the Easter Term. All students must achieve 60% in order to pass. In case of marginal fail (59%) the students will have a viva voce. Requirements for the award of the degree Assessment consists of two parts: coursework and a dissertation. Both parts must be passed (i.e. with a grade of 60 or over) in order for the degree to be awarded. Indicators of quality The MPhil in Modern European History is taught by a team of experts with an international reputation. The History Faculty has been awarded the top ranking (5*) in all four of the Research Assessment Exercises carried out between 1988 and 2001 by the Higher Education Funding Council for England. Under new criteria in the 2008 exercise, Cambridge submitted the work of 102 historians for assessment. 40% of the outputs were graded at 4* ( world-leading ) and 25% at 3* ( internationally excellent ). 90% of the outputs fulfilled the university requirement of achieving a grade of 2* ( recognized internationally ) or above. Page 4 of 6

5 Its teaching has been rated 'excellent' by the Council's Quality Assessment team. It is at the forefront in many areas of historical scholarship. The pass rate approaches 100%. From an average intake of 15 students each year, approximately 7 generally proceed to doctoral research. Learning 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 Part One. The Academic Secretary of the MPhil Sub-Committee can also offer advice. The College Tutor for Graduates also plays a role in induction, support and guidance. An MPhil Handbook is available. The Faculty's learning resources include the Seeley Library, Britain's largest library solely dedicated to history, with a wide range of relevant periodicals. The University's holdings in modern European history are particularly fine and there is a very rich and varied seminar and workshop culture. Evaluating and improving the quality and standards of learning The Faculty participates in the University's quality assurance and enhancement system. 1. At the beginning of Lent Term, the MPhil Sub-Committee monitors the progress of all students. 2. All dissertations are read by two examiners other than the supervisor. All dissertations with seriously discrepant marks are sent to a third reader. 3. External Examining: the MPhil in Modern European History has an External Examiner who submits a report which is considered by the MPhil Sub-Committee, the Degree Committee, the Faculty Board and the University s Board of Graduate Studies. The External Examiner s Report is also seen by the Director of Graduate Training. The External Examiner normally reads a number of intermediate essays in his own field of expertise. He or she normally also examines a number of final dissertations in his or her field and scrutinises a number of other dissertations across the whole range of marks awarded. 4. The MPhil Sub-Committee solicits formal feedback statements (in the form of questionnaires) from the students taking the course; these are forwarded to the external examiner and to the Director of Graduate Training. A summary of feedback results is incorporated in the Academic Secretary's annual report to the Degree Committee. 5. Student feedback is also considered by the Graduate Teaching and Learning Committee, which includes student representatives from each MPhil and may make recommendations to the Degree Committee. 6. Responsibility for executing any policy proposals arising from the external examiner's report or from student feedback lies with the Academic Secretary of the MPhil and the Director of Graduate Training. 7. The approval of the Degree Committee, the Board of Graduate Studies and the Education Committee of the General Board must be obtained before any major revisions or adjustments to the MPhil programme and its delivery are carried out. 8. General Board review: all History Faculty MPhils, including the MPhil in Modern European History, were reviewed by the University's General Board in Page 5 of 6

6 Employment and Careers Preparation for the 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: General Information The most useful source of information is the History Faculty Website: which gives full details of the MPhil in Modern European History. The prospectus can be found at Any further enquiries can be sent via or telephone +44 (0) Application forms and general information about graduate study at the University of Cambridge are available from: The Secretary of the Board of Graduate Studies, University of Cambridge, 4 Mill Lane, Cambridge CB2 1RZ Telephone: +44 (0) / Website: Page 6 of 6

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