MPhil in Modern South Asian Studies

Applications are now being accepted for 2017-18 via the Applicant Portal on the Graduate Applications website.  The closing date for receipt of applications for the 2017-18 academic year is 30 June 2017. For funding deadlines, please visit the University of  Cambridge Graduate Admissions website. Links are at the bottom of this page.

The MPhil in Modern South Asian Studies is a postgraduate course with a substantial research component, which runs for nine months covering the three terms (Michaelmas, Lent and Easter) and part of the summer research period of the Cambridge Academical Year. It is designed both for students who want to enhance their understanding of the social, cultural, political and economic history and present condition of South Asia and for those who want to go on to further primary research. It provides intensive research and language training for those who wish to go on to prepare a doctoral dissertation, but it is also a freestanding postgraduate degree course in its own right. The MPhil is associated for examination purposes with the Faculty of Human, Social and Political Sciences. But teaching and learning for the course take place in the Centre of South Asian Studies and the various humanities and social science Faculties and Departments.

The course covers South Asia from the early modem period to the present. The areas studied cover the modem states of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal.

The MPhil aims to introduce students to the latest research topics, methods and debates in South Asian studies at an advanced level. It provides training in the use of printed, manuscript and other sources relevant to South Asian studies. It provides essential language training in Hindi and Urdu. It offers training in the advanced use of library and archival facilities and the appropriate use of electronic databases for the location, identification and evaluation of source materials. It provides a structured introduction to key debates in South Asian history, development economics, politics and sociology through a variety of intensive courses. Finally, it offers close supervision in undertaking an original research project. Although this is an inter-disciplinary course, the degree is conferred by the Faculty of Human, Social and Political Sciences.

Assessment: the core course is assessed by means of a written essay of no more than 3,000 words (worth 12% of the final mark) and a book review of no more than 2,000 words (worth 8% of the final mark), both to be submitted on the first day of the Lent Full Term.  The optional course is assessed by means of an essay of no more than 5,000 words (worth 15% of the final mark) to be submitted on the first day of the Easter Full Term.  The language course is examined by means of one three-hour unseen written examination and a one-hour oral examination, taken during the May/June examination period (worth 15% of the final mark).  The dissertation must be between 15,000 and 20,000 words in length.  It counts for 50% of the final mark and must be submitted on the last day of the Easter Term.  If the examiners consider it necessary, they may conduct an oral examination on the MPhil essays or dissertation.

Click here for information about how to apply  Further information about the course can be found in the course handbook for current students, also available at the foot of this page. The timetable of the classes for the course is available from the ‘Lecture list’ .

Average class size: 12

What our students say about us:

‘Overall I thought the core course was excellent’;

‘Really enjoyed learning Urdu and thought classes were well structured’;

‘I am extremely satisfied with the MPhil course. It has excellent coursework and a language component that is very important while studying South Asia.  Research work is interesting and rewarding with the help of great supervisions’.



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