The Department of ASNC provides teaching and supervision for research in all the subjects listed under Senior Members' academic interests. More information about applying can be found on the Faculty of English applications web page.

There are typically one or two candidates for the Affiliated BA degree, about 12 MPhil students, and about 25 PhD students in the Department at any time. All MPhil and PhD students attend the Graduate Seminar which is held throughout the year. The graduates' area in the new Faculty Building is conveniently located beside the Department offices, and graduate students may also use the ASNC Common Room.

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), the Department, assessed jointly with the Department of Modern and Medieval Languages (MMLL), was rated in the highest terms. Within the Modern Languages and Linguistics Unit of Assessment, ASNC and MMLL were ranked top among Departments teaching both languages and literatures nationally.

An introduction to the department for new graduate students can be found here.

The Affiliated BA Degree (two years)

Students who wish to carry out scholarly work in one or more of the areas covered by the Department of ASNC, but whose first degree is in a related subject, not involving work in any of the central ASNC areas (e.g., in history but with no early-medieval component, or in English but with little or no Old English, or in archaeology) should consider applying for the Affiliated BA Degree. This is a two-year course, covering similar ground to the undergraduate course. The course consists of a Preliminary year followed by Part II, and there are special regulations, to see these click here.

Applications to read for this degree should be directed, not to the Board of Graduate Studies, but to the Admissions Office of the individual college to which the applicant wishes to belong (some colleges specialise in taking students aged 21 or above). Information on how to apply can be found here.

Any enquiries about the Affiliated BA Degree in ASNC should be directed to the Head of Department.

The MPhil Degree (one year)

The MPhil in Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic is designed for students who have already done a first degree incorporating work in some of the subjects encompassed by the Department. Our MPhil programme provides a one-year course of study (effectively 9 months, October to June) in the scholarly methods and disciplines relevant to the study of the history, languages, literatures, and material culture of the different peoples of the British Isles, Brittany and Scandinavia in the earlier Middle Ages. The course allows candidates the possibility of achieving an understanding of early Insular culture as a whole, and also of specialising in aspects of particular interest, whether historical, palaeographical, literary, or linguistic. Training is given in scholarly methods and practices, complemented by instruction in the particular fields of the candidate's interests.

For further details on the course, including the formal requirements, structure, and courses available, see The Applicants' Guide to the MPhil.

As part of the application process you must submit a 500 word statement outlining your MPhil dissertation proposal. You may find it of use to contact the Senior Member of the department specialising in your chosen field for assistance with this, prior to your application submission.

Any enquiries about the MPhil in ASNC should be directed to the MPhil Convenor: Professor Rory Naismith.

Further information about the MPhil is available on the websites of the Board of Graduate Studies, and the Faculty of English.

The PhD Degree (three years)

The PhD is a research degree, examined, usually after three years of research, by a dissertation of up to 80,000 words. The criteria for obtaining the degree are that the dissertation represent a 'substantial contribution to knowledge' and that it also represents a realistic amount of work for three years' study.

Applicants for the PhD who have not previously taken an MPhil, MA, or similar research foundation course in a closely related discipline to the one in which they wish to pursue their research, are usually required to take the MPhil course before they are registered for the PhD. The usual requirement for progression from the MPhil to the PhD is a mark of 70 or more in the master's dissertation and an overall mark of 70 or more (or the equivalents in other marking schemes). Those with relevant masters qualifications who are admitted into the PhD programme are registered for the degree towards the end of their first year if progress has been satisfactory.

Learning and development

  • As part of a PhD student's learning and development, regular Graduate Seminars are held throughout each term, where papers are given by both current students and guest speakers.
  • During the Easter term, all graduate students of the Department meet weekly for the ASNC Easter Graduate Symposium. Ten-minute research presentations on one of the three themes are delivered during the term by all PhD students.

Any enquiries about the PhD degree should be directed to the Director of Graduate Studies: Professor Rosalind Love.

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AHRC Funding: Important Note

All UK and EU applicants accepted by the Department are eligible to compete for funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). In order to be considered, you simply need to tick the relevant box on the main University of Cambridge GRADSAF application form. Please ensure, however, that your GRADSAF form has been submitted, including all uploaded supporting documents, by 3 January 2023 for entry in the academic year 2023-24.

EU students who are already studying at Cambridge, who have an offer to study at Cambridge, or who apply to start their studies in 2018 will not be subject to the Overseas fee at any point during the course of their study, provided this continues to be permitted by UK law.

Any enquiries about AHRC Funding or about graduate admissions in general should be directed to the Director of Graduate Studies, Professor Rosalind Love.