Graduate Students in the Department

The Department of ASNC is distinguished not only for the quality and commitment of its undergraduates, but also for the feverish activity of its substantial graduate population. The MPhil and PhD students in the Department pursue their lives of solitary scholarship, but do so as part of a vibrant research community. The main element in the (one-year) MPhil degree is a dissertation of between 10,000 and 15,000 words, which has to be submitted by mid-June. Some MPhil students go on to become PhD students. The PhD degree requires the production of a dissertation of about 80,000 words, and is expected to be completed within three years. It is quite possible that you will encounter graduate students of one kind or another in the classroom, sitting behind you; you may even find that a PhD student is taking the class, giving the lecture, or acting as your supervisor.

Should you wish to know more about the activities of the graduate students in the Department, you may wish to view the MPhil Guide on the Graduate pages, as well as a list of the current PhD students, with the subjects of their research.

The MPhil Seminar meets once a week. The MPhil students learn about scholarly methods, discuss important texts, and present accounts of their own work. At other times they work on the component elements of their MPhil programme.

The visible life of the PhD students revolves around the Graduate Presentations, which take place once or twice a term in the Michaelmas and Lent Terms. On each occasion two of the PhD students in their second or higher year present 20-minute papers on the subject of their research, and then field questions from the assembled company of graduate students and senior members. The Graduate Symposium comprises a series of weekly meetings held in the Easter Term, in which groups of PhD students present short papers on topics which they have devised.

Last, but far from least, the Cambridge Colloquium in ASNC (CCASNC) is a one-day conference, organised by the graduate community and held in the Easter Term. A guest speaker from outside Cambridge gives the opening paper, and other shorter papers are given by graduates. The first such event took place in May 2000; the proceedings are published in Quaestio Insularis, about which you will find further information on the Graduate pages.