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Applying: MPhil in European, Latin American and Comparative Literatures and Cultures

elac students

Applying: MPhil in European, Latin American and Comparative Literatures and Cultures

Please see the overview of applying section for general information on applying, funding options and deadlines.  

Further course information is available here.

Who should apply

Applications for the MPhil course are welcomed from those who have or expect to obtain a good first degree (at least a high 2.1 or the equivalent) in Modern European Language/Culture.  Other humanities degrees are also considered.  

By "comparative literatures and cultures", we do not mean the study of any or all literatures in English translation, and we would expect our students to have reading competency in at least one of the language areas covered by the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages (i.e. European languages other than English, which includes the development of these languages in other parts of the world, e.g. Spanish and Portuguese in Latin America). Students sometimes have this competency in more than one MMLL language, but many students use the MPhil to work solely on primary material from one particular language (e.g. working on Russian primary material alone for all of their written work here). It is sometimes possible to develop your knowledge of one of these MMLL languages whilst you’re here (e.g. via the University Language Centre), though not plausible to do so from scratch. In addition to writing on the ELAC MPhil about material in the languages covered by MMLL, you can also write about English language material (e.g. someone working on 19th century literature in the second term might write an essay comparing Madame Bovary and Jane Eyre). But students who wish to work solely on texts written in English or translated into English will find relevant MPhils in the English Faculty. It is possible on the ELAC programme to use conceptual and theoretical material in English translation.

Applicants for the MPhil by Thesis should already have a substantial level of familiarity with the study of literary texts or other cultural material in the relevant culture, and who already know the area they wish to research for their thesis. To be eligible for consideration for the 'By Thesis' MPhil, a student will need (a) an appropriate level of linguistic and/or cultural expertise and (b) a clear idea of the area in which the thesis will be written.

If you are not a native English speaker we would expect you to have passed an English Language Proficiency test at the required level. The following examinations with minimum scores are accepted: IELTS 7.5 (with a minimum of 7 in each unit); TOEFL iBT 110 (with at least 25 in each individual element); CAE Grade A or B (with at least 193 in each individual element) plus a language centre assessment; CPE Grade A, B or C (with at least 200 in each individual element). 

How to apply & Funding

You can apply online at the Postgraduate Admissions website.  Their site also provides detail on the course structure and content; fee rates; information on the College system; and information regarding the application process.

Please find further information regarding applications and funding on our Applying to MMLL page.

Central University information on funding can be found here, and a link to the University's funding search can be found here.

When to apply

Please see here for information on deadlines.

Supporting documents

Once you have submitted your Applicant Portal application online and paid the application fee, you will later receive an email which will grant you access to your Applicant Self-Service.  At this stage you will be able to upload your supporting documents.

  • Academic transcripts for any degree-level courses you have taken
  • Evidence of your English ability (if you are not a native English speaker)
  • A sample of writing, of approx 3000 words. The sample can be either an essay produced during undergraduate studies or a section of a dissertation, and must be a single-authored work in English.  
  • A research proposal, maximum one page.
  • Your curriculum vitae (CV)

Your nominated referees will be sent an automated email when you submit your application, inviting them to upload their references directly to the system.  

Further information on supporting documents can be found on the Postgraduate Admissions website.

Consideration of applications

Applicants who apply for US Gates funding by the October funding deadline may normally expect to receive an admissions decision in December.  All other applicants who apply by the funding deadline in January may normally expect to receive a decision before the end of March, and the majority of offers are made in February and March.  Following the funding deadlines, applications are processed on a rolling basis and applicants may normally expect a decision within 12 weeks following the submission of their completed application and required supporting documents.  Occasionally, applicants may not receive a decision within the normal timeframe due to being placed on a reserve list.  If this is the case then the Faculty will be in touch to let applicants know.  Normally the latest date for decisions to be communicated is the end of June.

Finding a supervisor

Though not compulsory, it is a good idea to try to identify in your application a potential supervisor for your MPhil dissertation by looking at the relevant page on the Faculty website.  This link allows you to search by language and subject area, and to look at the research interests of particular academics. You do not have to contact a potential supervisor before applying, but you should feel free to do so. They can sometimes be a source of useful advice about your research topic or about their own availability as a supervisor.