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The Department of French offers PhD supervision in an exceptional range of areas of French and Francophone studies. It contains world-leading researchers in the literature, thought, and culture of the middle ages, the early modern period, the nineteenth century, and the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, as well as in cinema and linguistics. There is usually more than one specialist in any given field, which helps to broaden the PhD student’s approach to and understanding of his or her topic. There is a dynamic culture of research seminars.
The PhD in French is awarded on the basis of a dissertation, a substantial piece of writing which reports original research into a closely defined area of enquiry. The completion of the PhD dissertation is generally expected to take three years, and most funding is based on this assumption. It is also possible to take a part-time route through research degrees, and the expected timeframe would be five years. The important notion of ‘original’ can be defined in a number of ways, but basically the thesis should represent a significant contribution to learning, through the discovery of new knowledge, or through the connection of previously unrelated facts, or the development of new theory, or the revision of older views, or some combination of these different criteria. In writing the thesis, you are expected to take due account of previously published work on the subject, and you should ensure that the thesis is clearly and accurately written, paying due account to English style and grammar. The thesis must be written in English, apart from quotations. There is a normal word limit of 80,000 words, including footnotes and appendices, but excluding the bibliography.
During your research, you will work closely with a Supervisor who is a specialist in your research area. In addition to providing specialist supervision, the Faculty runs a programme of professional training for the benefit of all research students.
At the end of a PhD course, students will have produced a piece of extended original research, of publishable or near-publishable quality.
They will have obtained:
- an expert knowledge of a particular field of French studies;
- a knowledge of the methodology or methodologies appropriate to their field;
- a set of research skills appropriate to their field;
- the ability to produce scholarly writing in English of a sufficiently high standard;
- an appropriate set of transferable skills, such as work planning and time management.
|One to one supervision||
During your research, you will work closely with a Supervisor who is a specialist in your research area. The supervisor does not lay down a topic for research, but will offer advice and help as to the choice of a topic. He or she will help you draw up a plan and a timetable for the thesis, and will give you detailed feedback on your written work. The Cambridge French Department offers supervision in an exceptionally broad range of areas and there is usually more than one specialist in any given area. Members of the Department are specialists in areas of French-language literature, film, history, philosophy and culture from the Middle Ages to the present day. In addition to your Supervisor, you will normally also be able to draw on the help and support of another member of the academic staff, your advisor, who may or may not be a specialist in your area, but who will be able to give general academic advice and support.Students may reasonably expect to see their supervisor fortnightly or at least three times a term. Supervisors normally take care to provide written comments on written work, and to give constructive criticism. There is no need for written work to be provided for every meeting: general discussion and planning is vital, too. The length of a supervision can vary, depending on the stage a student is at and on the nature of the written work, if any, to be discussed. As a rule, however, such meetings generally last between 30 and 60 minutes.
Generally, a student can expect 10-12 hours of supervisions over the course of each academic year.
The University of Cambridge publishes an annual Code of Practice which sets out the University’s expectations regarding supervision
|Seminars & classes||
Students are encouraged regularly to attend the French Graduate Research seminars and the French Research Seminars in their area (the areas are: Medieval, Early Modern, Nineteenth Century, Twentieth and Twenty-First Century, and Linguistics).
Attending lectures is optional but students are encouraged to take advantage of lectures offered across the university which are relevant to their research.
Feedback on progress is provided through regular meetings with the Supervisor. Termly Supervision reports are written and are made available to the student online.
There is a normal word limit for the thesis of 80,000 words (including footnotes and appendices but excluding bibliography). The thesis should represent a significant contribution to learning through the discovery of new knowledge or through the connection of previously unrelated facts, or the development of new theory, revision of older views or some combination of these. In writing the thesis you are expected to take account of previously published work on the subject and the thesis should be clearly and accurately written, paying due attention to English style and grammar. Candidates for the PhD in Cambridge are guided by a supervisor, though they will normally also discuss their work with a number of other experts in their field.
Following submission of the thesis, an oral (viva) examination is held.
- Magistr (Master's Degree) at Pass level. Diploma Specialista (completed post-1991) with a minimum overall grade of good or 4/5 Bachelor's from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and other prestigious institutions with an overall grade of 4/5 Bologna Bachelor's from other institutions with an overall grade of 5/5, Excellent
- Diploma Specialista (completed post-1991) with a minimum overall grade of Excellent or 5/5 Bachelor's from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and other prestigious institutions with an overall grade of 5/5
- IELTS (Academic) 7.5
- TOEFL Internet Score 110
- £50 application fee
- First Academic Reference
- Second Academic Reference
- Research Proposal. 500-1000 word research proposal
- Sample of Work. A sample of recent research writing of approximately 5,000-10,000 words. The sample can be either an essay produced during masters-level studies or a section of a dissertation, and must be a single-authored work.
- Personal Reference
- Global Education
- Gates Cambridge Scholarships