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    If you google it, you can actually find sample research proposals from the English department. How useful they are I don't know.
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    (Original post by caranciaest)
    Sorry to jump in here, but I'm looking to apply for Political Theory MAs/PhDs at other institutions (MPhil Political Theory at Oxford) and stumbled upon the MPhil Political Thought and Intellectual History. Seeing as it's offered by the History department, do you think a non-historical background/focus is problematic? I'm interested in 20th century continental political theory and socialist political thought, but not from a historical perspective per se - more so with a view to a contemporary application. It seems like a fair share of the faculty specialises in political theory. Will I fit in?
    My understanding of PTIH in Cambridge is that it is historically-grounded. They are still very much in the Skinnerian model of historical context informing political thought, rather than its uses in the contemporary world per se. The political thought historians I know definitely see themselves as historians, rather than political theorists, and this includes someone who works on 1950s/60s political thought. As regards your background, I wouldn't necessarily say it's problematic not to have a history BA, but how you are constructing your project could be problematic for them. That said, I'm not in PTIH, so I guess if you like the look of the course you could apply & see what happens, especially if they have people you'd be interested in working with.
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    (Original post by gutenberg)
    My understanding of PTIH in Cambridge is that it is historically-grounded. They are still very much in the Skinnerian model of historical context informing political thought, rather than its uses in the contemporary world per se. The political thought historians I know definitely see themselves as historians, rather than political theorists, and this includes someone who works on 1950s/60s political thought. As regards your background, I wouldn't necessarily say it's problematic not to have a history BA, but how you are constructing your project could be problematic for them. That said, I'm not in PTIH, so I guess if you like the look of the course you could apply & see what happens, especially if they have people you'd be interested in working with.
    Thank you! Would you say that all, or most, of the research by MPhil students in PTIH deals with historical primary source material rather than theoretical monographs? Also, do you know whether it's commong for PTIH graduates to go on to do PhDs/DPhils in other fields (political theory, philosophy, etc.)?
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    (Original post by caranciaest)
    Thank you! Would you say that all, or most, of the research by MPhil students in PTIH deals with historical primary source material rather than theoretical monographs? Also, do you know whether it's commong for PTIH graduates to go on to do PhDs/DPhils in other fields (political theory, philosophy, etc.)?
    My experience is that while of course they have to deal with the theoretical monographs produced by those they study, they are also very much grounded in historical material. So in the example I gave earlier, a friend is working on a major mid-20th century thinker. She is of course very much interested in his monographs, but for her PhD she is primarily immersed in his working papers, correspondence etc., so heavily involved in the context as well as what he is actually producing. I hope that helps a bit? Most PTIH grads I've met tend to be working on the development of a certain thinker's work in a historical context, or its use by others.

    As regards PhDs, many of the MPhils go on to PhDs in history at Cambridge, and specifically in PTIH. I've no idea if those who go elsewhere end up in history departments, or in political science/philosophy etc.; probably it just depends on the organization of the university in question. Cambridge's set-up for PTIH is pretty unique, in having so large and dedicated a subject group to it. The PTIH MPhil group is usually the largest each year, and tends to contribute the most PhDs to each yearly cohort.
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    Hi. I'm finishing my PhD studies soon and I'm considering applying for an MPhil degree at Cambridge. I will to apply for the Gates funding as an international student too. Do I stand any chance at either of them, given that I will be applying as a PhD student? Would they rather give the opportunity to someone who is applying for their first master's degree?Thanks.
 
 
 

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