MPhil in History of Art and Architecture at University of Cambridge Watch

taylor9888
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 2 weeks ago
#1
Hello,


I am applying for an MPhil in History of Art and Architecture at the University of Cambridge to start in Fall 2020. I have already reached out to a potential supervisor with a 300-word research proposal (as requested on the admissions website), and they have approved me for officially applying to the University. With my application, I have to submit a research proposal of 1,000-1,500 words. The proposal needs to include a hypothesis, a literature review, a statement on method, and key references. I have focused heavily on honing my research topic and have a lot of experience with research at the undergraduate level, but I am a bit nervous about choosing the appropriate formatting for my proposal. I attend a University that does not cover methodologies in research classes, so I have never had to pick a specific method for a paper. If my project is based on archival research, can I simply state that I am using archival methodologies? Should I go into more depth? Also, what is meant by 'key references'? Finally, does anyone have suggestions on a specific format and/or examples they might be willing to share?

I feel that I am a strong applicant in all other admissions criteria. I am first in my class (GPA of 4.0 and part of the honors program), recipient of multiple research grants and academic conference awards, student body president, and have 1,500+ hours of community service. I do not say this to sound overly confident or snotty, but I would be grateful to receive feedback from anyone who has gone through the Cambridge application process at the MPhil level to hear what was successful/unsuccessful in their application.
0
reply
threeportdrift
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#2
Report 2 weeks ago
#2
(Original post by taylor9888)
Hello,


I am applying for an MPhil in History of Art and Architecture at the University of Cambridge to start in Fall 2020. I have already reached out to a potential supervisor with a 300-word research proposal (as requested on the admissions website), and they have approved me for officially applying to the University. With my application, I have to submit a research proposal of 1,000-1,500 words. The proposal needs to include a hypothesis, a literature review, a statement on method, and key references. I have focused heavily on honing my research topic and have a lot of experience with research at the undergraduate level, but I am a bit nervous about choosing the appropriate formatting for my proposal. I attend a University that does not cover methodologies in research classes, so I have never had to pick a specific method for a paper. If my project is based on archival research, can I simply state that I am using archival methodologies? Should I go into more depth? Also, what is meant by 'key references'? Finally, does anyone have suggestions on a specific format and/or examples they might be willing to share?

I feel that I am a strong applicant in all other admissions criteria. I am first in my class (GPA of 4.0 and part of the honors program), recipient of multiple research grants and academic conference awards, student body president, and have 1,500+ hours of community service. I do not say this to sound overly confident or snotty, but I would be grateful to receive feedback from anyone who has gone through the Cambridge application process at the MPhil level to hear what was successful/unsuccessful in their application.
Yes, it's fine to say it will be an appropriate archival methodology. You do have to be able to show you have reasonable access to the archives though - it's no use saying yo hope to get permission to view hitherto unseen papers, in cyrillic, which you don't speak, in the basement of the Hermitage!

Key references means saying that you will using, comparing, refuting or whatever Gombrich's History of Art, or the critical literature of Somebody on Turner, ie show that you know the important texts that relate to your research question.

Don't worry about formatting, or which style of referencing to use etc. They are well used to receiving applications from all over the world with all sorts of different layout conventions, styles etc. The Cambridge style guide - well there isn't really one overall. It might be that your department has preferences once you arrive, but for now, so long as the message is clear, they won't worry how it is presented.

Cambridge are entirely academically focussed. Your GPS matters, yoru reference matter, your financial grants matter, your awards matter, but being student body president and completing community service they are entirely indifferent to (unlike the US system, I believe).

No-one gets feedback on successful applications, so what impressed and what didn't is generally only speculation.
0
reply
taylor9888
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#3
Report Thread starter 2 weeks ago
#3
(Original post by threeportdrift)
Yes, it's fine to say it will be an appropriate archival methodology. You do have to be able to show you have reasonable access to the archives though - it's no use saying yo hope to get permission to view hitherto unseen papers, in cyrillic, which you don't speak, in the basement of the Hermitage!

Key references means saying that you will using, comparing, refuting or whatever Gombrich's History of Art, or the critical literature of Somebody on Turner, ie show that you know the important texts that relate to your research question.

Don't worry about formatting, or which style of referencing to use etc. They are well used to receiving applications from all over the world with all sorts of different layout conventions, styles etc. The Cambridge style guide - well there isn't really one overall. It might be that your department has preferences once you arrive, but for now, so long as the message is clear, they won't worry how it is presented.

Cambridge are entirely academically focussed. Your GPS matters, yoru reference matter, your financial grants matter, your awards matter, but being student body president and completing community service they are entirely indifferent to (unlike the US system, I believe).

No-one gets feedback on successful applications, so what impressed and what didn't is generally only speculation.
Thank you so much for your reply. I am very grateful for your feedback. Yes, I already have access to the archives - they are all online and I mention them in my proposal. Also, just for clarification, when discussing key references, should I actually discuss how I am going to engage with the current literature, or can I just include a list of key references at the end in proper citation format without discussing how I will use them? Or does it matter?
0
reply
taylor9888
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#4
Report Thread starter 2 weeks ago
#4
(Original post by threeportdrift)
Yes, it's fine to say it will be an appropriate archival methodology. You do have to be able to show you have reasonable access to the archives though - it's no use saying yo hope to get permission to view hitherto unseen papers, in cyrillic, which you don't speak, in the basement of the Hermitage!

Key references means saying that you will using, comparing, refuting or whatever Gombrich's History of Art, or the critical literature of Somebody on Turner, ie show that you know the important texts that relate to your research question.

Don't worry about formatting, or which style of referencing to use etc. They are well used to receiving applications from all over the world with all sorts of different layout conventions, styles etc. The Cambridge style guide - well there isn't really one overall. It might be that your department has preferences once you arrive, but for now, so long as the message is clear, they won't worry how it is presented.

Cambridge are entirely academically focussed. Your GPS matters, yoru reference matter, your financial grants matter, your awards matter, but being student body president and completing community service they are entirely indifferent to (unlike the US system, I believe).

No-one gets feedback on successful applications, so what impressed and what didn't is generally only speculation.
Also, once I've been invited to apply, are chances fairly good that I will be accepted? or are my chances still extremely slim at this point?
0
reply
threeportdrift
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#5
Report 2 weeks ago
#5
(Original post by taylor9888)
Thank you so much for your reply. I am very grateful for your feedback. Yes, I already have access to the archives - they are all online and I mention them in my proposal. Also, just for clarification, when discussing key references, should I actually discuss how I am going to engage with the current literature, or can I just include a list of key references at the end in proper citation format without discussing how I will use them? Or does it matter?
I think if you know your approach is going to critique someone or support a theory, then you should say a bit about how you will engage. But if the structure of the research is on set against a literature, and adding to it, but not trying to revise it in any way, then its sufficient to say something relatively general like 'my research will of course consider the commentaries of A, B and C who have written extensively on this issue from an W perspective'.
0
reply
taylor9888
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#6
Report Thread starter 2 weeks ago
#6
(Original post by threeportdrift)
I think if you know your approach is going to critique someone or support a theory, then you should say a bit about how you will engage. But if the structure of the research is on set against a literature, and adding to it, but not trying to revise it in any way, then its sufficient to say something relatively general like 'my research will of course consider the commentaries of A, B and C who have written extensively on this issue from an W perspective'.
Ok, thanks again! What if my research doesn't really have much literature written on it? I'm using archives that have only recently been digitized and there is minimal scholarship on my proposed area. Should I still include a statement on my intended engagement with current literature (which there is a little bit of), or exclude that statement and focus more heavily on the archives I will use and why the work is pertinent to current scholarship? Thanks again, I am grateful!
0
reply
threeportdrift
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#7
Report 2 weeks ago
#7
(Original post by taylor9888)
Ok, thanks again! What if my research doesn't really have much literature written on it? I'm using archives that have only recently been digitized and there is minimal scholarship on my proposed area. Should I still include a statement on my intended engagement with current literature (which there is a little bit of), or exclude that statement and focus more heavily on the archives I will use and why the work is pertinent to current scholarship? Thanks again, I am grateful!
Ah, well done! It has always ben my strategy to pick a dissertation subject that is so obscure there is little or no literature and therefore I can skip the pain on the literature review! Just explain that there seems, at this stage, to be minimal scholarship associated with the area and them use the space to say a little more about what you can say.
0
reply
taylor9888
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#8
Report Thread starter 2 weeks ago
#8
(Original post by threeportdrift)
Ah, well done! It has always ben my strategy to pick a dissertation subject that is so obscure there is little or no literature and therefore I can skip the pain on the literature review! Just explain that there seems, at this stage, to be minimal scholarship associated with the area and them use the space to say a little more about what you can say.
Oh perfect! So that's actually really good to not have a lot of scholarship to reference? Whoot
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts

All the exam results help you need

906

people online now

225,530

students helped last year
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

University open days

  • University of Dundee
    Undergraduate Open Day Undergraduate
    Mon, 26 Aug '19
  • University of Aberdeen
    General Open Day Undergraduate
    Tue, 27 Aug '19
  • Norwich University of the Arts
    Postgraduate (MA) Open Day Postgraduate
    Sat, 31 Aug '19

How are you feeling about GCSE Results Day?

Hopeful (213)
12.75%
Excited (150)
8.98%
Worried (302)
18.07%
Terrified (374)
22.38%
Meh (154)
9.22%
Confused (37)
2.21%
Putting on a brave face (229)
13.7%
Impatient (212)
12.69%

Watched Threads

View All
Latest
My Feed