MA/MPhil and PhD English Applicants 2020 Watch

SixteenHundred
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#21
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#21
(Original post by jillybean06)
I'm not too miffed about Gates- it was a long shot, so just the shortlisting was something. I'm crossing my fingers about some external funding, so at this point getting nudged into an MA first wouldn't be terrible, as I could reapply to the PhD early and hopefully earn better funding. What kind of work do you do? And, what are you looking at researching? It's certainly an adventure working full-time and applying for school all over again!

P.S. these threads are kind of a godsend with being out of school a couple of years, it started feeling a little overwhelming trying to figure out the whole process before stumbling along here!
Aw, fingers crossed for you too! I work in sales and marketing, and I research literary style in the earliest 'popular science' books. I'm glad this thread is helpful for everyone!
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Mangoji
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#22
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Hello everyone! I’m a Modern and Contemporary lit PhD applicant, currently also on a year out after an MA at UCL.

The wait is driving me absolutely mad. I know OP has already been invited for an interview - hope it went well! - but have any others had one yet?
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engapp2020
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(Original post by picnic4)
Could I ask who you emailed? I have a question about applications and am not sure who to ask!
This is who I emailed: https://www.english.cam.ac.uk/people/Anna.Fox/
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1998Anonymous
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Hi! Applied for the Criticism and Culture MPhil.

I am looking at real world events surrounding the limitations of reproductive rights in women, and how this has translated to feminist dystopia since the 1980s. Looking at individual methodology used to control reproductive systems, like outlawing abortions, surrogacy farms, reproduction outside of the reproductive system etc. Using feminist bioethicists and Marxist analysis on labour and commodity as the basis for this critical theory.

I have worked so hard this year and keep having dreams I don't get in. Currently not sure where else I'd like to go for an MA if I don't. As a die-hard feminist, I have really struggled with the culture at Sussex (where I am currently at) in which "woke" men are the worst and most violent offenders but code themselves as left wing feminists. I am trying to avoid such a heavily left wing culture, and I fell in love with Cambridge. All my female friends have been subjected to rape/male violence and it's really scary here. I don't think Bristol would be the right backup choice for me, but I need to be realistic about where I can afford to go as I am self-funding (I have had exceptional luck with well paid jobs over the years and understand this isn't realistic for everyone, I don't want to come across as bragging).

If anyone has any advice on a cheapish place to live, and a really great uni (I am likely to get a first so I want to shoot for the stars), let me know.

Best of luck everyone.
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Kaylee Frye
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(Original post by SixteenHundred)
I have edited it to make this clearer, a good start for an English application thread :') Oooh, how is A God in Ruins? I am a firm believer in reading for fun too and I'm glad nobody has yet taken this as a challenge to tell us about how they're rereading Finnegans Wake backwards for a lark (though if you are reading course-related stuff, anyone else, please do feel free to share as well). Culture and Criticism is not a course I've ever looked at and I'm a little confused about what it covers to be honest - I'm guessing it's theory-heavy?
I agree! During my undergraduate I lost the joy of reading for a bit, so I'm very glad it's my main 'hobby' again, rather than something I just do because I (feel I) should. A God in Ruins is good so far - I really enjoyed Life After Life, so it's nice to get to spend more time with the characters. Lately I've been reading a lot of contemporary authors that didn't fit in my course, but who I remember being curious about when their reviews came out (like Otessa Moshfegh, Sarah Waters, even Mantel's Wolf Hall novels), and so far it's been a real joy! I saw in another post that you're reading a biography, which made me realise that I've actually never read a single biography myself - something to add to the list!

Yes, Culture and Criticism is quite theory-heavy, and best suited of all the different PhD strands to do interdisciplinary work in, I think. My research proposal is heavy on feminist theory and cultural critique and also involves literature from a few different periods, so I felt it was definitely 'the one' for me. It's the main reason I'm so keen on Cambridge - I've contacted professors at different English faculties and they never seemed quite sure of what to think of my proposal (never a great sign ), whereas the person I contacted at Cambridge just went 'sure, would love to supervise'.
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Kaylee Frye
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(Original post by 1998Anonymous)
Hi! Applied for the Criticism and Culture MPhil.

I am looking at real world events surrounding the limitations of reproductive rights in women, and how this has translated to feminist dystopia since the 1980s. Looking at individual methodology used to control reproductive systems, like outlawing abortions, surrogacy farms, reproduction outside of the reproductive system etc. Using feminist bioethicists and Marxist analysis on labour and commodity as the basis for this critical theory.

I have worked so hard this year and keep having dreams I don't get in. Currently not sure where else I'd like to go for an MA if I don't. As a die-hard feminist, I have really struggled with the culture at Sussex (where I am currently at) in which "woke" men are the worst and most violent offenders but code themselves as left wing feminists. I am trying to avoid such a heavily left wing culture, and I fell in love with Cambridge. All my female friends have been subjected to rape/male violence and it's really scary here. I don't think Bristol would be the right backup choice for me, but I need to be realistic about where I can afford to go as I am self-funding (I have had exceptional luck with well paid jobs over the years and understand this isn't realistic for everyone, I don't want to come across as bragging).

If anyone has any advice on a cheapish place to live, and a really great uni (I am likely to get a first so I want to shoot for the stars), let me know.

Best of luck everyone.
I'm sorry you're having a rough time right now, it sounds pretty awful. Considering your choice of topic, have you looked at any Gender or Women's Studies programmes? I'm doing an MSc in Gender at LSE and am loving it - despite it being a social sciences university I'm being allowed to bring literature into pretty much everything I do, and as a lot of other universities have their gender/women's/feminist studies as part of their Humanities department I'm sure they'd encourage it even more.

The culture amongst those studying Gender is fantastic at LSE; I was worried I'd end up with a bunch of militant people who'd crucify me if I ever got anything 'wrong', but it's the opposite of that; it's a very kind and open environment where everyone just does their best and learns as they go. LSE has some pretty good bursaries and scholarships too - it's unfortunate not a cheap place to live, but because of funding it worked out significantly cheaper for me than my second choice (St Andrew's). Speaking of which, they have an MA programme that's quite theory-heavy as well, and the idea I pitched in my forms (like yours heavy on feminist theory) resulted in the quickest acceptance I've ever received, so I think they definitely have the expertise there too.
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SixteenHundred
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#27
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#27
(Original post by 1998Anonymous)
Hi! Applied for the Criticism and Culture MPhil.

I am looking at real world events surrounding the limitations of reproductive rights in women, and how this has translated to feminist dystopia since the 1980s. Looking at individual methodology used to control reproductive systems, like outlawing abortions, surrogacy farms, reproduction outside of the reproductive system etc. Using feminist bioethicists and Marxist analysis on labour and commodity as the basis for this critical theory.

I have worked so hard this year and keep having dreams I don't get in. Currently not sure where else I'd like to go for an MA if I don't. As a die-hard feminist, I have really struggled with the culture at Sussex (where I am currently at) in which "woke" men are the worst and most violent offenders but code themselves as left wing feminists. I am trying to avoid such a heavily left wing culture, and I fell in love with Cambridge. All my female friends have been subjected to rape/male violence and it's really scary here. I don't think Bristol would be the right backup choice for me, but I need to be realistic about where I can afford to go as I am self-funding (I have had exceptional luck with well paid jobs over the years and understand this isn't realistic for everyone, I don't want to come across as bragging).

If anyone has any advice on a cheapish place to live, and a really great uni (I am likely to get a first so I want to shoot for the stars), let me know.

Best of luck everyone.
I'm so sorry to hear you've had that experience at Sussex. I had a positive experience at UCL for my MA (and I needed extenuating circumstances for a number of reasons, which they were very accommodating about and ensured it was put through when I was too ill to advocate for myself). London is of course not cheap to live, but many people at UCL do commute in from cheaper areas further out.

(Original post by Kaylee Frye)
I agree! During my undergraduate I lost the joy of reading for a bit, so I'm very glad it's my main 'hobby' again, rather than something I just do because I (feel I) should. A God in Ruins is good so far - I really enjoyed Life After Life, so it's nice to get to spend more time with the characters. Lately I've been reading a lot of contemporary authors that didn't fit in my course, but who I remember being curious about when their reviews came out (like Otessa Moshfegh, Sarah Waters, even Mantel's Wolf Hall novels), and so far it's been a real joy! I saw in another post that you're reading a biography, which made me realise that I've actually never read a single biography myself - something to add to the list!

Yes, Culture and Criticism is quite theory-heavy, and best suited of all the different PhD strands to do interdisciplinary work in, I think. My research proposal is heavy on feminist theory and cultural critique and also involves literature from a few different periods, so I felt it was definitely 'the one' for me. It's the main reason I'm so keen on Cambridge - I've contacted professors at different English faculties and they never seemed quite sure of what to think of my proposal (never a great sign ), whereas the person I contacted at Cambridge just went 'sure, would love to supervise'.
Ah, I can't cope with Wolf Hall as I work in that period and it's not a relaxing read for me! I do love Sarah Waters though - The Little Stranger appeals to my longstanding love for Gothic lit.

I've had a similar mixed response from some places when I've proposed my research. Fingers crossed for you that Cambridge take you on, as it sounds like it's the right environment for you!
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FlexyWex101
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#28
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(Original post by SixteenHundred)
I'm so sorry to hear you've had that experience at Sussex. I had a positive experience at UCL for my MA (and I needed extenuating circumstances for a number of reasons, which they were very accommodating about and ensured it was put through when I was too ill to advocate for myself). London is of course not cheap to live, but many people at UCL do commute in from cheaper areas further out.


Ah, I can't cope with Wolf Hall as I work in that period and it's not a relaxing read for me! I do love Sarah Waters though - The Little Stranger appeals to my longstanding love for Gothic lit.

I've had a similar mixed response from some places when I've proposed my research. Fingers crossed for you that Cambridge take you on, as it sounds like it's the right environment for you!
Didn't know you'd had an interview OP - congrats! How did it go? Must have been a bit weird going back to Cam after so long away!
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martaganger
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#29
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Hey all!

I'm also applying to the MPhil in Criticism and Culture (there seems to be many of us on postgraduate application forums – it might be because there's a major lack of information about admission statistics for this programme) and I'm currently reading over and over again Derrida's foreword (Fors) to Maria Torok and Nicolas Abraham's The Wolf Man's Magic Word for an essay, hoping to understandsomething –anything– at some point.

Wish you all the best of luck!
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TwoLimes
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Hi all. Applying for Am Lit PhD. Currently doing an MPhil at Cam now, so if anyone has any crit & culture / am lit / mphil questions let me know, I'll do my best
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Opo221
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(Original post by TwoLimes)
Hi all. Applying for Am Lit PhD. Currently doing an MPhil at Cam now, so if anyone has any crit & culture / am lit / mphil questions let me know, I'll do my best
Hey, that's so kind of you. Thanks in advance! Yeah, I'm applying for C/C MPhil. Could I possibly ask how the course starts, what was the atmosphere like for you? I'm sure you know what it's like as a prospective applicant, imagining every case scenario if you were to - fantastically - receive an offer... Thanks again, mate.
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TwoLimes
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(Original post by Opo221)
Hey, that's so kind of you. Thanks in advance! Yeah, I'm applying for C/C MPhil. Could I possibly ask how the course starts, what was the atmosphere like for you? I'm sure you know what it's like as a prospective applicant, imagining every case scenario if you were to - fantastically - receive an offer... Thanks again, mate.
Haha best of luck Opo waiting for an offer - I know it's a stressful time!

So, the CC course starts (from what I know - I'm on a slightly different pathway) in Michaelmas with dissertation workshops, which I imagine were similar to my own 'Research Methods' classes, and then you have 3 optional courses to pick from (this year it was Decolonise Ideas, Feminist Science Fiction, & Dramaturgies), but I expect if it's similar to American Lit they will be similar courses but content will change year on year.

In Lent, for every English-faculty MPhil you then get a whole bunch of classes to pick from for your modules, with enrollment priority given to students of that particular MPhil. For example, the American Lit course places will be given by priority to American Lit MPhil-ers, and the Culture & Crit ones to C/C MPhil-ers, but if there are spaces, anyone can take them.

As an Americanist I've gone rogue and taken 2 C/C classes this term, which feel like a complete change of pace from my Michaelmas classes. More intense, yes, but more interdisciplinary also. The atmosphere is great. I've made close friends in the Michaelmas class & we still meet up now in Lent to study or grab a coffee or a beer. I'm now in completely different cohorts, with 24 other new faces, the majority of which are C&Cers, but with some MedRen, some C18th & some modernists, which really does help widen what we talk about in seminars. It was odd for the first class, a bit like the first day of school again, but we quickly settled in and it's fine and comfortable now.

We have weekly moodle posts & discussions to contribute to as part of our expected ''work'' for some classes, so whilst we might not recognise faces in class straight away we can say, "Joe Bloggs wrote this, who is that, I liked your post, I didn't like your discussion of such and such," and it's a good way to break ice and talk about work. Someone also came up to me and said they had similar research interests to my dissertation, and so even though we were writing on completely different centuries we should meet up for a brew & chat about that. So it feels very open, which is great, definitely something I was worried about before I came, not having any kind of Oxbridge-background or desire at UG level.

Likewise, we might have a class on Hamlet, and that's great because there's someone studying Hamlet, but then someone studying another pathway will talk about Kristeva, or Judith Butler, or Whitman, to find links that we wouldn't perhaps normally have thought of. Which is great, I really like that aspect of it.

Ultimately, totally different from my undergrad experience, but honestly great, and I'd recommend it to anyone. I hope your applications go well - rooting for you all!

ed - sorry, this was quite long - hope it answers your question!
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Opo221
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(Original post by TwoLimes)
Haha best of luck Opo waiting for an offer - I know it's a stressful time!

So, the CC course starts (from what I know - I'm on a slightly different pathway) in Michaelmas with dissertation workshops, which I imagine were similar to my own 'Research Methods' classes, and then you have 3 optional courses to pick from (this year it was Decolonise Ideas, Feminist Science Fiction, & Dramaturgies), but I expect if it's similar to American Lit they will be similar courses but content will change year on year.

In Lent, for every English-faculty MPhil you then get a whole bunch of classes to pick from for your modules, with enrollment priority given to students of that particular MPhil. For example, the American Lit course places will be given by priority to American Lit MPhil-ers, and the Culture & Crit ones to C/C MPhil-ers, but if there are spaces, anyone can take them.

As an Americanist I've gone rogue and taken 2 C/C classes this term, which feel like a complete change of pace from my Michaelmas classes. More intense, yes, but more interdisciplinary also. The atmosphere is great. I've made close friends in the Michaelmas class & we still meet up now in Lent to study or grab a coffee or a beer. I'm now in completely different cohorts, with 24 other new faces, the majority of which are C&Cers, but with some MedRen, some C18th & some modernists, which really does help widen what we talk about in seminars. It was odd for the first class, a bit like the first day of school again, but we quickly settled in and it's fine and comfortable now.

We have weekly moodle posts & discussions to contribute to as part of our expected ''work'' for some classes, so whilst we might not recognise faces in class straight away we can say, "Joe Bloggs wrote this, who is that, I liked your post, I didn't like your discussion of such and such," and it's a good way to break ice and talk about work. Someone also came up to me and said they had similar research interests to my dissertation, and so even though we were writing on completely different centuries we should meet up for a brew & chat about that. So it feels very open, which is great, definitely something I was worried about before I came, not having any kind of Oxbridge-background or desire at UG level.

Likewise, we might have a class on Hamlet, and that's great because there's someone studying Hamlet, but then someone studying another pathway will talk about Kristeva, or Judith Butler, or Whitman, to find links that we wouldn't perhaps normally have thought of. Which is great, I really like that aspect of it.

Ultimately, totally different from my undergrad experience, but honestly great, and I'd recommend it to anyone. I hope your applications go well - rooting for you all!

ed - sorry, this was quite long - hope it answers your question!
Definitely, you answered my question fantastically! Thank you so, so much! Much appreciate it Xx
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artisadoom
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Happy Monday everyone - hopefully this might be the week some of us hear back, but I am NOT holding my breath!
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Opo221
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(Original post by artisadoom)
Happy Monday everyone - hopefully this might be the week some of us hear back, but I am NOT holding my breath!
2020 be like ^

Haha Xx good luck!
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TwoLimes
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(Original post by Opo221)
Definitely, you answered my question fantastically! Thank you so, so much! Much appreciate it Xx
No problem, let me know if you have any other queries or worries. Best of luck, hopefully you hear something back this week!
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Opo221
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(Original post by TwoLimes)
No problem, let me know if you have any other queries or worries. Best of luck, hopefully you hear something back this week!
Thank you so much!
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artisadoom
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Apparently there'll be strike action from the 20th of Feb onwards. Obviously, priority here is to support striking staff but also... I hope we hear back before it happens!
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Opo221
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(Original post by artisadoom)
Apparently there'll be strike action from the 20th of Feb onwards. Obviously, priority here is to support striking staff but also... I hope we hear back before it happens!
Fingers crossed !! Xx
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jillybean06
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(Original post by artisadoom)
Apparently there'll be strike action from the 20th of Feb onwards. Obviously, priority here is to support striking staff but also... I hope we hear back before it happens!
Dang! Well here’s hoping indeed!

In the meantime... it looks like we’re all interested in some varied areas, and like SixteenHundred pointed out, nobody is being snooty about their reading. So what’s been everyone’s least favorite assigned books? 😁 Mine is definitely My Antonia. Why write a whole book about a place whose greatest achievement to date is “Car Henge”, and even that didn’t exist yet in the book?
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