How I got an MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge

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JustAnoth3rN3rd
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#1
Report Thread starter 8 months ago
#1
Hello,

I know how much it helped me to hear from friends how they filled out their applications to get into their master's programmes, so I wanted to just give all the details about what my application was like in case it helps others.

My offer for an MPhil in Development Studies is conditional on me getting a 68 overall for my undergrad. I currently do a BA in European Studies French Pathway at King's College London.

My transcript grades are as follows:
First year: 74, 71, 76, 74, 81
Second year: 80, 71, 70, 71, 70, 71, 66
Year Abroad (counts): 71, 85
Final year: TBC

My work experience includes two years working part-time at an MP's constituency office doing admin work. I have worked 3 months as a research fellow at my university (unpaid besides grant). I have volunteered 3 months at a charity as a Political Communications Officer.

The personal statement I wrote only needed to be 2500 character. I should stress that you should not take phrases directly from this as the university uses turnitin to detect plagiarism. My personal statement was as follows:

As academic literature generates mediated accounts of reality, writing from sites of power can lead to social and epistemic injustices. To eliminate colonial legacies imbedded in development projects, knowledge production about development theory and practice cannot be left to “Northern” or “Western” agency. Centring Southern and subaltern perspectives in development thinking is my motivation for studying an MPhil in Development Studies at the University of Cambridge.
As my upbringing impressed on to me the impact of such exclusion from dominant discourses, Development Studies’ counter-hegemonic focus is the ideal fit for me. I am particularly drawn to papers 2, 3, 290 and 390 as they challenge discursive and cognitive binaries entrenched in notions of development. Furthermore, the University of Cambridge’s reputation of fostering a reflexive and critical pedagogical style will enrich my studies of the ‘Global South’. It is my hope that ____’s research expertise in sex work, gendered labour, and sex trafficking would be an invaluable resource for my dissertation. This will examine ___. It is my aspiration to explore this issue in greater depth as part of a PhD in Development Studies.
I have developed a strong interdisciplinary background in the historical, economical, sociological and anthropological dimensions of global politics at King’s College London (KCL). This prepares me neatly for postgraduate study in Development Studies. I have excelled at KCL, attaining 81% for my third year. Moreover, I have had two essays published in E-International Relations, and another two in KCL’s Political Theory and Political Philosophy journal. One essay explored ___. My findings led me to re-evaluate the transcendental and universalistic perspective adopted by some researchers.
My academic proficiency and my developing intellectual thought make me an excellent candidate for postgraduate taught work and beyond in Development Studies. Pursuing this MPhil will enable me to join practitioners seeking to change the world, not just analyse it.

I hope this helps and I am happy to answer any questions anyone has.
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rm2222
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#2
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#2
congrats!!
Last edited by rm2222; 8 months ago
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JustAnoth3rN3rd
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#3
Report Thread starter 8 months ago
#3
(Original post by rm2222)
congrats!!
Thank you, best of luck with where you're at!
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Oreooo.
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#4
Report 8 months ago
#4
Congrats!! That's amazing!! Would you say it's even possible for a 2.1 to get an offer for this? I'm also applying the program. Thanks !
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Meghanlaulau
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#5
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#5
(Original post by Oreooo.)
Congrats!! That's amazing!! Would you say it's even possible for a 2.1 to get an offer for this? I'm also applying the program. Thanks !
I applied as well, what is your application status now plz? Thanks!
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Oreooo.
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#6
Report 7 months ago
#6
(Original post by Meghanlaulau)
I applied as well, what is your application status now plz? Thanks!
Not yet. still refining my application material
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JustAnoth3rN3rd
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#7
Report Thread starter 7 months ago
#7
(Original post by Oreooo.)
Congrats!! That's amazing!! Would you say it's even possible for a 2.1 to get an offer for this? I'm also applying the program. Thanks !
Obviously it is hard to judge as I'm not part of the admin who accepts people, but one way of looking at is that they gave me an offer requiring me to get a 2.1, which certainly suggests that they find this to be an acceptable level for continuation into the MPhil. It's also a course which is in relatively low demand compared with other MPhils in subjects like International Relations. I think I remember reading that last year they accepted approx 50 out of 250 applicants or so, which gives you a 1 in 5 odds. At any rate, it's always worth shooting your shot and seeing how it goes. If you have relevant work experience or if you show you're passionate about the subject it may give you that edge which will get you through. At any rate, best of luck with the application (and obviously do let me know if you get an offer so we can look out for each other aha).
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thegeek888
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#8
Report 7 months ago
#8
(Original post by JustAnoth3rN3rd)
Hello,

I know how much it helped me to hear from friends how they filled out their applications to get into their master's programmes, so I wanted to just give all the details about what my application was like in case it helps others.

My offer for an MPhil in Development Studies is conditional on me getting a 68 overall for my undergrad. I currently do a BA in European Studies French Pathway at King's College London.

My transcript grades are as follows:
First year: 74, 71, 76, 74, 81
Second year: 80, 71, 70, 71, 70, 71, 66
Year Abroad (counts): 71, 85
Final year: TBC

My work experience includes two years working part-time at an MP's constituency office doing admin work. I have worked 3 months as a research fellow at my university (unpaid besides grant). I have volunteered 3 months at a charity as a Political Communications Officer.

The personal statement I wrote only needed to be 2500 character. I should stress that you should not take phrases directly from this as the university uses turnitin to detect plagiarism. My personal statement was as follows:

As academic literature generates mediated accounts of reality, writing from sites of power can lead to social and epistemic injustices. To eliminate colonial legacies imbedded in development projects, knowledge production about development theory and practice cannot be left to “Northern” or “Western” agency. Centring Southern and subaltern perspectives in development thinking is my motivation for studying an MPhil in Development Studies at the University of Cambridge.
As my upbringing impressed on to me the impact of such exclusion from dominant discourses, Development Studies’ counter-hegemonic focus is the ideal fit for me. I am particularly drawn to papers 2, 3, 290 and 390 as they challenge discursive and cognitive binaries entrenched in notions of development. Furthermore, the University of Cambridge’s reputation of fostering a reflexive and critical pedagogical style will enrich my studies of the ‘Global South’. It is my hope that ____’s research expertise in sex work, gendered labour, and sex trafficking would be an invaluable resource for my dissertation. This will examine ___. It is my aspiration to explore this issue in greater depth as part of a PhD in Development Studies.
I have developed a strong interdisciplinary background in the historical, economical, sociological and anthropological dimensions of global politics at King’s College London (KCL). This prepares me neatly for postgraduate study in Development Studies. I have excelled at KCL, attaining 81% for my third year. Moreover, I have had two essays published in E-International Relations, and another two in KCL’s Political Theory and Political Philosophy journal. One essay explored ___. My findings led me to re-evaluate the transcendental and universalistic perspective adopted by some researchers.
My academic proficiency and my developing intellectual thought make me an excellent candidate for postgraduate taught work and beyond in Development Studies. Pursuing this MPhil will enable me to join practitioners seeking to change the world, not just analyse it.

I hope this helps and I am happy to answer any questions anyone has.
I wonder how long the personal statement for Cambridge University is for an MBA or LLM?
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JustAnoth3rN3rd
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#9
Report Thread starter 6 months ago
#9
(Original post by thegeek888)
I wonder how long the personal statement for Cambridge University is for an MBA or LLM?
Looks like it's 5000 characters for an LLM on their website:
https://www.postgraduate.study.cam.a...lwlwllll/apply
Best of luck!
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Oreooo.
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#10
Report 6 months ago
#10
(Original post by JustAnoth3rN3rd)
Obviously it is hard to judge as I'm not part of the admin who accepts people, but one way of looking at is that they gave me an offer requiring me to get a 2.1, which certainly suggests that they find this to be an acceptable level for continuation into the MPhil. It's also a course which is in relatively low demand compared with other MPhils in subjects like International Relations. I think I remember reading that last year they accepted approx 50 out of 250 applicants or so, which gives you a 1 in 5 odds. At any rate, it's always worth shooting your shot and seeing how it goes. If you have relevant work experience or if you show you're passionate about the subject it may give you that edge which will get you through. At any rate, best of luck with the application (and obviously do let me know if you get an offer so we can look out for each other aha).
SORRY for the late reply! I applied for it. Still waiting for the result.
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nnnn11111
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#11
Report 5 months ago
#11
Hi! Is anyone applying from Italy? Is it possible to apply to MPhil Development Studies with 107/110? I graduated from Bocconi University. The international qualifications page states that the minimum requirement is 108/110, which I found strange as LSE and Oxford require 106/110 (usually considered 2:1). Plus I have strong work experience in UN, UNIDO...
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