Applications Invited for MPhil at Geography or Scott Polar Research Institute

Applications Invited for MPhil at Geography or Scott Polar Research Institute

Institute Name: Department of Geography, University of Cambridge

Apply By: 05 Dec 2023

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About the Organization

Geography has a long tradition at Cambridge. The first University Lecturer in Geography was appointed in 1888, the first Reader in 1898. Teaching was initially for a special examination leading to a diploma in geography. The Geographical Tripos – the examination for a B.A. degree – was established in 1919. In 1931 the first Professor was appointed and in 1933 the Department moved into its own accommodation. That building, which now constitutes the eastern end of the Department, was considerably extended in the 1930s, with the construction of new lecture theatres and laboratories. In the 1980s, the building was further extended with the addition of a top floor to provide a new laboratory for computing, remote sensing and geographical information systems. In 1999 the Department expanded again, to occupy two floors in an adjacent building where new laboratories, seminar rooms and offices are housed.

Since then, the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure has been integrated into the teaching and research activities of the Department (2001) and the Scott Polar Research Institute has become a sub-department (2002). Today, the Department has 35 academic staff including ten Professors and four Readers.

The Department of Geography today is a flourishing and expanding academic community committed to high standards of research. The questions we ask, the philosophies and methodologies we draw upon, embrace the natural and social sciences as well as the humanities. Research is represented by our main research thematic groups and our work brings us into contact and collaboration with many other disciplines to address the challenges of a changing world.

About the Program

The Department offers a range of taught and research Masters courses.

MPhil in Anthropocene Studies: An 11-month MPhil studying, exploring and critiquing the idea of The Anthropocene. The MPhil in Anthropocene Studies from the Department of Geography launched in October 2020. The scale of the environmental and social challenges facing today’s world has grown enormously in recent decades, and will grow greater still in a world of scarce and unequal resources, growing population and unmet human development needs. The claim that we now live in The Anthropocene raises fundamental questions for and about humanity on a changing planet. This new 11-month programme of advanced study and research will allow students to understand the origins, claims and politics of The Anthropocene drawing upon the inter-disciplinary strengths of geographical thought, analysis and practice.

MPhil in Conservation Leadership: The Cambridge Masters in Conservation Leadership is a ground-breaking course that equips students with the applied leadership and management skills needed to create positive change in conservation. A unique feature of the course is its delivery by a collaboration between the University of Cambridge and nine leading conservation organisations, which together comprise the Cambridge Conservation Initiative.

MPhil in Geography: The MPhil in Geography is a 12 month full-time programme of research that introduces students to research skills and specialist knowledge. It involves carrying out an original piece of research and is examined on the basis of a dissertation; there are no taught courses, although, if relevant, you may participate in training offered by the Social Sciences Research Methods Programme or other similar programmes offered by the University.

MPhil in Holocene Climates: Launched in October 2020 the new MPhil in Holocene Climates explores and studies the material records of climate variation. Climate occupies an uncomfortable place in historical enquiry. When studying the recent millennia, rich in documentary and archaeological sources, most historians and archaeologists have been reluctant to consider climatic change as a factor for understanding political, economic, social and cultural transformation. Much of the scholarship addressing these complex relationships continues to be constrained by the disciplinary limits of individuals.

The MPhil in Holocene Climates seeks to establish expertise at the interface of climate and history in a new way, beginning with the premise that exchange and dialogue across disciplinary and epistemological divides must become habitual practice. Through its focus on the generation, interpretation and integration of evidence, this program will move beyond reductionist explanations to address critical questions: How and why has climate varied during the Holocene? How have such changes and subsequent environmental factors interacted with ecological and societal processes and systems? The programme will enhance careers both inside and outside the academy, in both public and private sectors, in national and international organisations, and in developed and developing world contexts. It is designed to accommodate students with a wide range of first-degree backgrounds and is open to international, EU and UK students.

MPhil in Polar Studies: The Master of Philosophy in Polar Studies at the Scott Polar Research Institute (part of the Department of Geography) is a nine month postgraduate degree which offers a unique opportunity to conduct independent research in one of the foremost institutes for Polar Studies in the world. The course offers specialist research and focused training in two areas: Polar Social Sciences and Humanities, including northern peoples and cultures, history of science and exploration and polar governance; Polar Physical Sciences, focusing on remote sensing of polar environments, the high-latitude marine geological record, glaciology, and climate change.

The course also offers the opportunity to work with the unique collections of the Institute.

How to Apply

Your application will need to include information explaining your motivation for the MPhil and details of any employment or other non-academic experience relevant to the subject of the MPhil.

Go to the University’s Postgraduate Admissions Office Prospectus for Geography and Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI) which has all the information you need to make a formal application.

For more information please check the Link

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