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Cambridge M.Phil in Culture and Criticism


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I actually completed that program last year, and would be happy to share my experiences in detail or in summary. I think that for particular theoretical interests like post-modernism, deconstruction or psychoanalysis the program is excellent. It's not nearly as interdisciplinary as it makes itself out to be, however, and as an American student there I found almost no support from the faculty, compared to what I was used to in U.S. schools. There were exceptions to that, and I had a good relationship with my supervisor which is the key thing, but overall I was disappointed with the program.

For theory it is good, but if you want practical application or context you're more or less out of luck. The program itself is so unclear about its focus that about half of my class of 22 felt like their interests were not being supported, and our interests were so diverse that it was hard to form collaborative relationships. All in all, the program was intellectually demanding but rather isolating. There wasn't as much research freedom as I expected either - it's advertised as a part-taught, part-research course and I think that kind of hybridity which is intended to provide breadth and common ground is actually rather frustrating and limiting.

If you do decide to go, research your college choice carefully (I'd be happy to give you advice on this as well, if you're not familiar with the colleges) because that will have a huge impact on your experience there. If you want to talk further about anything, or ask me specific questions feel free to send me an email.

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