How do I write a research proposal?

We have created some guidelines to help you write your research proposal, which are available here.

What aspects of a candidate will be assessed in terms of qualifications – other than those listed on the site currently – for this particular degree?

Please refer to the general admissions guidance on general entry requirements:

Additional requirements for this particular degree are found here:

How do I find out if my non-UK undergraduate major meets your entry requirements?

You will need to check via this link to see how your international degree mark would convert to the UK grade required (follow the drop down links and choose your country):

How many hours of lectures will there be each week?

The overall numbers of hours can be found under the MPhil Teaching and Assessment tab here. There are 20 hours of lectures (including workshops) and 20 hours of seminars (including research seminars) per year, and these teaching hours are front-loaded into the first two terms. In Easter term, students will have individual supervisions, but no lectures or seminars. Supervisions consist of one-on-one sessions between student and supervisor, entirely focussed on the student’s work. In addition to lectures and seminars, CDH offers MPhil research seminars, writing workshops, presentation workshops, as well as training sessions provided by the University Library.

How is the course structured?

The required element of the course consists of two core courses in the Michaelmas term and two course choices from a basket of options in the Lent term. Students are also required to attend a lecture/workshop series and research seminar programme, which will run alongside the courses. Students will also be expected to attend training sessions provided by the University Library on bibliographical and library skills, along with sessions on electronic resources.

What is the average class size?

Seminars tend to have under 15 students, with 18 students as an unusual maximum. When the group size is larger, as is the case for the obligatory core courses, students will be split into two classes of 12-15 students on average.

What are the language requirements for the course? Are applicants required to have IELTS/TOEFL scores, or can this requirement be waived for applicants who have previously studied in English?

If English isn’t your first language, you will be required to submit evidence that you meet the University’s English language requirement before you are admitted to your proposed course of study. For information about IELTS/TOELS English competency requirements, please visit:

Further information regarding expected academic standards for the Digital Humanities MPhil can be found here.

Are there application fee waivers for students from developing countries? What other funding opportunities are available?

Anyone who applies for a postgraduate course at Cambridge can also apply to be considered for funding to help cover their fees and costs. There are also specific funding opportunities available to applicants from underrepresented backgrounds from both UK households and abroad, including application fee waivers.

For general information about postgraduate funding visit:

For contextual data and widening participation funding, visit:

If you can’t find what you’re looking for, please email us with any questions at

Must the sample of work be something related to Digital Humanities? Can the sample of work be of mixed media, or should it only be a written essay?

If you have a sample of work related to Digital Humanities — great; if not, that’s okay. What we are interested in is your ability to write. The first assignment that counts towards the degree is due only two months after you arrive and requires 5000 words of written text. Mixed media could be very convincing, but it needs to have enough written text to show us you have the ability to communicate an argument effectively.

I have a degree in English. Is it better to send a Digital Humanities essay and a close-reading essay to show my writing skills, or send a DH essay by itself?

The sample of work can be one long piece or several shorter essays (max. 5) amounting to around 3,000–5,000 words in total. If the non-DH essay is of better quality, send that. However, you might be able to fit more than one essay within the 5000-word limit. It is important to demonstrate primarily your writing ability, but showing breadth can also be helpful.

What else do I need to apply?

Full information on how to apply can be found here.

Two academic references 

  • Transcript 
  • CV/resume
  • Evidence of competence in English If required – you can check using our tool
  • Covering letterApplicants need to submit a single page covering letter explaining their rationale for wishing to undertake the course and justifying their case for a place.
  • Research proposal (M)Please submit a 500-word research proposal. Information on how to write a research proposal can be found on the following webpage:
  • Sample of work (max. 5)Please submit a sample of work, which can be one long piece or several shorter essays amounting to around 3,000–5,000 words in total.

If you wish to be considered for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship, you will also need to provide the following:

  • Gates Cambridge Reference 
  • Research Proposal (PhD applicants only)

See Gates Cambridge for more information.

My undergraduate grade isn’t fantastic. Should I still apply?

Applicants for this course should have achieved a UK Good II.i Honours Degree. If your degree is not from the UK, please check International Qualifications to find the equivalent in your country. Normally, applicants must have at least a high II.i Honours degree (67 or above) from a UK university or an international equivalent to this. However, we may be able to take other things besides your grade into account. For example, relevant professional experience. You need to make a case as to why you would be able to meet the requirements of the degree. More information about entry requirements can be found here.

Is there any preference to applicants from certain prior academic backgrounds or projects (for example, any background in computer science or cultural analytics)?

In terms of the subject area of your first degree, we do not have any specific requirements but would look at the quality of the applicant’s research proposal, the strength of their case for joining a Digital Humanities degree course. The course involves engagement with digital methods – for which you do not need any specialist skills. As the MPhil will be assessed through a written dissertation and essays, we will be looking for evidence of strong writing skills in prospective students (this would be particularly relevant for applicants from outside the humanities and social sciences).

Further information

Applications for the MPhil course commencing in October 2024 close on 4 January 2024. For more information, including the application link, visit:


Cambridge Digital Humanities

Tel: +44 1223 766886