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Research seminars and skills training

Another benefit being a graduate student at Cambridge is the incredible variety of training opportunities available. These include literally hundreds of research seminars and graduate workshops, the chance to attend various undergraduate lecture series on an almost infinite range of topics (with the permission of the relevant course lecturer), and a huge range of training courses to help you develop your skills and expand your knowledge further.

MPhil students are especially encouraged to attend and participate in the Centre of African Studies Seminar, which offers you a vital social and intellectual forum to share ideas and learn from colleagues, both fellow students and academic staff. 

You are also encouraged to seek out other seminars, workshops and talks that fit with your research interests – ask your supervisor for advice on what might be suitable (see also the list below).

To find out more about the enormous range of events going on in Cambridge, scan departmental notice boards for interesting-looking programmes and posters, look up Faculty and Department websites for details of upcoming events, join mailing lists and twitter feeds, visit and check out What’s on, which is the University’s listing of events open to the public. Join the mailing list of the Centre of African Studies here.

It is also often useful to supplement your taught course seminar classes with a related undergraduate lecture series. There are Africa-related courses being taught in Faculties and Departments across the University - ask your MPhil lecturers to suggest a suitable lecture series for additional study. You can also find out information about many University lectures through the online lecture list. As a matriculated student you are entitled to attend any lectures (but not classes) of any degree course. However, you can only attend lectures where there is room in the lecture theatre; students who are formally registered on the course obviously receive preference. Always check the details published by the Faculty or Department concerned and obtain the lecturer’s permission before attending.

For training courses, visit the Cambridge University skills portal for career guidance, and an introduction to transferable skills for graduate students, as well as to opportunities to develop your skills set. This website links to the University of Cambridge training booking system, through which you can search for and book onto a huge variety of training courses run by participating University training providers. These include the Social Sciences Research Methods Centre (high quality training in quantitative and qualitative methods for graduate students) Cambridge University Library, the Language Centre, the Researcher Development programme (targeted mostly at PhD students), and IT training run by the University Information Services.

Related links

African Archaeology Group

Cambridge-Africa Programme

Cambridge Centre for Christianity Worldwide

Cambridge University Social Anthropology Society

Centre for Commonwealth Education

Centre for Education and International Development

Centre for Governance & Human Rights


Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolutionary Studies

Political Ecology Group Seminar

Postcolonial and Related Literatures Graduate Seminar

Social Anthropology Senior Research Seminar

Faculty of History Graduate Workshops

World Christianities Seminar

World History Seminar