6.2. Thesis for the MPhil degree
6.2.1. The scope of the thesis shall be what might reasonably be expected after two or at most three years of full-time study.
6.2.2. The thesis shall:
(a) consist of the candidate’s own account of his/her investigations, the greater proportion of which shall have been undertaken during the period of registration under supervision for the degree;
[The part played by the candidate in any work done jointly with the supervisor(s) and/or fellow research workers must be clearly stated by the candidate and certified by the candidate and supervisor]
(b) be either a record of original work or of an ordered and critical exposition of existing knowledge and shall provide evidence that the field has been surveyed thoroughly;
(c) be an integrated whole and present a coherent argument;
[A series of papers, whether published or otherwise, is not acceptable for submission as a thesis. Research work already published, or submitted for publication, at the time of submission of the thesis, either by the candidate alone or jointly with others, may be included only if it forms an integral part of the thesis and thereby makes a relevant contribution to the main theme of the thesis. The published papers themselves may not be included in the body of the thesis, but may be adapted to form an integral part of the thesis and thereby make a relevant contribution to the main theme of the thesis.
Publications derived from the work in the thesis may be bound as supplementary material at the back of the thesis]
(d) give a critical assessment of the relevant literature, describe the method of research and its findings and include a discussion on those findings;
(e) be written in English and the literary presentation shall be satisfactory, although the College may make application for a thesis in the field of modern foreign languages and literatures only to be written in the language of study, to be considered on an exceptional basis by the Subject Area Board in the Humanities of the University; in such cases the thesis shall include additionally a submission of between 10,000 and 20,000 words which shall be written in English and shall summarise the main arguments of the thesis;
(f) include a full bibliography and references;
(g) shall not exceed 60,000 words or the lesser number of words prescribed by the College for the subject area concerned as set out in Appendix 1.
[Note: the bibliography is excluded from the word count; footnotes are included within the word count; appendices are excluded from the word count and should only include material which examiners are not required to read in order to examine the thesis, but to which they may refer if they wish.]
6.2.3 In the fields of Anthropology, Arts & Computational Technology, Fine Art, Design and Media, and Sociology a candidate may either register to undertake research leading to a thesis submitted in accordance with the normal provisions or register for studio-based research / other audio-visual research / technological research as appropriate. In the latter case the thesis may include a portfolio, exhibition or other audio-visual display. This must be original work which exemplifies and locates the ideas which are developed in conjunction with the written part of the thesis. However presented, this work must be accompanied by an an adequate and approved form of retainable documentation (see paragraph 6.3.8)
6.2.4 In the field of Drama and Theatre Studies, a candidate may either register to undertake research leading to a thesis submitted in accordance with the normal provisions or register to undertake original research in performance practice on the understanding that the material is submitted concurrently and is examined as an integrated whole. In the latter case the thesis should include evidence in the form of practical performance which exemplifies and illustrates the ideas contained in the written part of the thesis. However presented, this work must be accompanied by an adequate and approved form of retainable documentation (see paragraph 6.3.8)
6.2.5 In the field of English, a candidate may register to undertake research leading to a thesis submitted in accordance with the normal provisions. Alternatively a candidate may submit, as part of a thesis, an original literary text written specifically for the degree. This text should show coherence and originality and attain a publishable standard, as determined by the examiners, who will include those qualified in academic research as well as in the professional practice of writing. This text shall form the basis for a commentary on its structure, its use of dramatic, narrative or poetic technique, its relation to other literary works, and an exposition of the aims and concerns that lay behind its composition. The commentary should make clear that the candidate is well acquainted with the history and contemporary developments of the genre in which he or she is working in the creative portion of the thesis, and the critical field associated with it, and is able independently to analyse, interpret and evaluate debates and theoretical positions associated with it.