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Postgraduate research programmes

Master of Philosophical Studies (MPhilStud)

Overview

The MPhilStud is a research masters degree, aimed at students who have an undergraduate degree (typically 1st class) in which philosophy was at least a major component and who want to begin further research in the subject. 

The programme covers two academic years for full-time students. Part-time students spend four years completing the MPhilStud and the below timetable is adjusted accordingly.

Programme structure

Students pick three subject options and they submit two essays of 5,000 words (including the main text, quotes, references, footnotes and appendices, but not including bibliography) for each of these subjects (six essays in total) by May of their final year (except for Greek Philosophical Texts and Symbolic Logic, which are assessed by written examination in May).

Students also write a thesis of up to 30,000 words (including notes and appendices, but not including bibliography, see RD10 'Instructions on Binding a Thesis') to be submitted by 1 September in their second/final year.

There are three MPhilStud programmes. These all have the same general format and differ only in restrictions on the choice of options and dissertation topics.

MPhilStud in Philosophy

Paper options

  • Paper 1: An option from List 1
  • Paper 2: An option from List 2
  • Paper 3: One option from either List 1 or List 2, provided that it does not overlap with Paper 1 or Paper 2

For paper options, go to the paper options page.

MPhilStud in Ancient Philosophy

Paper options

Paper 1: Greek Philosophical Texts (by sat examination)

Paper 2: Either Greek Philosophy from the Beginnings to Aristotle, or Post-Aristotelian Philosophy

Paper 3: One option from either List 1 or List 2, provided that it does not overlap with Paper 1 or Paper 2

For paper options, go to the paper options page.

MPhilStud in Philosophy of Psychology

Paper options

Paper 1: Philosophy of Psychology

Paper 2: Philosophy of Mind

Paper 3: One option from either List 1 or List 2, provided that it does not overlap with Paper 1 or Paper 2

For paper options, go to the paper options page.

 

Candidates wishing to select an option not appearing in the lists of paper options must seek the approval of the Examination Board. This must be done not later than 10 January of the final year. This is also the date by which the entry form for the MPhilStud assessment must be submitted.

Timescale: Full-Time Students

Drafts (formative assessment)

At the beginning of their second year, full-time students will submit three draft essays (called 'formative'). At this time students will also submit a draft of about 10,000 words of part of the thesis (called a 'kernel'). They will submit these drafts via KEATS by 15 September.

Students will then submit a second set of three more draft essays of 5,000 words by 15 January of the second year.

Final versions of these essays (called 'summative') are submitted by 3 May of the second year.

Feedback will be provided to the student to help the student in preparing final drafts of the essays and the thesis in the course of the second year of the programme. Feedback is provided when formative work is submitted by the relevant deadlines.

See also the assessment section: MPhilStud essays & thesis

Timescale: Part-Time Students

 

Drafts (formative assessment)

At the beginning of their second year, part-time students will submit three draft essays (called 'formative'). At this time students will also submit a draft of about 10,000 words of part of the thesis (called a 'kernel'). They will submit these drafts via KEATS by 15 September.

Students will then submit a second set of three more draft essays of 5,000 words by 3 May of the third year.

Final versions of these essays (called 'summative') are submitted by 3 May of the fourth year.

Feedback will be provided to the student to help the student in preparing final drafts of the essays and the thesis in the course of the second year of the programme. Feedback is provided when formative work is submitted by the relevant deadlines.

See also the assessment section: MPhilStud essays & thesis

Relation between MPhilStud and PhD

Students who wish to move from the M.Phil Stud to the PhD programme normally do so at the end of their M.Phil Stud course. At the point of transition, they will be asked whether the PhD project they propose to work on is a continuation of their M.Phil Stud thesis project. If it is then they will be registered for a further two years, given that they are deemed to have already spent one year of their M.Phil Stud working on the project. Note that students in this position are permitted to incorporate material from their M.Phil Stud work into their PhD thesis provided the greater proportion of the material submitted for the PhD has been composed by the student during the period of registration for the PhD.

If the PhD project is not a continuation of the M.Phil Stud project then the student will be registered for a further three years as a PhD student. However such a student will be admitted only provisionally to the PhD programme and will have to upgrade to full PhD status in the normal way after the relevant period (insert link to upgrade page).

It is possible in special cases for students who start on the MPhil Stud and have a prior Master's degree to switch to the PhD before completing the MPhil Stud. If you want to switch, the normal procedure is to raise the possibility at a Research Collection in your first year. If the PARC endorses this request, the Director of PARC will then set you formative work over your first summer to assess your suitability for PhD research.

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