History Faculty - research programmes

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B. INFORMATION ABOUT D EGREE P ROGRAMMES 2
Master's Programmes General Guidelines on the Presentation and Evaluation of Work

Research Programmes
Advanced Research Students Master of Letters and Doctor of Philosophy Advanced research students Applicants may be admitted to a research programme if they have completed an appropriate master’s degree at Oxford or elsewhere, or some academic programme judged to amount to an equivalent qualification. Such students are on probation until they complete ‘transfer of status’. History students are usually expected to complete transfer requirements during their first year of study. The History Faculty Regulations have precedence over the University's generic Regulations, though the Faculty may in individual cases grant an extension of a student's probationary period within the University's statutory maximum of two years for the successful completion of this assessment process. Transfer requirements may be waived for students completing a two-year M.Phil. in Modern British and European History, Economic and Social History, History of Science, Medicine and Technology, or Late Antique and Byzantine Studies, if they pass their M.Phil. at a sufficiently high level, and if their doctoral research builds straightforwardly upon their M.Phil. dissertation. For various possible routes through the doctorate and their timing, see the table in section A.2 During their probationary period, research students are expected to work substantially independently, under the guidance of a supervisor, improving their knowledge of the field in which their proposed research falls and of its wider historiographical and theoretical context, equipping themselves with the skills necessary to undertake the research successfully, devising a research proposal and plan of work, and undertaking initial research and writing. They are encouraged to read and think widely and critically, both for their personal development, and to ensure that they can make an effective contribution within their chosen field. See section A.3 Framework for Graduate Learning for a skills self-assessment checklist which all students are encouraged to complete and discuss with their supervisor at least once a year as one basis for planning their programme of study. Supervisors may direct probationary students to undertake any course of study they think necessary to prepare the student for doctoral work. This may include attendance at certain masters classes or training sessions, and satisfactory completion of assessed work for these classes or sessions. During their probationary period, all doctoral students must:
attend the core seminar in their subject area, and other seminars and lectures as agreed with their supervisor; give at least one oral seminar presentation on the subject of their research; submit for assessment by the Faculty written work of up to 5,000 words (either a section of the candidate’s proposed thesis or an essay on a relevant topic, such as a historiographical or methodological study providing a context for the envisaged thesis), together with a statement of between 500 and 1000 words on the subject of the thesis and the manner in which the candidate proposes to treat it (see Transfer of status procedure below).

In exceptional circumstances, candidates may apply to be dispensed from either of the first two of these requirements, and applications need to be presented to the Graduate Office in the first half of Michaelmas Term, with written support from their supervisors:
dispensation from the requirement to attend seminars will normally be granted only in the case of students whose research requires them to work outside Oxford on the day when the appropriate core seminar meets, and when no rescheduling of research is possible; students who seek dispensation from the requirement to give an oral seminar presentation before the transfer interview, and who are subsequently approved for transfer to full D.Phil. status without a presentation, must normally expect that the requirement to give such a presentation will be made a precondition for their permission to apply for ‘confirmation of status’ in their eighth term .

Written work should normally be submitted at the end of Hilary Term in the student’s first year of Prob. D.Phil. status, together with an application for Transfer of Status to either M.Litt. or full D.Phil. status. The transfer of status interview will normally take place either immediately before or during the first half of Trinity Term.

Transfer of status procedure
This is a university requirement for students wishing to complete an M.Litt. or D.Phil. degree. The object of the transfer of status procedure is to ensure that the applicant has identified a viable research topic and is competent to tackle it, such that he or she has a reasonable prospect of completing an acceptable thesis in an appropriate span of time. History Faculty regulations provide that: Applications for admission/transfer to M.Litt. or D.Phil. status shall be accompanied by: (1) two copies of a brief statement, of between 500 and 1000 words, of the subject of the thesis and the manner in which the candidate proposes to treat it; (2) two copies of a piece of written work, normally 3,000-5,000 words long, being either (a) a section of the proposed thesis, or (b) an essay on a relevant topic, or (c) an augmented version of the statement required under (1) above; (3) two copies of a confidential report from the supervisor, which should be sent by the supervisor directly to the History Graduate Office. Candidates should note that if they adopt alternative (c) above they must also submit the 500-word statement required under (1). They should also note that while as precise a definition of the subject should be given as is possible at this stage of their work, they are not bound to follow the statement precisely, but may reformulate their plan in the light of further study. If reformulation goes so far as to require alteration of the title of the thesis as approved, however, they should seek permission of the Faculty Board to alter it, by submitting form GSO.6 and any necessary explanation to the History Graduate Office.

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Sometimes. Students should note that the faculty cannot move to appoint examiners for their thesis until a student has completed confirmation of status: a student who has not applied for confirmation at least one term before they wish to apply for appointment of examiners may find that the examination process is delayed on that account. and up to three terms for the M. before submitting their thesis. Colleges are responsible for certifying residence. or D.Phil. and for advice on the necessary scholarly presentation of your findings refer to the guidance in this handbook. University regulations require research students to transfer status before the end of their second year. Candidates submit a thesis of up to 100.ac. see the paragraph on Extensions and suspensions in the following section. approved by the faculty board.g.Litt. 2z4 20. graduates are required to keep six terms’ residence in Oxford.Phil. candidates for transfer to full D.Litt. (2) a draft abstract of the thesis as a whole.Litt. Candidates who satisfy the assessors will be approved for transfer to either M. the assessor may either request minor adjustments to the submission. Students should not delay confirmation unduly. For an outline of the Faculty's and the examiners' expectations of a History thesis. (For applications for suspension of status. summarising the scope of individual chapters and their state of completion. and for confirmation of status in the third year of research. on the basis of either a new proposal. or new proposal and new written work. your status automatically lapses and your name will be removed from the Register.. assessors and Faculty are likely to set an explicit deadline for such a re-submission of supporting material.Litt. Doctoral candidates should aim to complete all necessary primary research by the end of the third year (second year in the case of former M. If you fail to achieve Transfer of Status within the prescribed time. though if their work develops appropriately they may subsequently re-apply for transfer to full D. The Master of Letters (M. The candidate writes a thesis of up to 50. of between 1. as the assessors require. provide the basis for an assessment interview with two assessors.ox. thesis. degree. e. status.) requires a minimum of two academic years of research and six terms residence. without having for good reason received permission to delay their application. accompanied by appropriate written work. (4) a confidential report from the supervisor which should be sent direct to the Faculty’s Graduate Office. The purpose of the Confirmation of Status interview is to provide research students with further feedback on the viability of their research topic and of their manner of treating it. if it appears that the research completed and in view is better suited to that degree. Candidates who fail to apply for confirmation before the end of their ninth term of doctoral studies.Phil. thesis. Residence qualifications To qualify for a higher degree. Any History candidate who fails to satisfy the assessors on a first attempt in their first year may re-apply (within the University’s maximum time span). they are encouraged to apply at the earliest appropriate date. with the faculty board’s approval. or at most four. Candidates should adhere to the schedule of progression outlined in the programmes overview section. If they have completed the MPhil transfer of status is usually waived in cases where the doctoral thesis builds on the MPhil thesis. status only. in good time for them to make any necessary adjustments before completing the research and undertaking the bulk of the writing.History Faculty .Phil. Reasonable extensions of these deadlines may from time to time be granted in the light of individual cases.Litt.Phil. status. The Graduate Office will send the written work and the confidential report to the interviewer appointed by the Faculty Board. or it ceases to fulfil its intended purpose. The assessor may recommend that a student be transferred to M. but should also make a ‘significant and substantial contribution’ to knowledge in its field (within the limits of what may reasonably be expected of a capable and diligent student after three. The thesis is then sustained in an oral examination. Dispensation from up to two terms’ residence for the M. years of full-time study). must demonstrate lucidly the results of research. foreign archives.2011 13:41 .Phil.history. and also on the standard of their written work. Candidates who fail to satisfy the assessors on a second attempt may be required to withdraw.000 words on a topic of his or her own choosing. and more generally by participating in the academic life and research culture of the university.Litt. sometimes longer. University regulations provide that the status of doctoral students should be confirmed before the end of their third year after admission as a doctoral student.Phil.) requires three years of research and six terms of residence. not least by interacting with other senior and junior researchers in the same field.Litt. and also persuade the examiners that he or she has a command of the broader field in which the topic falls.. If a student’s progress is such that it is useful for the Confirmation of Status interview to take place in advance of Hilary Term of their third year as a doctoral student.Litt. A thesis for the D. attend a Confirmation of Status interview. status shall be accompanied by: (1) a full outline of chapters (1-2 pages). If there are good reasons for you to reside elsewhere. must. status will be approved for transfer to M. status..10. normally held in Hilary Term of their third year as a research student (see section A.000 words on a topic of their own choosing.Phil. No further written examination is necessary. Applications for transfer of status. No further written examination is required.Litt. by obtaining permission to attend research seminars at a local university. (3) a sample chapter. including a timetable for completion of the work which remains to be done before submission of the thesis.Phil students) and should expect that writing up will take about 6-9 months.Phil. A thesis for the M.research programmes http://www.000 and 2. Confirmation of Status Candidates for the D.000 words. In the oral examination a candidate must be ready to defend the thesis. Students will not normally be granted extensions of time unless they have completed confirmation of status.Phil. The History Faculty allows candidates up to three years to complete an M. They should apply for transfer of status in the HT of the first/probationary year of research.Phil. or full D. You are encouraged to remain in residence even when you have completed the minimum requirement. you should if possible try to identify comparable opportunities to maintain your professional development e. The object of requiring residence is to ensure that graduates have the opportunity to advance their professional development by attendance at research seminars and appropriate training sessions. Candidates may apply for either status in the first instance. status.g. and show scholarly competence and judgement in investigating the topic chosen. of between 6. and undergo an oral examination. The Doctor of Philosophy (D.) Master of Letters and Doctor of Philosophy Doctoral students who are approved for transfer of status may be transferred to either full M. or full D.000 words. may be removed from the Register.uk/postgrad/pg_sect_pgr. or require the student to submit a new application at a later date.Phil.htm#t. neither being the candidate’s supervisor. If the applicant does not satisfy the assessor that he or she is fit to be confirmed. in order to avail yourself of these opportunities. must not only possess the qualities required of an M. History Faculty regulations provide that: Applications for confirmation of D. after successful Transfer of Status may be granted by the Faculty Board if your research involves an extended period of time spent in. and they should apply for confirmation of status in their second year of doctoral work following the M. and up to four years to submit a thesis for a D.000 and 10.2 for a comprehensive overview of the research timetable).

which shall not normally exceed 1. it may be returned to the candidate for revision before it is examined. and a longer one required by the History Faculty (this shall not exceed 1. and theses are strictly enforced. a clear photocopy. no supervisor’s reports are filed.2011 13:41 . it should not be a carbon or poor photocopy). The choice of examiners should be discussed between you and your supervisor. You will also be asked to give permission (‘Consultation of Thesis’ form) for other researchers to be able to consult your thesis once it has been deposited in the Bodleian Library.500 words for the D. Suspensions If your work is being seriously impeded. Change of title This can happen without formality in the context of an application for Transfer or Confirmation of Status. Applications should be made to the Graduate Studies Committee well in advance. and no tuition fees are paid to the supervisor. Lapse of status and removal of students from the Register 3z4 20. it may be advisable to apply for a temporary suspension of status. Please note that requests for a change of title cannot be considered after examiners have been appointed. before examiners are appointed and the thesis is typed and bound.Phil. Any application for permission to exceed the word limit should be accompanied by a detailed explanation.Litt. it needs to be emphasized that the official time-limits as they stand should provide ample time for the completion of a good thesis.Litt. candidates should also arrange for a copy of the abstract to be bound into the library copy of their thesis. when the examination is completed. unless he or she requests an extension. printed on a single page. Word limits The maximum lengths of essays. Exceptions to these rules are only occasionally allowed and for special reasons. Please take note that there is no entitlement to an extension of time. In exceptional circumstances.uk/postgrad/pg_sect_pgr.500 words for the M. it is only when the Board has given its approval that examiners are formally approached.e. Extensions of time on strong academic grounds are allowed by the Faculty Board up to the following maxima: M.. and twelve terms in the case of the D. notably to allow the inclusion of essential edited source material in its entirety.Phil.htm#t. Students who fall out of touch with their supervisor and college for long periods may also be judged to have lapsed. The abstracts must be your own work. Each case will be scrutinized individually. D. However. after nine terms as a graduate student in the case of the M. candidates must state the approximate number of words when submitting their thesis. The detailed Regulations of University and Faculty provide: (1) One copy of the [300-word] abstract prepared at the time of the examination should be bound into each of the examiners' copies of the thesis.Litt. Students who need longer periods of extension in the context of visa renewals should explain their situation at the point of application.). and should submit with the library copy a separate..e. – nine terms. – six terms. M. college.Phil.research programmes http://www. Note that the University supports graduate study with the aim of contributing to general knowledge and understanding.history. Subsequently. Examiners in History are specifically invited to comment in their reports on the suitability of a thesis to be considered for publication in the series.Litt. but exclude the bibliography. dissertations. appendices. Phil. prepared by the student.500 words for the D. maternity or paternity or unforeseen financial difficulties.10. or 2. The copy of the abstract which is earmarked for dispatch to ASLIB should be presented separately in a form suitable for microfilming. Copies of both abstracts shall be bound into the copy of the thesis which shall be deposited in the Bodleian Library. You should aim to complete within that time.. and need to be made available to the examiners of your thesis for their approval. since you are not expected to be working on the thesis.Phil. and a covering letter of support from the supervisor. and D.ox. In addition to the deposit in the Bodleian Library. Submission of theses and appointment of examiners When you are ready to submit an M. as your thesis may be referred back for revision if there is a mismatch between title and content. candidates in History. This is in addition to the requirement to submit an abstract of not more than 300 words in length required by the General Regulations of the Education Committee. Extensions will not normally be granted for more than two terms at a time: this ensures regular reporting on the progress of work. or D. If a thesis exceeds the permitted length.). At other points any change of title (sometimes desirable for greater precision) involves your submission of a formal application to the Faculty’s Graduate Studies Committee.500 words for the M. it should be (1) on one side of a single sheet of A4 paper. a statement of the excess length requested. Abstracts With your History thesis you are required to submit two abstacts: the standard 300-word abstract which must accompany all Oxford theses. or by your having undertaken other employment. subject to the usual copyright rules.History Faculty . and any source material being edited. thesis for examination you should familiarize yourself with the examination process. but they should keep in mind that an extension application must not exceed twelve months at any one time. If for any good reason you feel you have to seek exemption from this requirement you should submit your case in writing to the Director of Graduate Studies. Do not let things drag on. so there is a strong expectation that the fruits of research should be made public. A list of current and past publications in the series can be consulted on the Oxford University Press website. and it considers relevant reports from adjacent faculties when these are drawn to its attention. The title must reflect accurately the content of the thesis. year and term of submission and the title of the thesis. must be submitted together with the Library copy to the Examination Schools. i. for example by illness.. The examiners of taught courses are entitled to reduce the mark awarded if the work submitted exceeds the word limit.Litt. While there are sometimes unexpected circumstances which make delay inevitable. or 2. unbound copy of their abstract which may be despatched to ASLIB and published. (2) a typed.Litt. an extension beyond the maxima referred to above may be approved. and only where appropriate will a certain period of extension be granted.e. Although supervisors may consult likely examiners informally.Phil. These limits include all notes.Phil. The Editorial Committee is on average able to suggest some 15 % of recommended doctoral theses to be considered for publication by the Delegates to the Press. and (3) headed up with name..ac. Forms for the appointment of examiners should be obtained from their online repository. In the period for which status is suspended you incur no university fees. or a printed copy (i. singlespaced top copy. One loose copy of the 300 words abstract. such cases are rare and are dealt with not by the Faculty but by the Education Committee of the University. (2) All [History] candidates must submit with their thesis two printed or typewritten copies of an abstract of the thesis. successful doctoral theses in History may also be considered for formal publication by the Clarendon Press: the Oxford Historical Monographs [OHM] Editorial Committee receives the examiners’ reports on all successful D. Extensions A student’s status will lapse after the set time for the submission of the thesis has passed (i.

in a dark colour. If you fail to submit the thesis within the prescribed time (including any approved extensions). If you are out of the country when the time comes to submit the library copy of your thesis. in a stiff board case in library buckram. This copy must be in a permanently fixed binding. which must be securely bound in either hard or soft covers. including all necessary corrections and amendments approved by the examiners. The detailed regulations concerning such cases may be inspected on request in the Faculty’s Graduate Office. or the University’s Graduate Studies Office. a lapsed student who subsequently completes the thesis can normally be reinstated to enable the work to be examined.Phil.uk/postgrad/pg_sect_pgr. you may find it convenient to arrange printing and binding remotely.history. This remains a matter for the judgement of the examiners.oxford-print-centre. schedules for which are completely in the hands of colleges. You are warned that conferment of a degree is conditional upon delivery of the library copy of your thesis to the Examination Schools. However. At the time of examination. but you should not assume that publication of itself constitutes proof that the work is of sufficient quality to merit the award of the degree for which you are reading.10. Doctoral students admitted since October 2008 are in addition required to submit an electronic copy of their thesis to the Oxford Research Archive (ORA).co. are required to submit two copies of their thesis. 4z4 20. drilled and sewn. candidates for the degree of D. status within six terms. Note on the binding and depositing of theses All dissertations and theses have to be bound.ox.research programmes http://www.2011 13:41 . Prior publication Prior publication of material arising from research undertaken while holding doctoral status is acceptable.Litt.. and lettered on the spine with the candidate’s name and initials.ac.htm#t. or if you fail to transfer to either M. or D. a finalized copy of the thesis. and that you may not proceed to take your degree until this has been done.uk. your student status automatically lapses and your name will be removed from the Register. Once the candidate has been given leave to supplicate for the degree. In certain circumstances a student may be removed from the register on academic or disciplinary grounds. Your College may also have advice in this regard: you will need to get in touch with them anyway to organise graduation..Phil. The following website may be of help: www. and M.Litt. and the year of submission. is deposited in the Bodleian Library.History Faculty . the degree. loose-leaf binding is not acceptable.

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