Calendar 2018/19

Regulations Governing Academic Programmes

2 Faculty of Graduate Research

2.5 Regulations Governing the Degrees of Master of Arts by Research and Master of Science by Research
1 Eligibility
1.1 The following may apply for registration for the degree of Master of Arts by Research or Master of Science by Research (“Master by Research”):
  (a) Graduates of the University
  (b) Graduates of other Universities and Institutions of Higher Education approved by the Senate
  (c) Other persons who can satisfy the provisions of Ordinance 12.1
1.2 Applicants will normally be expected to have at least a Second Class Honours degree or to have reached an equivalent standard in a General or unclassified degree or other qualification.
1.3 Applicants whose native language is not English will be required to provide evidence of competence in English Language sufficient for research study, and after admission to the University may be required to take additional instruction in English Language, normally in the University English Language Centre (INTO).
2 Registration of Candidature
2.1 Registration shall be effective not earlier than the beginning of the term in which the candidature is formally approved.
2.2 Subject to the approval of the Dean/ Associate Dean of the Faculty, candidates registered at the University for another degree of Master or for the degree of Master of Philosophy may be allowed to transfer their registration to the degree of Master by Research and to have all or part of the period of study completed under the original registration counted towards the period required under the new registration.
3 Conditions of Study
3.1 Candidates will be registered as full-time or as part-time students with a supervisory team approved by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor & Executive Dean of College according to the requirements set out in the ‘Code of Good Practice - Arrangements for the Supervision of Research Degree Students’.
4 Continued Registration
4.1 A candidate who fails to make satisfactory progress may be required to withdraw.
4.2 Each candidate is required to re-register at the beginning of each academic year until the required thesis has been submitted.
4.3 Students who do not re-register within 4 weeks of the designated registration period will be deemed to have withdrawn and will have their registration terminated. Subsequent requests for reinstatement will be considered under the terms of reinstatement of registration.
4.4 Candidates may, with the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor & Executive Dean of College, be registered on Continuation Status provided they have completed their research and will not be undertaking any significant additional research.
4.5 Full-time candidates may not register for more than two years and part-time candidates for not more than three years1. In exceptional cases the Pro-Vice-Chancellor & Executive Dean of College may grant a stipulated period of extension.
5 Assessment
5.1 Each candidate will be required to submit a thesis which will either be in the prescribed form for a thesis or in the form of a scientific paper. It shall not exceed 40,000 words excluding bibliography, appendices and abstract. Candidates may be required to take a viva voce examination.
5.2 Candidates must normally submit two copies (which shall include a summary of approximately 300 words) in the format prescribed by the 'Presentation of Theses/Dissertations for Degree in the Faculty of Graduate Research: Statement of Procedures', or three copies for staff candidates, which shall become the property of the University.
5.3 In assessing the thesis, the examiners will require:
  In assessing the thesis, please see:
5.3.1 for students who commenced their studies prior to the 2016-17 academic year
5.3.2 for students who commended their studies, or re-registered following a period of interruption, from the 2016-17 academic year2
  5.3.1 For students who commenced their studies prior to the 2016-17 academic year: In assessing the thesis the examiners will require:
  (a) evidence that it extends the knowledge of the subject;
  (b) evidence of the candidate's ability to relate the subject matter of the thesis to the existing body of knowledge within the field;
  (c) a satisfactory level of literary presentation.
  5.3.2 For students who commenced their studies, or re-registered following a period of interruption, from the 2016-17 academic year: In assessing the thesis the examiners will require evidence of:
  (a) A systematic understanding of knowledge, and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights, much of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of their academic discipline, field of study, or area of professional practice;
  (b) A comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to their own research or advanced scholarship;
  (c) Originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline;
  (d) Conceptual understanding that enables the student:
- to evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in the discipline; and
- to evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate, to propose new hypotheses;
  (e) a satisfactory level of literary presentation.
5.4 When the examiners consider that a thesis does not reach the standard required for the degree of Master by Research, it shall be within their discretion to make one of the following recommendations:
  (a) that the degree be awarded subject to the candidate making minor amendments to the thesis to the satisfaction of one or more of the examiners, as may be agreed between them.
  (b) that the degree be awarded subject to the candidate making major amendments to the thesis to the satisfaction of the examiners as may be agreed between them.
  (c) that no degree be awarded but that the candidate be permitted to submit a revised thesis..
5.5 In making their recommendation, examiners may take into account any circumstances which may make it impracticable for a candidate to undertake a further period of study.
5.6 When making recommendations (a), (b) or (c), the examiners are required, when making their final report to the Dean/ Associate Dean of the Faculty, also to indicate for the information of the candidate the reasons for their decision, and where amendments are required (whether minor, major or revisions prior to re-submission) to indicate those aspects or parts of the thesis which they regard as inadequate and the nature and extent of the re-writing required.
5.7 A thesis may be re-submitted on one occasion within such period of further study as the examiners recommend and the Dean/ Associate Dean of Faculty approves. A candidate preparing for re-submission will be required to maintain registration as a continuing registration student.
5.8 On examination of a re-submitted thesis, if the examiners again consider that a thesis does not reach the standard required for the degree of Master by Research, it shall be within their discretion to make one of the following recommendations:
  (a) that the degree be awarded subject to the candidate making minor amendments to the thesis to the satisfaction of one or more of the examiners as may be agreed between them.
  (b) that the degree be awarded subject to the candidate making major amendments to the thesis to the satisfaction of the examiners
  (c) that no degree be awarded.
   
   
 

1 Applicable to candidates who commenced their studies prior to the 2019/2020 academic year.

2The assessment outcomes for awards within the Faculty of Graduate Research, as outlined in these Regulations, have been bought into line with the language used in the 'Credit and Qualifications Framework', a direct adoption of the language contained in the national ‘Frameworks for Higher Education Qualifications of UK Degree-Awarding Bodies’. The outcomes for students who commenced their studies prior to the 2016-17 academic year, also aligned with the national frameworks, but did so without direct adoption of the Framework language.