Honour School of Medical Sciences

A

  • 1. The subject of the Honour School of Medical Sciences shall be the sciences basic to medicine.

  • 2. No candidate shall be admitted for examination in this school unless he or she has passed Part I of the First Examination for the Degree of Bachelor of Medicine.

  • 3. The examination in this school shall be under the supervision of the Medical Sciences Board, which shall prescribe the necessary regulations.

  • 4. Any candidate offering an optional subject based on courses provided within the Honour School of Experimental Psychology shall be examined in that subject by the Public Examiners in Experimental Psychology.

  • 5. Candidates may offer themselves for examination in one or more Supplementary Subjects. The Supplementary Subjects available in any year will be notified to students annually during Trinity Term. A candidate's results in any such subject shall be published, and account shall be taken of those results in the production of the class list. Candidates awarded a pass in a Supplementary Subject examination may not retake the same Supplementary Subject examination.

  • 6. Every candidate shall give notice of all papers being offered not later than Friday in the Week 8 of Michaelmas Term in the academic year in which the candidate intends to sit the examination.

B

  • [For students starting before MT 2016: 1. The options of the school shall be:

    • A Neuroscience

    • B Molecular Medicine

    • C Cardiovascular, Renal and Respiratory Biology

    • D Infection and immunity

    • E Cellular Physiology and Pharmacology

    This list may be varied from time to time by the Medical Sciences Board, and such variations shall be published in the University Gazette by the end of Week 8 of Trinity Term of the academic year two years preceding the first examination of the changed options.

    Minor variations, including changes of nomenclature, and/or changes of content to one or two themes within an option, shall be published by the end of Week 8 of Hilary Term of the academic year preceding the first examination of the changed options.]

  • [For students starting from MT 2016: 1. The options of the school shall be published by the Faculty of Physiological Sciences Undergraduate Studies Office not later than noon Friday of Week 6 of Hilary Term in the year preceding that in which the examination is due to be taken. The impact of the change on candidates will be given due consideration by the Faculty of Physiological Sciences FHS / FHS Part II Course and Examination Policy Committee.]

    [For students starting before MT 2016: Each option shall be divided into themes that will be taught starting in Michaelmas Term. The list of themes shall be published no later than Week 0 of Michaelmas Term in the academic year in which the themes will be examined.] [For students starting from MT 2016: Each option shall be divided into themes. The list of themes shall be published no later than Week 0 of Trinity Term in the academic year preceding that in which the examination is due to be taken. ]Most themes will be specific to a single option, but some may be shared. The total number of themes comprising each option shall be at least 8 and no more than 11 (taking account of shared themes). Each candidate will be expected to have studied 8 themes in order to address the synoptic questions of Paper 2, and to have prepared sufficient of those themes in depth to be able to address the requirements of Paper 1 (see paras 2, 3, and 5 below).

    2. The following written papers shall be set:

    • Paper 1 One separate paper for each option (Paper 1A to 1E)

    • Paper 2 One paper consisting of synoptic questions from each option

    • Paper 3 Critical reading, data analysis and experimental design

    Each Paper 1 shall be of three hours duration and shall contain a choice of questions addressing in-depth knowledge and understanding within individual specified themes of the option. Each Paper 1 will require candidates to answer questions on three different themes.

    Paper 2 shall be of three hours duration and shall contain a choice of questions from each option. Each question will require a synoptic approach across several themes of an option. Candidates shall be required to answer any two questions from this paper.

    Paper 3 shall be of three hours duration and shall have questions relating to pieces of primary literature relevant to each of the options individually.

  • 3. Each candidate must offer three written papers:

    • Paper 1 for one chosen option, Paper 2, and Paper 3.

    • In addition, each candidate must both:

      • (i) undertake and be examined in a research project

        and

      • (ii) either submit an Extended Essay; or offer a fourth written paper based on courses provided within Parts I and II of the Honour School of Experimental Psychology. The subjects of the papers to be available for this purpose shall be published no later than the end of Week 5 of Hilary Term in the academic year preceding that in which the examination is taken.

      If, in any part of the examination, a candidate presents essentially the same information on more than one occasion, then credit will be given in only the first instance.

  • 4. Research project

    • (i) Form, subject and approval of the project

      The project shall consist of original experiments and/or data analysis carried out by the candidate alone or in collaboration with others (where such collaboration is, for instance, needed to produce results in the time available).

      Each project shall be supervised, and the topic and supervisor shall be approved on behalf of the Medical Sciences Board by the Director of Pre-Clinical Studies or his or her deputy. A list of approved project titles and their supervisors shall be published no later than Friday of Week 1 of Hilary Term in the academic year preceding the examination, and allocation of these projects to candidates shall be carried out through the Faculty of Physiological Sciences Undergraduate Studies Office[For students starting before MT 2015: no later than the end of Week 8 of that term].

      As an alternative to the allocation process, a candidate may apply to undertake a project that is not on the approved list. Such application must be made no later than Friday of Week [For students starting before MT 2015: 4] [For students starting from MT 2015: 8] of Hilary Term in the academic year preceding the examination. The candidate must submit the title of their proposed research project, provide a brief outline of the subject matter and supply details of supervision arrangements. The decision on the application shall be made by the Director of Preclinical Studies or his or her deputy and shall be communicated to the candidate as soon as possible, and work should not start on the project until approval has been given. Candidates should allow at least one week for the process of approval, and should bear in mind that an application may be referred for clarification or may be refused.

      When choosing a research project, candidates must bear in mind the prohibition on duplicating material in different parts of the examination (see para 3).

    • (ii) [For students starting before MT 2015: Pre-submission Confirmation][For students starting from MT 2015: Application to change title of project]

      [For students starting before TT 2016: Candidates must provide final confirmation of the details of their project (including title of project and name of supervisor) to the Examiners] [For students starting from TT 2016: If required, candidates may apply to change the title of their project] through the Faculty of Physiological Sciences Undergraduate Studies Office [For students starting from TT 2016: on one occasion and] no later than noon on Friday of Week [For students starting from TT 2016: 4] [For students starting before TT 2016: 8] of [For students starting before TT 2016: Michaelmas] [For students starting from TT 2016: Hilary ]Term in the academic year in which they intend taking the examination.

    • (iii) Examination

      Candidates shall submit a brief Project Report according to guidelines that will be published by the Medical Sciences Board[For students starting before MT 2015: in Week 8 of Hilary Term in the academic year preceding the examination].

      Each candidate shall make a brief oral presentation of their project to a group of two examiners (or examiners and assessors appointed to ensure an adequate representation of expertise), after which, the candidate shall be examined viva voce on the project. The form of the presentation to the examiners shall be specified in guidelines published by the Medical Sciences Board[For students starting before MT 2015: in Week 8 of Hilary Term in the academic year preceding the examination].

    • (iv) Submission and assessment of project-based written work

      Project Reports (three copies) must be sent to the Chair of Examiners in Medical Sciences, c/o Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford, not later than noon on the Friday of Week 8 in Hilary Term in the academic year in which the candidate intends to take the examination. The copies shall be accompanied (in a separate sealed envelope) by a certificate signed by each candidate indicating that the research project is the candidate's own work. [For students starting before MT 2015: The certificate shall certify that the supervisor has commented on at least one draft of the written submission.] Where work has been produced in collaboration, the certificate shall indicate the extent of the candidate’s own contribution. [For students starting before MT 2015: Each candidate will be required to submit a draft of their Project Report to their supervisor no later than Friday of Week 6 (two weeks before submission to Schools).]

      The examiners shall obtain and consider a written report from each supervisor indicating the extent of the input made by the candidate to the outcome of the project and also any unforeseen difficulties associated with the project (e.g. unexpected technical issues or problems in the availability of materials, equipment, or literature or other published data).

      In exceptional cases, where through unforeseen circumstances a research project produces no useable results (i.e. not even negative or ambiguous results), the candidate may apply through his or her college to the Director of Preclinical Studies or his or her deputy for permission to submit a concise review of the scientific context and the aims of the work that was attempted, in place of the normal Project Report. Such an application must be accompanied by supporting evidence from the supervisor of the project. The concise review to be submitted in such circumstances should be comparable in length to the Report of a successful research project, will be presented orally to the examiners and will be examined viva voce in the usual way for a research project. The examiners will be advised that substantive results could not be produced.

      When submitting a Project Report, candidates must bear in mind the prohibition on duplicating material in different parts of the examination (see para 3).

      Project Reports previously submitted for the Honour School of Medical Sciences may be resubmitted. No Project Report will be accepted if it has already been submitted, wholly or substantially, for another Honour School or degree of this University, or for a degree of any other institution.

  • 5. The Extended Essay

    • (i) Form and subject of the essay

      The [For students starting from MT 2015: length and format of the ]Extended Essay shall be[For students starting before MT 2015: not more than 3,000 words, including figure legends but excluding references. It must be typed and bound] according to guidelines that will be published by the Medical Sciences Board[For students starting before MT 2015: in Week 5 of Trinity Term in the academic year preceding the examination.]

      The subject matter of a candidate's essay shall be within the scope of the school. The essay may relate to any of the themes taught in the options of the school, regardless of the candidate's chosen option for Paper 1. However, when choosing an Extended Essay topic, candidates must bear in mind the prohibition on duplicating material in different parts of the examination (see para 3).

      A list of essay titles registered by students in previous academic years will be made available by Week 5 of the Trinity Term of the academic year preceding that of the examination, to assist candidates in the choice of topic or general field for the essay.

    • (ii) Registration

      No later than [For students starting from MT 2015: noon on ]Friday of Week 8 of Michaelmas Term in the academic year of the examination, every candidate must [For students starting from MT 2015: submit via WebLearn a completed essay registration form ][For students starting before MT 2015: register through the Faculty of Physiological Sciences Undergraduate Studies Office the title of their essay, provide a brief outline of the subject matter, and confirm the main themes to which it relates]. A decision on the application shall be made by the Director of Preclinical Studies or his or her deputy and shall be communicated to the candidate[For students starting before MT 2015: not later than Week 4 of Hilary Term in the academic year of the examination].

    • [For students starting from MT 2015: (iii) Application to change title of essay

    • If required, candidates may apply to change the title of their essay through the Faculty of Physiological Sciences Undergraduate Studies Office on one occasion and no later than noon on Friday of Week 8 of Hilary term in the academic year in which they intend taking the examination. ]

    • [For students starting before MT 2015: (iii)] [For students starting from MT 2015: (iv) ]Authorship

      The essay must be the candidate's own work. Candidates' tutors, or their deputies nominated to act as advisors, may discuss with candidates the proposed field of study, the sources available, and the method of treatment, but on no account may they read or comment on any written draft. Every candidate shall sign a certificate to the effect that this rule has been observed and that the essay is their own work; and the candidate's tutor or adviser shall countersign the certificate confirming that, to the best of their knowledge and belief, this is so.

    • [For students starting before MT 2015: (iv)] [For students starting from MT 2015: (v)] Submission

      [For students starting before MT 2015: Essays (two copies) must be submitted to the Chair of Examiners in Medical Sciences, c/o Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford, not later than noon on the Friday of Week 0 of the Trinity Term in which the candidate intends to take the examination. Each essay shall be accompanied (in a separate sealed envelope addressed to the Chair of Examiners) by a certificate of authorship as specified in the preceding paragraph and an electronic copy of the text of the essay.]

    • [For students starting from MT 2015: Essays must be submitted via Weblearn (according to the instructions set out in the letter to candidates from the Chair of Examiners), not later than noon on the Friday of Week 0 of the Trinity Term in which the candidate intends to take the examination. Each essay shall be accompanied by a certificate of authorship as specified in the preceding paragraph.]

  • 6. Should any one option of the school be oversubscribed and the supply of suitable teaching in that option is unable to meet the demand, then the Medical Sciences Board may impose a limit on the number of candidates that may enter for that option. Such regulation of numbers may be achieved by the allocation of places in the option to specified students provided that these allocations are published by 0th week of Michaelmas Term of the academic year in which the candidates are to sit the examination. The board shall make arrangements to allow subsequently for regulated migration between options on receipt of written applications from candidates to the Director of Preclinical Studies or his or her deputy. Such migration will be permitted provided a sufficient supply of suitable teaching can be maintained.

  • 7. Candidates may be examined viva voce, the topics may include the subject of any written paper taken by the candidate, or the research project or Extended Essay.