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. [For students starting before MT 2018: 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. ][For students starting from MT 2018: Candidates may be examined by such of the Public Examiners in the Honour School of Experimental Psychology as may be required.]

  • 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.

  • [For students starting before MT 2018: 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

  • 1. The options of the school shall be published by the Faculty of Physiological Sciences Undergraduate Studies Office not later than noon on 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.

    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[For students starting before MT 2018: at least 8 and no more than 11 (taking account of shared themes).] [For students starting from MT 2018: 4. ]Each candidate will be expected to have studied 8 themes[For students starting from MT 2018: in total] 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 [For students starting before MT 2018: One separate paper for each option (Paper 1A to 1E)] [For students starting from MT 2018: One paper consisting of questions from all the options]

    • Paper 2 One paper consisting of synoptic questions [For students starting before MT 2018: from each option]

    • Paper 3 Critical reading, data analysis and experimental design

    [For students starting before MT 2018: 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[For students starting before MT 2018: the][For students starting from MT 2018: each] option. [For students starting before MT 2018: Each ]Paper 1 will require candidates to answer questions on three different[For students starting before MT 2018: themes.][For students starting from MT 2018: themes, including one theme from each of two different options.]

  • Paper 2 shall be of three hours duration[For students starting from MT 2018: and questions will not be specific to any option] [For students starting before MT 2018: and shall contain a choice of questions from each option.] Each question will require a synoptic approach[For students starting before MT 2018: 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[For students starting before MT 2018: relevant to each of the options individually].

  • 3. Each candidate must offer three written papers:

    • Paper 1 for[For students starting before MT 2018: one chosen option,][For students starting from MT 2018: two chosen options,] Paper 2, and Paper 3.

    • In addition, each candidate must both:

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

        and

      • (ii) [For students starting before MT 2018: either submit an 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.][For students starting from MT 2018: submit an Essay.]

    • 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 Preclinical 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.

      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 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.

      [For students starting before MT 2017: 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) Application to change title of project

      If required, candidates may apply to change the title of their project through the Faculty of Physiological Sciences Undergraduate Studies Office on one occasion and no later than noon on Friday of Week 4 of 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.

      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.

    • (iv) Submission and assessment of[For students starting before MT 2017: Project-based written work] [For students starting from MT 2017: the Project Report]

      Project Reports [For students starting from MT 2017: 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 8 of the Hilary Term in which the candidate intends to take the examination. Each Report shall be accompanied by a certificate of authorship indicating that the Research Project is the candidate's own work.] [For students starting before MT 2017: (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. ]Where work has been produced in collaboration, the certificate shall indicate the extent of the candidate’s own contribution.

      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.

      [For students starting before MT 2017: 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 [For students starting before MT 2017: Extended ][For students starting from MT 2017: Submitted ]Essay

    • (i) Form and subject of the essay

      The length and format of the [For students starting before MT 2017: Extended ][For students starting from MT 2017: Submitted] Essay shall be according to guidelines that will be published by the Medical Sciences Board.

      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.[For students starting before MT 2017:  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 noon on Friday of Week 8 of Michaelmas Term in the academic year of the examination, every candidate must submit via WebLearn a completed essay registration form. A decision on the application shall be made by the Director of Preclinical Studies or their deputy and shall be communicated to the candidate.

    • (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.

    • (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[For students starting from MT 2017: submit][For students starting before MT 2017: 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 [For students starting from MT 2017: may be asked to confirm ][For students starting before MT 2017: shall countersign the certificate confirming] that, to the best of their knowledge and belief, this is so.

    • (v) Submission

    • 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 [For students starting from MT 2018: attend Faculty-organised tutorial teaching] [For students starting before MT 2018: 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 [For students starting from MT 2018: Monday of Week 5 of Trinity Term] [For students starting before MT 2018: 0th week of Michaelmas Term] of the academic year [For students starting from MT 2018: preceding that ]in which the candidates are to sit the examination. [For students starting before MT 2018: 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[For students starting from MT 2017: Submitted] [For students starting before MT 2017: Extended ]Essay.

  • [For students starting from MT 2018: 8. The weighting of marks for the five components required of each candidate shall be 25 per cent for the Research Project, 20 per cent for each of Papers 1, 2, and 3 and 15 per cent for the Submitted Essay.]