Master of Philosophy in Modern Chinese Studies

  • 1. The Course shall be under the supervision of the Chinese Studies Committee. The Course Director will, where possible, rotate between members of the Faculty of Oriental Studies and the Oxford School of Global and Area Studies.

  • 2. Each candidate will be required to follow a course of instruction in Modern Chinese Studies for six terms.

First year examinations

  • 3. Candidates will present themselves for a three-hour written examination on the core course Study of Contemporary China in week 0 of Hilary Term.

  • 4. Candidates must offer one written and one oral Chinese language examination at the end of Trinity Term. Candidates will be examined in Chinese I (Qualifying) or Chinese II (Qualifying). Those who have followed the Chinese II course will not be permitted to enter for the Chinese I examination.

  • 5. Candidates will choose one option paper from a list approved by the Chinese Studies Committee. This list, including details of the assessment method, will be published in the Course Handbook by the Course Director and distributed to students by not later than Friday of week 0 of Michaelmas Term. Students should select one of these papers in consultation with their supervisor. With special permission of the Chinese Studies Committee, candidates may choose a paper offered by other relevant Master’s degrees in the University, subject also to permission by the relevant Graduate Studies Committee. Candidates will take the standard assessment paper for such an option.

Research Methods

  • 6. Candidates will complete either:

  • Research Methods for Area Studies: Candidates will submit a 2,500 word maximum practical exercise in the collection and analysis of qualitative data not later than 12 noon on Monday of week 9 of Michaelmas Term; a take-home test in quantitative analysis to be set on Monday of Week 8 and submitted by 12 noon on Monday of week 9 of Hilary Term; and a 2,500 word maximum individual research proposal not later than 12 noon Monday of week 9 of Hilary Term.

  • Or:

  • Modern China Humanities: Candidates will submit a 2,500 word maximum individual research proposal by 12 noon on Thursday of week 6 of Trinity Term and also present themselves for a three-hour written examination in the study of Modern China at the end of Trinity Term

  • Each submission must be accompanied by a declaration indicating it is the candidate’s own work. Two printed copies of each of the items of written work detailed above, and, in addition an electronic copy on a memory stick or CD, must be delivered to the Examination Schools, addressed to the Chair of Examiners for the MPhil in Modern Chinese Studies, c/o the Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford at the times and days specified for each paper.

  • 7. Candidates will be required to pass the core course examination, language examination and either the Research Methods for Area Studies course overall, or the research proposal and the written examination for the Modern China Humanities course to be allowed to progress to the second and final year. Candidates who fail the Research Methods for Area Studies course overall will be permitted to resubmit a new submission for the failed piece(s) of work within four weeks of publication of the failed mark(s), on a date specified by the Chair of Examiners. Candidates who have failed to pass either element of the Modern China Humanities course or any of the other components will be given the opportunity to retake the component(s) before the commencement of the next academic year. Candidates who fail the option paper will be required to re-sit and pass the failed paper when next offered the following year.

  • 8. Students wishing to transfer from the MPhil Modern Chinese Studies to the MSc in Contemporary Chinese Studies must apply to the Course Director no later than noon on Friday of week 8 of Michaelmas Term.

  • 9. Candidates are required to spend a period of at least three months on an approved course of language study in China after the examinations at the end of Trinity Term of the first year, and before the start of Hilary Term of the second year.

Final year examinations

  • 10. Candidates must offer one written and one oral Chinese language examination at the end of Trinity Term. Candidates will be examined in Chinese I (Final) or Chinese II (Final). Those who have followed the Chinese II course will not be permitted to enter for the Chinese I examination.

  • 11. Candidates will choose one further option paper from a list approved by the Chinese Studies Committee. This list, including details of the assessment method, will be published in the Course Handbook by the Course Director at the beginning of each academic year. Students should select one of these papers in consultation with their supervisor. With special permission of the Chinese Studies Committee, candidates may choose a paper offered by other relevant Master’s degrees in the University, subject also to permission by the relevant Graduate Studies Committee. Candidates will take the standard assessment for such an option.

  • 12. Candidates will complete a 20,000 word thesis (including all footnotes and appendices but excluding the table of contents, abstract and the bibliography of cited works). The title of the thesis must be approved by the Course Director by 12 noon on Friday of week 1 of Hilary Term in the academic year in which the examination is taken. The thesis must be submitted by 12 noon on Tuesday of week 2 in Trinity Term. The thesis must be accompanied by a statement that the thesis is the candidate’s own work except where otherwise indicated.

  • 13. Two bound printed copies of the thesis and an electronic copy on a memory stick or CD must be delivered to the Examination Schools, addressed to the Chair of Examiners for the MPhil in Modern Chinese Studies, c/o the Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford at the times and days specified. Successful candidates will be required to deposit a hard copy of the thesis in the Bodleian Library.  

  • 14. Candidates may be required to attend an oral examination on any part of the examination.

  • 15. The examiners may award a distinction for excellence in the whole examination.

  • 16. Candidates who fail one or more of the examination papers or the thesis will be permitted to retake the examination paper(s) or resubmit the thesis on one further occasion, which will normally be within one year of the initial failure.