Master of Philosophy in Oriental Studies

The regulations made by the Board of the Faculty of Oriental Studies are as follows:

  • 1. [For students starting before MT 2017: Every candidate must present himself or herself for a written examination in one of the following subjects.] [For students starting from MT 2017: All candidates must present themselves for a written examination in one of the following subjects.]

    • (i) Cuneiform Studies.

    • (ii) Egyptology (including Graeco-Roman and Christian Egypt).

    • (iii) Modern Middle Eastern Studies.

    • (iv) Classical Indian Religion.

    • (v) Modern Jewish Studies.

    • (vi) Jewish Studies in the Graeco-Roman Period.

    • (vii) Islamic Art and Archaeology.

    • (viii) Ottoman Turkish Studies.

    • (ix) Islamic Studies and History.

    • (x) Modern Chinese Studies.

    • (xi) Tibetan and Himalayan Studies.

    • (xii) Modern South Asian Studies.

    • (xiii) Traditional East Asia: Classical, Medieval, and Early-Modern.

      (xiv) Buddhist Studies.

    • (xv) Eastern Christian Studies.

  • 2. Candidates for subject (i) must satisfy the Oriental Studies Board by the time of their qualifying examination that they possess a working knowledge of French and German; candidates for (ii) must satisfy the Oriental Studies Board by the time of their qualifying examination that they possess a working knowledge of French and German, and candidates who wish to offer Greek papyrology must possess a fluent knowledge of Greek; and for subject (v) candidates should possess a working knowledge of either Hebrew or Yiddish, and a relevant European language. [For students starting from MT 2017: For subject (vi), candidates must satisfy the Oriental Studies Board before admission to the course that they possess a working knowledge of Hebrew.] For subject (viii) and the Turkish option in subject (ix) candidates should possess a sound reading knowledge of Modern Turkish or Arabic or Persian. For subject (x) Modern Chinese Studies, candidates will normally have a first degree in a discipline relevant to their elective subject. For subject (xiii) Traditional East Asia: Classical, Medieval, and Early Modern, candidates should possess a good proficiency (normally at least two years’ study or equivalent) in modern Chinese, Japanese, or Korean.

    3. A candidate who fails any part or parts of the Qualifying Examination may retake such part or parts during the Long Vacation prior to the second year of the course, except [For students starting before MT 2017: in the cases of the M.Phil. in Classical Indian Religion, Modern Middle Eastern Studies, Modern Jewish Studies, and Tibetan and Himalayan Studies.] [For students starting from MT 2017: candidates for (iii) Modern Middle Eastern Studies, (iv) Classical Indian Religion, (v) Modern Jewish Studies, and (xi) Tibetan and Himalayan Studies. ]A candidate who fails any part or parts of the Qualifying Examination for these four courses may retake such part or parts during Trinity Term of the first year of study except where stated otherwise in the particular regulations for individual courses.

  • 4. A candidate who fails any part or parts of the Final Examination may retake such part or parts on one occasion in the following academic year.

  • 5. Subject to such regulations as the board may hereinafter make, every candidate must offer a [For students starting before MT 2017: thesis11 ] [For students starting from MT 2017: thesis ]on a subject approved by the board (or by a person or persons to whom it may delegate the power of giving such approval), and as far as possible falling within the scope of the subject offered by the candidate in the examination. Applications for approval of the thesis subject must reach the Board of the Faculty of Oriental Studies, Oriental Institute, on or before Monday of noughth week of Hilary Term in the second year of the course. A title approval form is available on the Oriental Studies website. Two typewritten copies and an electronic copy in PDF format on a memory stick or CD, of the thesis  must be submitted to the Chair of the Examiners, name of degree, c/o Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford OX1 4BG, [For students starting before MT 2017: not later than noon on the Friday of the second week of the Trinity Term in which the examination is taken except in (ii) and (xiv) below, in which the thesis should be presented not later than noon on the Friday of the fourth week of the Trinity Term in which the examination is taken; (v), (vii) , (ix) and (xiii) below, in which the thesis should be presented by noon on Friday of sixth week of Trinity Term. The work must bear the candidates examination number (but not the candidates’ name). Candidates must include a signed declaration sealed in an envelope addressed to the Chair of Examiners that the work is the candidate's own.] [For students starting from MT 2017: by the following submission deadlines: for (i), (iii), (iv), (vi), (viii), (x), (xi), (xii), (xv), not later than 12 noon on the Thursday of the second week of the Trinity Term in which the examination is taken, for (ii) and (xiv), not later than 12 noon on the Thursday of the fourth week of the Trinity Term in which the examination is taken; for (v), (vii) , (ix) and (xiii) by 12 noon on Thursday of sixth week of Trinity Term. The work must bear the candidate’s examination number (but not the candidate’s name). Candidates must include a signed declaration sealed in an envelope addressed to the Chair of Examiners that the work is the candidate's own. For general regulations concerning theses, see the General Regulations for the Degree of Bachelor of Philosophy or Master of Philosophy.]

  • Successful candidates will be required to deposit one copy of the thesis in the Bodleian. [For students starting from MT 2017: Work submitted for the degree of M.Phil. may subsequently be incorporated in a thesis submitted for the degree of D.Phil.]

  • 6. Candidates may be required to attend a viva voce, except where stated otherwise in the particular regulations for individual courses in the following pages.

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


Subjects

  • (i) Cuneiform Studies

    • A. Qualifying Examination

      Each candidate will be required, unless exempted by the Oriental Studies Board, to pass a qualifying examination in [For students starting before MT 2017: the Sumerian and Akkadian languages not later than the end of the third term after that in which his or her name has been placed on the register.] [For students starting from MT 2017: Akkadian Texts and Akkadian Grammar and Unprepared Translation not later than the end of Trinity term of the first year.]

    • B. Final Examination

      The following papers are assessed by a written examination paper at the end of Trinity Term[For students starting before MT 2017: except for paper 4.] [For students starting from MT 2017: of the final year.]

    • Each candidate will be required to offer the following papers:

      • 1. Prepared translations of Sumerian texts and related essay questions (1 paper)

      • 2. Prepared translations of Akkadian texts and related essay questions (1 paper)

        A list of prepared texts in the Sumerian and Akkadian languages will be provided to the candidate after they have successfully passed the qualifying examination. Lists of set texts must be submitted by the examiners to the faculty office by Friday of seventh week of Michaelmas term.

      • 3. Unprepared translations of Akkadian (1 paper)

      • 4. [For students starting before MT 2017: History and culture of ancient Mesopotamia (1 paper)] [For students starting from MT 2017: History and Civilization of Ancient Mesopotamia (1 paper)]

        [For students starting before MT 2017: Candidates are required to submit two essays each of not more than 5,000 words in length, which display knowledge of more than just a narrow range of the topic. The subject of the essays will be published by noon, Friday of Week 1 of Michaelmas Term of the second year of the course for the first essay and by noon, Friday Week 1 of Hilary Term of the second year of the course for the second essay. Candidates will be contacted with details on how to collect or access the question paper. The essays must be submitted to the Examination Schools by the end of Weeks 8 of Michaelmas Term and Hilary Term respectively. For each essay two printed copies and a signed form certifying that the essay is the candidate’s own work must be delivered in an envelope marked ‘Essay presubmitted for the M.Phil. in Cuneiform Studies’ to the Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford OX1 4BG.] [For students starting from MT 2017: Candidates are required to submit two essays, each of not more than 2,500 words in length, which display knowledge of more than just a narrow range of the topic. The subject of the essays will be published by 12 noon, Friday Thursday of Week 8 of Michaelmas Term of the second year of the course for the first essay and by 12 noon, Thursday Week 8 of Hilary Term of the second year of the course for the second essay. Candidates will be contacted with details on how to collect or access the question paper. The essays must be submitted to the Examination Schools by 12 noon on Thursday of Weeks 9 of Michaelmas Term and Hilary Term respectively. For each essay two printed copies and a signed form certifying that the essay is the candidate’s own work must be delivered in an envelope marked ‘Essay presubmitted for the M.Phil. in Cuneiform Studies’ to the Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford OX1 4BG.]

      • 5. [For students starting before MT 2017: The cuneiform world in context and approaches to the study of Assyriology;] [For students starting from MT 2017: The Cuneiform World in Context and Ancient Near Eastern Inscribed Artefacts;]

        (a) The Cuneiform World in Context (one half paper)

      • [For students starting before MT 2017: A list of approaches will be published in the course handbook.  Candidates must specify which of these approaches they will pursue not later than the end of the third term after that in which their name has been placed on the register. Not all options may be available every year.] [For students starting from MT 2017: A list of options will be published in the course handbook.  Candidates must specify which of these options they will pursue no later than the end of the third term of the first year. Not all options may be available every year.]

        (b) [For students starting before MT 2017: Approaches to the study of Assyriology (one half paper)] [For students starting from MT 2017: Ancient Near Eastern Inscribed Artefacts (one half paper)]

    • C. Thesis

      Each candidate will be required to present a thesis of not more than[For students starting before MT 2017: 20,000 words] [For students starting from MT 2017: 25,000 words ]on a subject approved by the board. The thesis needs to include a substantial cuneiform-related element.[For students starting before MT 2017: 13]

  • (ii) Egyptology

    This course covers topics relating to dynastic, Graeco-Roman, and Christian Egypt.

  • A. Qualifying Examination

    Each candidate will be required, unless exempted by the Oriental Studies Board, to pass a qualifying examination in Egyptian and/or Coptic not later than the end of the[For students starting before MT 2017: third term after he or she is admitted.] [For students starting from MT 2017: Trinity term of the first year.] Candidates offering options relating to the Graeco-Roman period may be required to pass a qualifying examination in Greek.

  • B. Final Examination

    • 1. Syllabus A: A candidate who has a first degree in Egyptology or equivalent qualification must offer Section I, three papers from Section II, and a thesis of not more than[For students starting before MT 2017: 30,000 words] [For students starting from MT 2017: 25,000 words ]on a subject to be approved by the board.[For students starting before MT 2017: 13]

    • 2. Syllabus B: All other candidates must offer Section I, two papers from Section II, Section III, and a thesis of not more than[For students starting before MT 2017: 20,000 words] [For students starting from MT 2017: 25,000 words ]on a subject to be approved by the board.[For students starting before MT 2017: 13]

    • 3. All applications for approval of options must reach the Senior Academic Administrator, Oriental Institute, on or before Monday in the second week of Michaelmas Term[For students starting before MT 2017: in year of the examination.] [For students starting from MT 2017: of the second year.] For options under Section II applicants must include a detailed definition of the topics offered and a list of primary sources, to be countersigned by their supervisors.

      Section I

      For the Final Examination the following papers will be set:

      • (i) A general paper on Egyptology. Questions will be set on method, theory, bibliography, and the history of Egyptology. Candidates will be expected to answer some questions outside the areas of their fields of specialisation.

        (ii) Unprepared translation from Egyptian texts.

        Passages may be set for translation from texts of all periods from the end of the Old Kingdom to the Conquest of Alexander. Texts of other periods may be set with the permission of the board.

      Section II

      A special field selected from a list published in the course handbook of which one will be on an appropriate category of primary source material.

      Some special fields may not be available every year.

      Candidates for Syllabus A will be examined by methods (i), (ii), and (iii). 

      Candidates for Syllabus B will be examined by methods (i) and (ii).

      The examination methods are as follows:

      • (i)  Take-home examination. One paper in the special field will be set as a take-home examination. The answer or answers for this examination should be typed and presented in proper scholarly form. [For students starting before MT 2017: Candidates will be informed as to which paper is to be examined as a take-home on Friday of eighth week of the Hilary Term preceding the Final examination; conventions for the setting of the paper will be released at the same time. The question paper for the take-home examination will be published to candidates in the Oriental Institute at 9 a.m. on Monday of first week in Full Term in the term in which the final examination is to be offered. Candidates will be contacted with details on how to collect or access the question paper. The completed examination must be handed in to the Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford no later than 12 noon on Monday of second week. The completed paper should not exceed 5,000 words in length]. [For students starting from MT 2017: Candidates will be informed as to which paper is to be examined as a take-home on Friday of eighth week of the Hilary Term of the second year; conventions for the setting of the paper will be released at the same time. The question paper for the take-home examination will be published to candidates in the Oriental Institute at 9 a.m. on Monday of first week of Trinity term of the second year. Candidates will be contacted with details on how to collect or access the question paper. The completed examination must be handed in to the Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford no later than 12 noon on Monday of second week of Trinity term. The completed paper should not exceed 5,000 words in length. ]

        If candidates for a different degree are taking the same subject and are to be examined in a three-hour examination, M.Phil. candidates may instead take that examination. Applications to take the three-hour examination should be submitted to the Faculty Board by Friday of the first week in Michaelmas Term [For students starting before MT 2017: in the academic year of the final examination.] [For students starting from MT 2017: of the second year.]

      (ii) Assessed essays. For a second topic in the special field, candidates will be required to presubmit two essays of not more than 5,000 words each, which between them display command of more than a narrow range of the topic. Supervisors or others are permitted to give bibliographical help and to discuss drafts of essays. Such essays (two printed copies) must be delivered in a parcel bearing the words ‘Essays presubmitted for the M.Phil. in Egyptology’ to the Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford OX1 4BG by noon on the Thursday of the [For students starting before MT 2017: sixth week of Trinity Term in which the examination is to be taken.] [For students starting from MT 2017: eighth week of Hilary Term of the second year.]

      (iii) Examination paper (Syllabus A only). One three-hour examination on an area within the special field.  

      Section III

      Prescribed texts in Middle and Late Egyptian [For students starting before MT 2017: (two papers).] [For students starting from MT 2017: (one paper).] Lists of set texts must be submitted by the examiners to the Faculty Office by Friday of seventh week of Michaelmas Term of the first year and subsequently published in the Course Handbook. 

  • (iii) Modern Middle Eastern Studies

  • A. Qualifying Examination

  • Every candidate must pass a qualifying examination not later than the end of the second term [For students starting before MT 2017: from the commencement of the course.] [For students starting from MT 2017: of the first year.] A candidate with an intermediate level of proficiency (the equivalent of 2-3 years of study) in Arabic, Persian or Turkish may offer respectively Advanced Arabic, Advanced Persian or Advanced Turkish. A candidate with native fluency or who has satisfied the examiners in the Second Public Examination in Arabic or Persian or Turkish or Hebrew, or has passed a similar examination in another university, must offer a different language for examination. The examination will consist of two papers:

    • (i) A language examination in Arabic or Advanced Arabic or Hebrew or Persian or Advanced Persian or Turkish or Advanced Turkish, (subject to the availability of teaching), based on grammar knowledge and reading comprehension.

    • (ii) A general methodological paper on the Middle East in the twentieth century.

  • [For students starting before MT 2017: Entries must be made on the appropriate form, obtainable from the University Offices, by Friday in the second week of Hilary Full Term following the candidate's admission.]

  • B. Final Examination

    • 1. All candidates must offer

      • (a) one language paper in Arabic or Hebrew or Persian or Turkish, subject to the availability of teaching, based on knowledge of grammar, translation from the Oriental language to English, and reading comprehension or, for candidates who offered Advanced Arabic, Advanced Persian, or Advanced Turkish for the Qualifying Examination, one language paper in Arabic, Persian, or Turkish respectively based on prose composition, translation from the Oriental language to English, and reading comprehension;

      • (b) a thesis of not more than 30,000 words on a subject to be approved by the board[For students starting before MT 2017: 13];

      • (c) three papers from a list of options published in the course handbook. A candidate may offer a paper on a subject not included on the list, with the approval of the board.

    • Teaching for some options may not be available in every year. Applicants for admission will be advised whether teaching will be available in the options of their choice.

  • 2. [For students starting before MT 2017: All applications for approval must reach the Senior Academic Administrator, Oriental Institute, on or before the Monday in the second week of the Michaelmas Full Term preceding the examination.] [For students starting from MT 2017: All applications for special subjects requiring the approval of the board must reach the Senior Academic Administrator, Oriental Institute, on or before the Monday in the second week of the Michaelmas Full Term of the second year.]

  • (iv) Classical Indian Religion

    A. Qualifying Examination

    Candidates must pass a qualifying examination in Sanskrit not later than the end of the second term of the academic year in which the candidate's name is first entered on the register of M.Phil. students unless exempted by the Board of the Faculty of Oriental Studies.

    B. Final Examination

    Candidates will be required to offer the following four papers, but a candidate may submit a thesis of not more than 20,000 words on a subject approved by the board13 instead of Paper (iv).

    • (i) Unprepared translation from epic and commentarial Sanskrit. This written examination will take place at the end of Trinity Term. 

      (ii) and (iii) Translation from the set books in two of the sections. Lists of set texts must be submitted to the Faculty office by Friday of seventh week of Michaelmas Term. This written examination will take place at the end of Trinity Term.

      • In Papers (ii) and (iii), each of which is assessed by a three-hour examination, candidates will be expected to show background knowledge of relevant social and political history. Emphasis will be laid on the study of primary sources, which may, however, be read in translation.

    • (iv) Approaches to the study of Indian religion: Candidates will be asked to give a critical appreciation of the contributions of different disciplines (theology, anthropology, philology etc.) and to discuss the application of various theoretical approaches (e.g. evolutionism, diffusionism, dialectical materialism, phenomenology, structuralism) to the subject. This written examination will take place at the end of Trinity Term.

  • (v) Modern Jewish Studies

    • A. Qualifying Examination

      Candidates must pass a qualifying examination in Modern Hebrew or Yiddish not later than the end of the [For students starting before MT 2017: second term of the academic year in which the candidate's name is first entered on the Register of M.Phil. students] [For students starting from MT 2017: Hilary term of the first year ]unless exempted by the Board of the Faculty of Oriental Studies. The examination will consist of a language examination in Hebrew based on grammar knowledge and reading comprehension.  

      Candidates, who will submit a take-home essay in their first year of the course to partially fulfil the requirements of (b) in the Final Examination, must enter for this paper in their first year. Marks will not be moderated for Final Examination take-home essays taken in the first year of the course until the end of the second year of the course. 

      B. Final Examination

      All candidates must offer

      • (a) one language paper in Modern Hebrew or Yiddish based on grammar knowledge, reading comprehension, and translation into English, at a level equivalent to Intermediate or higher.

      • (b) Four papers from a list published in the course handbook.

    • Candidates will present themselves for take-home essay examination. Essay examination will consist of the submission of two essays of not more than 2,500 words each for each of the four papers chosen, which must be submitted to the Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford, by 12 noon on the Friday of noughth week of the term following that in which the paper was taught. The essay topics will be published, on Friday of eighth week of the term in which the paper is taught. Candidates will be contacted with details on how to collect or access the question paper. When a paper assessed by take-home essay is taught in the first year of the course, candidates must enter for the paper in the first year. Candidates proposing to offer a paper not included in the list must obtain the permission of the Board of the Faculty of Oriental Studies.[For students starting before MT 2017: All applications for approval must be sent to the Senior Academic Administrator, Oriental Institute, on or before the Monday in the second week of the Michaelmas Full Term preceding the examination.] [For students starting from MT 2017: All applications requiring the approval of the board must be sent to the Senior Academic Administrator, Oriental Institute, on or before the Monday in the second week of the Michaelmas Full Term of the second year.]

    • Teaching for some options may not be available in every year. Applicants for admission will be advised whether teaching will be available in the options of their choice. Prescribed texts will be reported to the Faculty Board’s second meeting of Michaelmas Full Term in the first year of the course.

    • C. Thesis

    • A candidate shall submit a thesis of not more than 30,000 words on a topic selected in consultation with their supervisor and approved by the Faculty Board.[For students starting before MT 2017: 13  ]

  • (vi) Jewish Studies in the Graeco-Roman Period

    A. Qualifying Examination

    Candidates must pass a qualifying examination in Jewish Studies not later than the end of the[For students starting before MT 2017: third term after that in which the candidate's name is first entered on the register of M.Phil. students] [For students starting from MT 2017: Trinity term of the first year] unless exempted by the Board of the Faculty of Oriental Studies.

    B. Final Examination

  • Every candidate shall submit a thesis of not more than 30,000 words[For students starting before MT 2017: 13] and 4 written examinations. The written examinations shall consist of one paper on Jewish literature, history, and institution from 200 BC to AD425 and three further papers from a list published in the course handbook.[For students starting before MT 2017:

  • Notes. 1. Candidates must satisfy the Board of the Faculty of Oriental Studies before admission to the course that they possess the necessary qualifications in the Hebrew language to profit by the course.

  • 2. Papers 2-8 will contain passages for translation and comment as well as general questions relating to the prescribed texts.

  • 3. Texts will be reported to the Faculty Board’s second meeting of Michaelmas Full Term in the first year of the course.]

  • (vii) Islamic Art and Archaeology

  • A. Qualifying Examination

    Every candidate will be required to satisfy the examiners in a qualifying examination not later than the end of the [For students starting before MT 2017: third term after that in which the candidate's name is first entered on the Register of M.Phil. Students.] [For students starting from MT 2017: Trinity term of the first year.] The examination will include:

    (a) a three-hour written examination: Introduction to Islamic Art and Archaeology, c.550-c.1900.

    (b) [For students starting before MT 2017: a portfolio, containing reports on the practical work completed during the year (according to the schedule given in the Course Handbook).

    (c) ]a language examination in Arabic or Persian or Turkish.

    [For students starting before MT 2017: Candidates must submit the portfolio in (b) above not later than 12 noon on Monday of seventh week of Trinity Term. Two printed copies and one digital copy on either a CD-ROM disc or a memory stick must be submitted in a securely sealed parcel clearly addressed to the Chair of Examiners, M.Phil. in Islamic Art and Archaeology (Oriental Studies), Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford. The parcel must bear the words 'QUALIFYING EXAMINATION FOR THE M.PHIL. IN ISLAMIC ART AND ARCHAEOLOGY (PORTFOLIO). The portfolio must bear the candidate’s examination number (but not the candidate’s name, which must be concealed). Candidates must include a signed declaration sealed in an envelope addressed to the Chair of Examiners that the work is the candidate’s own.]

  • B. Final Examination

    This shall be taken in the Trinity Term of the [For students starting before MT 2017: academic year following that in which the candidate's name is first entered on the Register of M.Phil. Students.] [For students starting from MT 2017: second year.]

  • 1. Every candidate must follow for at least six terms a course of instruction in Islamic Art and Archaeology.

  • 2. The examination will include:

    • (a) A paper on a topic of Islamic art and archaeology or related fields (e.g. non-Islamic art, architecture and archaeology; Islamic studies; history; museology) to be selected by the candidate in consultation with the candidate’s supervisor. This paper will be examined by an extended essay of between 5,000 and 6,000 words. Applications for the approval of the essay topic should be submitted to the Faculty office by Monday of second week of Michaelmas Term[For students starting before MT 2017: and will be reported to the Faculty Board's second meeting of Michaelmas Term.] [For students starting from MT 2017: of the second year.]

    • (b) Arabic or Persian or Turkish language examination.

    • (c) Arabic or Persian or Turkish prepared texts. This is a written examination paper.

    • (d) A three-hour written examination: Approaches to Islamic Art and Archaeology.[For students starting before MT 2017:

    • (e) A thesis13 of not more than 30,000 words on a subject to be approved by the Faculty Board.]

    • [For students starting from MT 2017: (e) A portfolio, containing reports on the practical work completed during the course (according to the schedule given in the Course Handbook).

      (f) A thesis of not more than 30,000 words on a subject to be approved by the Faculty Board.]

  • 3. Candidates must submit the extended essay in (a) above not later than noon on the Monday of first week of Trinity Term [For students starting before MT 2017: of the year in which they sit the examination.] [For students starting from MT 2017: of the second year.]

  • [For students starting before MT 2017: 4. ]The extended essay must be submitted in printed form and an electronic copy in PDF on [For students starting before MT 2017: either a CD-ROM disc or ]a memory stick. Two printed copies and the [For students starting before MT 2017: CD-ROM disc or] memory stick must be submitted in a securely sealed parcel clearly addressed to the Chair of Examiners, M.Phil. in Islamic Art and Archaeology (Oriental Studies), Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford. The parcels must bear the words 'FINAL EXAMINATION FOR THE M.PHIL. IN ISLAMIC ART AND ARCHAEOLOGY (EXTENDED ESSAY). Each piece of work must bear the candidate’s examination number (but not the candidate’s name, which must be concealed). Candidates must include a signed declaration sealed in an envelope addressed to the Chair of Examiners that the work is the candidate’s own.

  • [For students starting from MT 2017: 4. Candidates must submit the portfolio in (e) above not later than 12 noon on Friday of fourth week of Trinity Term of the first year. Two printed copies and one digital copy on a memory stick must be submitted in a securely sealed parcel clearly addressed to the Chair of Examiners, M.Phil. in Islamic Art and Archaeology (Oriental Studies), Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford. The parcels must bear the words 'FINAL EXAMINATION FOR THE M.PHIL. IN ISLAMIC ART AND ARCHAEOLOGY (PORTFOLIO)’. The portfolio must bear the candidate’s examination number (but not the candidate’s name, which must be concealed). Candidates must include a signed declaration sealed in an envelope addressed to the Chair of Examiners that the work is the candidate’s own.]

  • (viii) Ottoman Turkish Studies

    A. Qualifying Examination

    Every candidate will be required, unless exempted by the Oriental Studies Board, to pass a qualifying examination in Ottoman Turkish not later than the end of the [For students starting before MT 2017: third term after that in which his or her name has been placed on the register.] [For students starting from MT 2017: Trinity term of the first year.]

    B. Final Examination

    Every candidate will be required to offer the following four papers and a thesis[For students starting before MT 2017: 13] of not more than 30,000 words. [For students starting from MT 2017: Lists of set texts will be available in the Course Handbook.]

    • (1) Essay questions on Ottoman history and institutions, 1453-1699.

    • (2) Ottoman historical texts.[For students starting before MT 2017: 7] 

    • (3) Ottoman texts in modern transcription and post-1928 Ottomanising texts.[For students starting before MT 2017: 7]

    • (4) Ottoman documents[For students starting before MT 2017: :

      Ottoman Documents, ed. Repp (copies are available from the Oriental Institute).]

      Teaching for the course may not be available in every year: applicants for admission will only be accepted if teaching is available.

  • (ix) Islamic Studies and History

    A. Qualifying Examination

    Each candidate will be required, unless exempted by the Oriental Studies Board, to pass a qualifying examination in Arabic or Persian or Ottoman Turkish or any other language approved by the Faculty Board not later than the end of the [For students starting before MT 2017: third term after that in which the candidate’s name has been placed on the register.] [For students starting from MT 2017: Trinity term of the first year.] The content of the examination shall be of such nature as to satisfy the board that the candidate is capable of using pre-modern texts in the respective language.

  • B. Final Examination

  • 1. The examination shall take place not later than the end of the [For students starting before MT 2017: third term of the second year from the candidate’s admission to the M.Phil. degree programme.  Full details of the examination will be provided in the examination conventions, which will be made available to the candidates in the second term of the second year of the course. Candidates must make their entries for the Final Examination by filling out the appropriate examination entry form by Friday of the first week of the second term of the second year from the candidate’s admission to the course. The examiners may award a distinction to candidates who have performed with special merit. A candidate will be permitted to retake any failed papers on one further occasion only, not later than one year after the initial attempt.] [For students starting from MT 2017: Trinity term of the second year.]

  • 2. The Final Examination shall consist of the following [For students starting before MT 2017: five units (1–5).] [For students starting from MT 2017: six units (1-6).]

    • (1) A language examination in Arabic, or Persian, or Ottoman Turkish, or any other language approved by the Faculty Board. This written examination will take place at the end of Trinity Term of the second year.

    • (2) [For students starting before MT 2017: Islamic studies and history, 570–1500.] [For students starting from MT 2017: Islamic History. ]This written examination will take place at the end of Trinity Term [For students starting from MT 2017: of the second year.]

    • [For students starting before MT 2017: (3) and (4) Two optional papers which will be examined either  as a written examination paper at the end of Trinity Term or by means of a take-home research paper of up to 5,000 words.  A list of options and how they will be assessed will be available in the course handbook by noughth week of Michaelmas Term in the year of the exams.  Teaching for some options may not be available in every year. All candidates must obtain the approval of the Board of the Faculty of Oriental Studies for the papers they wish to offer. All applications for approval must reach the Senior Academic Administrator, Oriental Institute, not later than the Monday in the second week of Michaelmas Full Term preceding the examination.

    • For options assessed by means of a take-home research paper, the question paper will be published by the examiners by noon Friday of eighth week of the term in which the option is taught, and two copies of the essays must be submitted to the Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford by noon on Friday of the following week. Candidates will be contacted with details of how to collect or access the questions.  The examination for at least one of these optional papers, whether conducted in the Examination Schools or as a take-home essay, must require the student to demonstrate the ability to use Arabic, Persian, or Turkish primary sources.

    • (5) A thesis of 25,000 words on a subject approved by the Oriental Studies Faculty Board, of which two typed copies and an electronic copy in PDF format in a memory stick or CD, of the thesis must be delivered to the Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford, by noon of Friday of sixth week of Trinity Term of the second year from the candidate’s admission to the course. The thesis must be accompanied by a signed statement by the candidate that the thesis is his or her own work except where otherwise indicated.]

    • [For students starting from MT 2017: (3) Islamic Studies. Candidates are required to submit an essay of not more than 5000 words in length (excluding bibliography but including footnotes). The question paper will be published by the examiners by 12 noon on Friday of eighth week of Hilary Term of the second year. Two copies of the essay must be submitted to the Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford by 12 noon on Friday of noughth week of Trinity Term of the second year.

    • (4) and (5) Two option papers which will be examined either as a written examination paper at the end of Trinity Term or by means of a take-home research paper of up to 5,000 words.  A list of options and how they will be assessed will be available in the course handbook by noughth week of Trinity Term in the first year.  Teaching for some options may not be available in every year. All candidates must obtain the approval of the Board of the Faculty of Oriental Studies for the papers they wish to offer. All applications requiring approval of the Board must reach the Senior Academic Administrator, Oriental Institute, not later than the Monday in the second week of Michaelmas Term of the second year.

      For options assessed by means of a take-home research paper, the question paper will be published by the examiners by 12 noon on Friday of eighth week of the term in which the option is taught, and two copies of the essays must be submitted to the Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford by 12 noon on Friday of the following week. Candidates will be contacted with details of how to collect or access the questions.  The examination for at least one of these optional papers, whether conducted in the Examination Schools or as a take-home essay, must require the student to demonstrate the ability to use Arabic, Persian, or Turkish primary sources.

      (6) A thesis of 25,000 words on a subject approved by the Oriental Studies Faculty Board.]

  • (x) Modern Chinese Studies

  • Candidates in Modern Chinese Studies must follow EITHER Track A (Social Science) OR Track B (Humanities) throughout the entire course. Candidates are required to spend a period of at least three months on an approved course of language study in China or Taiwan after the qualifying examination at the end of the Trinity Term of the first year, and before the start of the Hilary Term of the second year.

    A. Qualifying Examination

    The examination shall take place not later than the end of the [For students starting before MT 2017: third term from the candidate's admission to the programme.] [For students starting from MT 2017: Trinity term of the first year. ]Candidates who fail one or more parts of the Qualifying Examination may be allowed to retake that part or parts once at the end of the Long Vacation of the first year of the course, except for Study of Contemporary China which may be retaken at the end of Trinity Term of the first year of the course. Candidates who fail the Final Examination elective paper taken with the Qualifying Examination in the first year of the course may be allowed to retake that part with the remainder of the Final Examination papers offered at the end of the second year of the course.

    The Qualifying Examination shall consist of three parts for Track A and two parts for Track B, as follows:

    • (1) Study of Contemporary China

      Each candidate will be required to follow a course of instruction on modern China. Candidates will present themselves for examination in the core course Study of Contemporary China at the beginning of Hilary Term of the first year.

    • (2) Modern Chinese language (written and oral)

      All candidates must offer one written and one oral Chinese examination. Candidates will be examined in Chinese I or Chinese II. Those who have followed the Chinese II course will not be permitted to enter for the Chinese I examination. Candidates shall present themselves for examination in Chinese language at the end of Trinity Term of the first year.

    • (3) Research Methods for Area Studies (Track A only)

      All candidates are required to undertake an assessment in research methods for Asian studies, which is a series of assignments and/or unseen written examinations as published in the course handbook. The forms of assessment, and the dates and times of submission, where applicable, will be published in the course handbook.

      Candidates shall also be required to offer one Final Examination Elective Paper at the end of Trinity Term of the first year (see below).

  • B. Final Examination

    No candidate can pass the Final Examination unless they have already passed all parts of the first-year Qualifying Examination. The examination shall take place not later than the end of the third term of the second year[For students starting before MT 2017: from the candidate's admission to the M.Phil. degree programme], with the exception of the first of the two elective papers that shall be taken at the end of the first year of the programme. In order to pass the degree all parts of the Final Examination must be passed. A candidate who fails the Final Examination will be permitted to retake it on one further occasion in the following year and only have to retake those parts of the examination that were failed.

    The Final Examination shall consist of:

    • (1) Thesis

      The thesis will not be more than 20,000 words on a subject approved by the Oriental Studies Faculty Board.[For students starting before MT 2017: 13 ]

    • (2) Two Elective papers

      Candidates will be required to choose two elective papers offered as option courses under the M.Phil. or M.Sc. in Contemporary Chinese Studies or under another Master’s (M.Phil., M.Sc. or M.St.) degree programme in the University. The latter must be approved by the Board. The first elective paper will be taken at the end of the first year of the course, while the second paper will be taken at the end of the second year of the course. A list of papers approved for this purpose by the Oriental Studies Faculty Board will be available from the Course Director. The paper elected in the second year may not be the same as that taken in the first year. The examiners may, at their discretion, either require candidates to sit the standard examination paper for these elective papers, or offer a paper set specifically for students on the M.Phil. in Modern Chinese Studies.

    • (3) Modern Chinese language (written and oral)

      Candidates will be required to take the written examination and an oral examination at the end of the Trinity Term of their final year. Candidates will be examined in Chinese I or Chinese II. Those who have followed the Chinese II course will not be permitted to enter for the Chinese I examination.

    • (4) Modern China Humanities (Track B only)

      Candidates will be required to take a final written examination in the study of Modern China.

  • (xi) Tibetan and Himalayan Studies

  • A. Qualifying Examination

    Candidates must pass a qualifying examination in Tibetan language at the end of the Hilary Term of their first year. This will consist of a written and an oral examination.

  • B. Final Examination

    • [For students starting before MT 2017: 1. All candidates will be required to offer the following three written examination papers at the end of Trinity Term, a thesis of not more than 30,000 words, and to present themselves for an oral examination. 

      • (i) Unseen translation both from and into Tibetan.

        (ii) Translation from two set texts, which will include a modern Tibetan work and a classical work.

        (iii) History and civilisation of Tibet and the Himalayas. Topics covered will include the history, politics, religion, and anthropology of the region.

  • C. Thesis

    Candidates must submit a thesis of not more than 30,000 words on a topic selected by the candidate in consultation with his or her supervisor and approved by the faculty board.13]

  • [For students starting from MT 2017: All candidates will be required to offer four written examination papers at the end of Trinity Term of the second year, an extended essay of 5,000 words, and a thesis of not more than 25,000 words.

    • 1. The four written examination papers will be:

      • (i) Language and grammar

        (ii) Modern Tibetan prepared translation

        (iii) Classical Tibetan prepared translation

        (iv) History and civilisation of Tibet and the Himalayas. Topics covered will include the history, politics, religion, and anthropology of the region.

    • 2. Candidates are required to submit one essay of no more than 5,000 words on aspects of the history and civilisation of Tibet and the Himalayas. The topic will be published by 5pm on the last Friday of term in which teaching for the paper is completed. The essay must be submitted to the Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford, by 12 noon on the Friday of Week 0 of the term following that in which formal teaching for this paper is completed. When the paper is taught in the first year of the course, candidates must enter for the paper in the first year.

      3. Candidates must submit a thesis of not more than 25,000 words on a topic selected by the candidate in consultation with their supervisor and approved by the Faculty Board.]

  • (xii) Modern South Asian Studies

  • A. Qualifying Examination

    Candidates must pass a qualifying examination in Modern South Asian Studies not later than the end of the[For students starting before MT 2017: third term after that in which the candidate's name is first entered on the register of M.Phil. students.] [For students starting from MT 2017: Trinity term of the first year.] Unless exempted by the Board of the Faculty of Oriental Studies candidates will be required to offer the following papers:

    • 1. A language examination in Hindi (Beginners or Advanced), Brajbhasha and Old Hindi Texts I, or a substitute core language, based on knowledge of grammar, translation and reading comprehension. (Teaching for some languages may not be available every year).

      2. A general methodological paper on the history and culture of South Asia, to be assessed by three-hour examination.

      Candidates, who will submit a take-home essay in their first year of the course to partially fulfil the requirements of (c) in the Final Examination, must enter for this paper in their first year. The mark for such essays will not be moderated until the candidate’s final year of the course.  

  • B. Final Examination

    • 1. All candidates must offer:

      (a) one of the following language papers in Hindi (Advanced), Hindi and Urdu, Literary Hindi, Literary Hindi and Urdu, Bengali, Brajbhasha & Old Hindi Texts, Sanskrit, Tibetan or Persian, based on knowledge of grammar, translation and reading comprehension. (Teaching for some languages may not be available every year).

      (b) a thesis of not more than 20,000 words on a topic selected by the candidate in consultation with their supervisor and approved by the Faculty Board.[For students starting before MT 2017: 13]  

      (c) three papers from a list published in the Course Handbook. Instead of one of the papers on the list, a candidate may offer a paper on a subject with the approval of the board. Teaching for some optional subjects may not be available in every year. 

    • The papers can be assessed either by a three hour examination paper at the end of the second year or a take-home examination paper. The method of examination will be published in the course handbook. Candidates are required to submit two essays of no more than 5000 words each, on topics selected by the candidate from a list on the take-home examination paper. The list of topics will be published[For students starting before MT 2017: after 12 noon] [For students starting from MT 2017: by 5pm ]on the last Friday of term in which teaching for the paper is completed. Candidates will be contacted with details of how to collect or access the questions. The essays must be submitted to the Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford, by 12 noon on the Friday of noughth week of the term following that in which formal teaching for the Option Subject is completed. When a paper assessed by essay is taught in the first year of the course, candidates must enter for the paper in the first year. Candidates are not allowed to enter for papers already chosen as unit 1 in the Qualifying Examination and I(a) in the Final Examination.

  • (xiii) Traditional East Asia: Classical, Medieval, and Early Modern

  • A. Qualifying Examination

    Every candidate will be required, unless exempted by the Board of the Faculty of Oriental Studies, to satisfy the examiners in an examination, to be known as the Qualifying Examination for the M.Phil. in Traditional East Asia: Classical, Medieval, and Early Modern, not later than the end of the third term after that in which the candidate’s name is first entered on the Register of M.Phil. Students. All candidates must offer:

    • 1. A language examination in modern Chinese or modern Japanese or modern Korean

    • 2. A language examination in classical Chinese or classical Japanese or middle Korean

    • 3.  Three submitted essays on traditional East Asia. The essays, which must be of not more than 2,500 words each, must be written by the candidate, one in each of the three terms of the first year, and must be chosen by the candidate to represent the candidate’s best written performance in that term. Each essay must be submitted to the Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford, by 12 noon on the Friday of ninth week of the term in which the paper is taught.

  • B. Final Examination

    This shall be taken in the Trinity Term of the academic year following that in which the candidate’s name is first entered on the Register of M.Phil. Students or, with the approval of the faculty board, in a subsequent year. All candidates must offer:

    • 1. Prescribed texts in one of the following: (i) Classical Chinese; (ii) Classical Japanese; (iii) Middle Korean; (iv) Classical Chinese and Classical Japanese; (v) Classical Chinese and Middle Korean; (vi) Middle Korean and Classical Japanese. This is a written examination paper.

    • 2. Research Bibliography and Methodology on one of the following: (i) China; (ii) Japan; (iii) Korea. This paper will be set as a take-home examination. The answer or answers should be typed and presented in proper scholarly form. The question paper will be published to candidates at 10 a.m. on Tuesday of ninth week of the Trinity Term in which the Final Examination is to be taken. Candidates will be contacted with details of how to collect or access the questions. The completed examination must be submitted to the Examination Schools no later than 5 p.m. on Friday of the same week.

    • 3. Thesis. Candidates must submit a thesis of not be more than 30,000 words on a subject selected by the candidate in consultation with his or her supervisor and approved by the Board of the Faculty of Oriental Studies.[For students starting before MT 2017: 13]

    • 4. The examiners will examine every candidate by viva voce unless excused.

  • (xiv) Buddhist Studies

  • A. Qualifying examination

    Each candidate must pass a qualifying examination not later than the end of the [For students starting before MT 2017: third term from the commencement of the course.] [For students starting from MT 2017: Trinity term of the first year. ]The examination will consist of two papers:

    • (i) A three-hour examination in the chosen primary Buddhist Language (either Sanskrit, Tibetan, or Classical Chinese).

    • (ii) A three-hour examination on basic aspects of Buddhist thought and history.

  • B. Final examination

    In the Trinity Term of their second year, all candidates must offer:

    • (i) an advanced language paper consisting in a translation from seen and unseen texts in the chosen primary Buddhist Language, to be assessed by a three-hour examination

    • (ii) a thesis of not more than 20,000 words on a subject approved by the Board[For students starting before MT 2017: 13]

    • (iii) a paper on Approaches to the study of Buddhism, to be assessed by three-hour examination

    • (iv) Either

      • (a) a language paper in a second primary Buddhist language (either Sanskrit, Tibetan, or Classical Chinese), to be assessed by three-hour examination. The second primary Buddhist language can be studied either at a basic or at an advanced level. The former will be assessed by a three-hour examination in the chosen second primary Buddhist language (as for paper (ii) of the Qualifying examination); the latter by a translation from seen and unseen texts in the chosen second primary Buddhist language, to be assessed by a three-hour examination (as for paper (i) of the Final examination). Students who intend to study a second primary Buddhist language at an advanced level must satisfy the Faculty Board that they possess an adequate knowledge of the chosen language.

    • Or

      • (b) A paper chosen from a list published in the course handbook, assessed as specified by the course instructor. Applications for approval of the chosen topic must be sent to the Senior Academic Administrator or before the Monday in second week of Michaelmas Full Term preceding the examination. [For students starting from MT 2017: A paper chosen from a list published in the course handbook, assessed as specified in the course handbook. Applications for approval of the chosen topic must be sent to the Senior Academic Administrator on or before the Monday in second week of Michaelmas Term of the second year.]

    (xv) Eastern Christian Studies 

    [For students starting before MT 2017: Candidates will be admitted to take the examination as defined below in a specific year. In exceptional circumstances candidates may be allowed to take an examination later than one to which they were admitted. Permission for this must be sought from the faculty board not later than Monday of the week before the first week of the Trinity Term in which the examination was to have been taken. The application must have the support of the candidate's college and be accompanied by a statement from the supervisor.

    • I. Every candidate shall be required

      • (a) to present himself or herself for a written examination, as prescribed below;

      • (b) to present a thesis of not more than 30,000 words on a subject approved by the faculty boards. Theses should be presented not later than noon on the Friday of the second week of the Trinity Term in which the examination is taken. Successful candidates may be required to deposit one copy of the thesis in the Bodleian;6

      • (c) to present himself or herself for a viva voce examination, unless individually dispensed by the examiners.

    • II. The written examination shall consist of four papers:

      • (1) A general paper on the development of doctrine and the history of the Church in the Christian East to AD717. 

        (2), (3), (4) Three papers on one of the following options. 

        • A. Greek 

          • (i) The philosophical background of the Greek Fathers.

          • (ii) The history of the Church in the Byzantine Empire, AD 717- 886.7

          • (iii) Byzantine ecclesiastical texts.7 The three papers will include passages for comment as well as general questions relating to the set texts.

          B. Armenian with Greek

          • (i) Armenian historical texts.7

          • (ii) Armenian theological and ecclesiastical texts.7

          • (iii) A translation paper from Greek ecclesiastical texts. Passages for translation will be set from unspecified texts and set texts.7

          • Papers (i) and (ii) will include passages for translation and comment as well as general questions relating to the set texts. 

          C. Syriac with Greek 

          • (i) Syriac historical texts.7

          • (ii) Syriac theological texts.7

          • (iii) as Paper B (iii) above. 

          • Papers (i) and (ii) will include passages for translation and comment as well as general questions relating to the set texts.

        • Teaching in all three options (Greek, Armenian with Greek, Syriac with Greek) may not be available every year, and applicants for admission will be advised whether teaching will be available in the option of their choice. 

        • Note. Candidates with sufficient knowledge of Greek may offer Paper A (i) in place of Paper B (iii)/C (iii). Except in the case of Papers A (i) and B (iii)/C (iii), and subject to the approval of the faculty boards, a candidate may offer texts — or, in the case of Paper A (ii), a period of Greek church history — other than those specified in the regulations. 

      III. The examiners may award a Distinction for excellence in the whole examination.]

    • [For students starting from MT 2017: I. Every candidate shall be required

      • (a) to sit a written examination, as prescribed below;

      • (b) to submit a thesis of not more than 30,000 words on a subject approved by the Faculty Board.

      • (c) to attend a viva voce examination, unless individually dispensed by the examiners.

    • II. The written examination shall consist of four papers. Lists of set texts will be available in the Course Handbook.

      • (1) A general paper on the development of doctrine and the history of the Church in the Christian East to AD717. 

        (2), (3), (4) Three papers on one of the following options. 

        • A. Greek 

          • (i) The philosophical background of the Greek Fathers.

          • (ii) The history of the Church in the Byzantine Empire, AD 717- 886.

          • (iii) Byzantine ecclesiastical texts.

          The three papers will include passages for comment as well as general questions relating to the set texts.

          B. Armenian with Greek

          • (i) Armenian historical texts.

          • (ii) Armenian theological and ecclesiastical texts.

          • (iii) A translation paper from Greek ecclesiastical texts. Passages for translation will be set from unspecified texts and set texts.

          Papers (i) and (ii) will include passages for translation and comment as well as general questions relating to the set texts. 

          C. Syriac with Greek 

          • (i) Syriac historical texts.

          • (ii) Syriac theological texts.

          • (iii) as Paper B (iii) above. 

          Papers (i) and (ii) will include passages for translation and comment as well as general questions relating to the set texts.

        Teaching in all three options (Greek, Armenian with Greek, Syriac with Greek) may not be available every year, and applicants for admission will be advised whether teaching will be available in the option of their choice. 

        Note. Candidates with sufficient knowledge of Greek may offer Paper A (i) in place of Paper B (iii)/C (iii). Except in the case of Papers A (i) and B (iii)/C (iii), and subject to the approval of the faculty boards, a candidate may offer texts — or, in the case of Paper A (ii), a period of Greek church history — other than those specified in the regulations. ]

[For students starting before MT 2017: 6. Candidates will also be required to sign a form stating whether they give permission for the thesis to be consulted.]

[For students starting before MT 2017: 7 Lists of texts are available in the Course Handbook.]

[For students starting before MT 2017: 11 See the general regulation concerning the preparation and dispatch of theses. Candidates are reminded that work submitted for the Degree of M.Phil. may subsequently be incorporated in a thesis submitted for the Degree of D.Phil.]

[For students starting before MT 2017: 12 Lists of set texts will be available in the Course Handbook.]

[For students starting before MT 2017: 13 See general regulations for theses and special regulations for theses in Oriental Studies.]