Master of Science by Coursework in History of Science, Medicine, and Technology

The regulations of the Board of the Faculty of History are as follows:

1. Every candidate must follow for at least three terms a course of instruction in History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, and must upon entering for the examination produce from his or her society a certificate to that effect.

2. The examination will consist of the following parts:

Qualifying test

Every candidate must pass a qualifying test. The test shall consist of two courses on

  • 1. Methods and themes in the history of science and technology.

  • 2. Methods and themes in the history of medicine.

  • Candidates may be advised on the basis of their prospective individual research to substitute one of the following courses from the Master of Science in Economic and Social History for (1) or (2) above:

    • (i) Methodological introduction to research in the social sciences and history.

    • (ii) Quantitative Methods and Computer Applications for Historians.

A paper from another established course within the University may be substituted for one of the standard courses where this would provide a more appropriate training for the candidate's dissertation focus. [For students starting before MT 2016: Such a choice will need formal approval from both the Course Director and the Chair of the Graduate Studies Committee of the Board of the Faculty of History.] [For students starting from MT 2016: Candidates wishing to do so must obtain the permission of the Programme Convenor, the person responsible for the delivery of the requested advanced paper, the candidate’s supervisor, and the Director of Graduate Studies. Such candidates will be assessed according to the regulations with respect to the form of assessment and deadlines governing that option (i.e. the regulations of the programme under which the option/advanced paper is offered), but the modes of assessment and deadlines for the other course elements of the programme for which the candidate is registered will remain in force.]

The two methodological introduction courses will each be assessed by a methodological essay of up to 3,000 words. [For students starting before MT 2016: Two typewritten copies of each of the essays must be submitted] [For students starting from MT 2016: The essays must be uploaded to the Assignments section of the History of Medicine, Science and Technology WebLearn site] by noon on Monday of [For students starting before MT 2015: second week of Hilary Term] [For students starting from MT 2015: Week 10 of Michaelmas Term] [For students starting before MT 2016: to the Chair of Examiners for the M.Sc. in History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, c/o Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford, OX1 4BG.] [For students starting from MT 2016: Essays should be accompanied by a declaration that they are the candidate’s own work.] In addition, convenors of qualifying courses will confirm in writing to the chair of examiners not later than Friday of eighth week of Hilary Term the candidates’ satisfactory participation in their classes, including the completion of any assignments for the weekly sessions. Any approved alternative qualifying course will be assessed within the format and timetable of the paper’s parent course. No candidate who has failed the qualifying test of two courses will be permitted to supplicate for the degree. Candidates who fail a qualifying course once will be permitted to take it again, not later than one year after the initial attempt.

Final examinations

The examination shall consist of two papers and a dissertation.

Candidates must take at least one of their papers as a three-hour written examination. For the remaining paper candidates must choose to be assessed either by written examination or by two 5,000 word essays. Essays may only be submitted in lieu of written papers for subjects in Schedule I below (‘Advanced Papers for M.Phil. and M.Sc. in History of Science, Medicine, and Technology’) or for other papers permitted in Schedule II below where similar provision exists in the regulations for those examinations. The essays must be the work of the candidates alone and they must not consult any other person including their supervisors in any way concerning the method of handling the themes chosen. The themes chosen by the candidate must be submitted for approval by the Chair of Examiners by the examination entry date. Candidates will be informed within two weeks, by means of a letter directed to their colleges, whether the topics they have submitted have been approved. The finished essays must be [For students starting before MT 2016: delivered by the candidate to the Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford,] [For students starting from MT 2016: uploaded to the Assignments section of the History of Medicine, Science and Technology WebLearn site] by noon on Monday of sixth week of Trinity Full Term. The essays must be presented in proper scholarly form[For students starting before MT 2016: , and two typed copies of each must be submitted.] [For students starting from MT 2016: and accompanied by a declaration that they are the candidate’s own work.]

  • I. One advanced paper selected from Schedule I below.

  • II. Either (i) one paper in a relevant discipline or skill or sources or methods selected from Schedule II below;

    or (ii) a second advanced paper selected from Schedule I or from any additional list of papers for the M.Phil. and M.Sc. in History of Science, Medicine, and Technology approved by the Graduate Studies Committee of the Board of the Faculty of History and published in the definitive list of Advanced Papers as set out in Schedule I.

  • III. A dissertation of not more than 15,000 words, including appendices but excluding bibliography, on a topic approved by the candidate's supervisor. The dissertation must be [For students starting before MT 2016: delivered] [For students starting from MT 2016: uploaded to the Assignments section of the History of Medicine, Science and Technology WebLearn site] not later than noon on the last Friday in August of the year in which the examination is taken [For students starting before MT 2016: to the Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford]. Dissertations submitted must not exceed the permitted length. If they do the examiners will reduce the marks awarded. The presentation and footnotes should comply with the requirements specified in the Regulations of the Education Committee for the degrees of M.Litt. and D.Phil. and follow the Conventions for the presentation of dissertations and theses of the Board of the Faculty of History. [For students starting from MT 2016: The dissertation should be accompanied by a declaration that they are the candidate’s own work.]

    Each dissertation must include a short abstract which concisely summarises its scope and principal arguments, in about 300 words.

    [For students starting before MT 2016: Candidates must submit by the specified date three copies of their dissertation. These must be securely and firmly bound in either hard or soft covers.]

  • 3. The examiners will permit the use of any hand-held pocket calculator subject to the conditions set out under the heading ‘Use of calculators in examinations’ in the Regulations for the Conduct of University Examinations .

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

  • 5. A candidate who fails the examination will be permitted to retake it on one further occasion only, not later than one year after the initial attempt.

Such a candidate whose dissertation has been of satisfactory standard may resubmit the same piece of work, while a candidate who has reached a satisfactory standard on the written papers will not be required to retake that part of the examination.

Schedule I

Advanced Papers for the M.Phil. and M.Sc. in History of Science, Medicine, and Technology

A broad range of the course resources are shared with the corresponding courses in Economic and Social History, and Advanced Papers are therefore available in the subject areas listed here.

  • 1. Economic and business history

  • 2. History of science and technology

  • 3. Social history

  • 4. Historical demography

  • 5. History of medicine

A descriptive list of Advanced Papers will be published by the Board of the Faculty of History in September for the academic year ahead (not all options may be available in every year). The definitive list of the titles of Advanced Papers for any one year will be circulated to candidates and their supervisors and posted on the Faculty notice board not later than Friday of third week of Michaelmas Term.

Schedule II

The paper in a relevant discipline or skill may be:

  • 1. One of the papers from the M.Phil. in Sociology or in Comparative Social Policy.

  • 2. One suitable paper from another Master's degree under the auspices of the Faculty of History approved from time to time by the Graduate Studies Committee of the Board of the Faculty of History.

  • 3. One suitable paper in a related skill or discipline other than those specified in paragraphs 1 to 2 above on the recommendation of the candidate's supervisor and endorsed by the Course Director.

Choices under Schedule II have to be approved by the Chair of the Graduate Studies Committee of the Board of the Faculty of History not later than Monday of the fourth week of Michaelmas Term. Candidates wishing to take a paper under 1 or 3 will also need the approval of the appropriate course convenor and the Graduate Studies Committee of the relevant faculty board or inter-faculty committee who need to be satisfied that each candidate has an adequate background in the subject. Not all options may be available in any one year.