Master of Science by Coursework in Politics Research

The regulations made by the Politics Graduate Studies Committee are as follows:

M.Sc. Examination

A candidate for the M.Sc. in Politics Research shall follow a course of instruction in Politics Research for twelve months. Each candidate must pass the M.Sc. Examination at the end of Trinity Term in the two compulsory papers. Each candidate must also submit a thesis during the Long Vacation.

Compulsory papers

  • (1) A single three hour written examination paper testing knowledge of the candidate’s core subject (Comparative Government or European Governance).

    Comparative Government

    Compulsory paper taken from the M.Phil. in Politics

    The theory and practice of government in modern states.

    European Governance

    Compulsory paper taken from the M.Phil. in Politics

    The constitutions and formal structure of governments in European states, including the UK, and the theory and practice of integration in Europe.

    (2) Research Methods in Political Science

    (Compulsory paper taken from the M.Phil. in Politics)

    The paper is assessed in the following way. The candidates must submit:

    • (i) A Research Design Proposal of between 4000 and  6000 words, excluding bibliography and any methodological appendices, on research design as it bears on the subject of the candidate’s proposed M.Sc. thesis. Two copies of the Research Design Proposal, together with a copy on CD or USB flash drive, must be submitted to the Examination Schools by noon on the Friday of sixth week of Trinity Term. It must be accompanied by a separate signed declaration that it is the candidate’s own work except where otherwise indicated, and that it has not previously been submitted for assessment, either at Oxford or at another institution.

      (ii) Research methods training coursework. Candidates will satisfactorily complete a programme of core and optional research methods training, as specified in the Student Handbook. Candidates who fail elements of the research methods training coursework are normally permitted to submit a second time (or, of the coursework is assessed by a test, to resit that test) by a date specified in the Student Handbook.

The Thesis

Each candidate must submit a thesis of not more than 15,000 words, excluding bibliographyand any methodological appendices. Two hard copies, together with a copy on CD or USB flash drive, must be submitted to the Examination Schools by noon on the last Friday of August following the end of Trinity Full Term. It must be accompanied by a separate signed declaration that it is the candidate’s own work except where otherwise indicated and that it has not previously been submitted for assessment, either at Oxford or at another institution. The thesis must be clearly marked with the candidate’s examination number, the title of the thesis and the words M.Sc. in Politics Research. After the examination process is complete, each successful candidate must deposit one hardbound copy of their thesis in the Bodleian Library.

For a candidate to pass the degree of M.Sc. in Politics Research, the candidate must pass: the Research Methods in Political Science paper (all elements of coursework and the Research Design Proposal), the written examination paper (Comparative Government or European Governance), and the thesis.

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