Master of Science by Coursework in Political Theory Research

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

M.Sc. Examination

[For students starting before MT 2015: A candidate for the M.Sc. in Political Theory Research shall follow for twelve months a course of instruction in Political Theory Research. Each candidate must pass the M.Sc. Examination at the end of Trinity Term in the two compulsory papers. Each student must also submit a thesis during the Long Vacation.

Compulsory papers:

  • (a) Theory of Politics

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

    A critical examination of political concepts and theories, including social concepts and theories with political relevance.

  • (b) Research Methods in Political Theory

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

    Candidates will satisfactorily complete a programme of core and optional research methods training, as specified in the Student Handbook, and will also produce a Research Design Essay of between 4,000 and 6,000 words, excluding bibliography, on research design as it bears on the subject of the student’s proposed M.Sc. thesis. Two hard copies of the Research Design Essay, together with a copy on CD, 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. The Director of Graduate Studies in Politics shall draw the attention of the examiners to the names of any candidates who have failed to complete their research methods training to a satisfactory level of quality, and the examiners may require candidates to retake the course or a specified part thereof.

  • (c) A thesis of not more than 15,000 words, excluding bibliography. Two hard copies, together with a copy on CD, 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 Political Theory Research. After the examination process is complete, each successful candidate must deposit one hardbound copy of their thesis in the Bodleian Library.

Candidates must present themselves for viva voce examination when requested by the examiners. The examiners may award a distinction for excellence in the whole examination.]

[For students starting from MT 2015: A candidate for the M.Sc. in Political Theory Research shall follow a course of instruction in Political Theory 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) Theory of Politics

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

    A critical examination of political concepts and theories, including social concepts and theories with political relevance. The paper is assessed by a single three hour written examination at the end of Trinity Term.

    (2) Research Methods in Political Theory

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

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

    • (i) A Research Design Proposal of between 4000 and 6000 words, excluding bibliography, 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. Candidate who fail elements of the research methods training coursework are normally permitted to submit a second time (or, if 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 bibliography. Two hard copies, together with a copy on CD or USB, 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 Political Theory 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 Political Theory Research, the candidate must pass: the Research Methods in Political Theory paper (all elements of coursework and the Research Design Proposal), the Theory of Politics paper, and the thesis.

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