Master of Studies in English

Every candidate must follow for at least three terms a course of study in English.

Syllabus

The following subjects are prescribed:

  • A. Literature, Contexts, and Approaches

  • B. Bibliography, Palaeography, and Theories of Text

  • C. Special Options

The Faculty Board shall prescribe from year to year the particular courses which will be offered for each of these subjects. Courses under A will be taught over Michaelmas and Hilary Terms. Courses on bibliography and palaeography will be taught mainly in Michaelmas Term and courses on Theories of Text in Hilary Term. There will be two lists of Special Options, one for Michaelmas Term and one for Hilary Term. Options under C shall include an American Studies option. Entry to this option may be restricted by the faculty board.

Candidates must take A and B and two Special Option subjects from C: one in Michaelmas Term and one in Hilary Term. They must also offer a dissertation. Courses under A will be divided according to chronological period and candidates must take the course appropriate to their period of specialisation.

Candidates will be required to attend the lectures and classes prescribed by the Faculty Board for the courses they have chosen, and undertake such written work, exercises or presentations for those courses as the course tutors shall prescribe.

Essays

In Michaelmas Term candidates will be required to submit an essay of 6,000-7,000 words on the special option taken under C in that term; to be formatted and submitted as specified in the course handbook, not later than noon on Thursday of the tenth week of Michaelmas Term.

In Hilary Term, candidates will be required to submit the following:

  • 1. An essay of 6,000-7,000 words on a topic related to the special option taken under C in that term, to be formatted and submitted as specified in the course handbook, not later than noon on Monday of the tenth week of Hilary Term.

  • 2. An essay of 6,000-7,000 words on a topic related to an option taken under B (in either term), to be formatted and submitted as specified in the course handbook, not later than noon on Thursday of the tenth week of Hilary Term.

Candidates must gain approval of the topic of their essays by writing to the Chair of the M.St./M.Phil. Examiners, care of the English Faculty Office, by Friday of the sixth week of Michaelmas Term (for the first essay) and of Hilary Term (for the second and third essays).

Candidates offering the course in bibliography, palaeography and theories of text in the period up to 1550 under B will be required to pass a test in transcription and dating in week 5 of Hilary Term. Those who do not achieve a satisfactory mark in the test will be required to retake it at the start of Trinity Term. Any candidate not achieving a satisfactory mark at that stage will be deemed to have failed the whole examination. The test will not contribute to the final marks awarded by the examiners.

Candidates offering the course in bibliography in the period 1550 to the present day under B will be required also to attend a course in manuscript reading and transcription and to pass a test in transcription at the end of Michaelmas Term. Those who do not achieve a satisfactory mark in this test will be required to retake it at the start of Hilary Term. Any candidate not achieving a satisfactory mark at that stage will be deemed to have failed the whole examination. The test will not contribute to the final marks awarded by the examiners.

Not later than noon on Monday of the eighth week of Trinity Term, candidates must submit a dissertation (10,000-11,000 words) on a subject related to their course of study. The dissertation must be formatted and submitted electronically as specified in the course handbook. The dissertation must be presented in proper scholarly form. Candidates must gain approval of the topic of their dissertation by writing to the Chair of the M.St./M.Phil. Examiners, care of the English Graduate Studies Office, by Friday of the sixth week of Hilary Term, providing an outline of the topic of not more than 200 words.

No candidate who has failed any of the above subjects will be awarded the degree in that examination. Candidates who fail any part of the examination other than the test in bibliography in the period 1550 to the present day described above may resubmit that part by noon on the last Monday of the following Long Vacation. A candidate may resubmit a paper on only one occasion.

Candidates whose course of study includes the American Studies C Special Option and a dissertation on a topic recognised by the English Graduate Studies Committee for English as being within the interdisciplinary field of English and American studies shall be awarded, if successful, degree of Master of Studies with the title English and American Studies.

Candidates whose course of study includes the World Literatures in English A and a dissertation on a topic recognised by the English Graduate Studies Committee for English as being within the field of World Literatures in English shall be awarded, if successful, the degree of Master of Studies with the title World Literatures in English.

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