Research Degrees in Medieval & Modern Languages

[Until MT 2015: 1. Application for admission as a Probationer Research Student

General

Applicants from the United Kingdom for admission as Probationer Research Students will normally be expected to attend for interview; other applicants required for interview will be notified as appropriate. The interviews will be conducted by or on behalf of a member of the board or its Graduate Studies Committee.

  • 1. Transfer to M.Litt. and D.Phil. status

    Unless they have successfully completed the M.Phil. in European Literature or the M.Phil. in Medieval and Modern Languages, research students are normally registered in the first instance for the degree of Master of Studies in Medieval and Modern Languages, and follow the requirements laid down for that degree. Transfer to M.Litt. or D.Phil. status normally takes place at the end of the first year and is dependent on successful completion of the M.St. course though this is in itself not a sufficient condition for transfer.

    The board may however (i) permit candidates to register in the first instance for another degree of M.St. or for the degree of M.Phil., or (ii) permit those who have already obtained an equivalent qualification to the degree of M.St. in Medieval and Modern Languages to register as Probationer Research Students for the first year, following such courses as the board may require.

  • 2. Admission to M.Litt. status

    Candidates must give notice of intention to apply for transfer in writing to the Modern Languages Graduate Office, 41 Wellington Square, Oxford, by the end of the fourth week of the third term before they seek entry to M.Litt. status, giving the title of the proposed thesis. By Friday of the sixth week they shall submit an application form together with (i) three copies of a statement (not more than 500 words) of the title of the proposed thesis and of the manner in which the subject will be treated, and of the way in which the proposed treatment relates to existing work relevant to the chosen topic, the statement to include a provisional scheme of the contents of the thesis, and (ii) two typed copies of a piece of written work normally not more than about 10,000 words long (which will usually be the same as the dissertation submitted for the degree of M.St. in Medieval and Modern Languages). The material shall be sent to two assessors, neither of whom shall normally be the candidate's supervisor and who, in the case of students for the M.St. in Medieval and Modern Languages, shall normally be acting as assessors in that examination also. The assessors shall examine the candidate orally (if appropriate in the course of the examination for that degree).

    The assessors will be asked to report to the Graduate Studies Committee for its meeting in July.

  • 3. Admission to D.Phil. status

    Candidates must give notice of intention to apply for transfer in writing to the Modern Languages Graduate Office, 41 Wellington Square, Oxford, by the end of the fourth week of the third term before they seek entry to D.Phil. status, giving the title of the proposed thesis. By Friday of the sixth week they shall submit an application form together with (i) three copies of a statement (not more than 500 words) of the title of the proposed thesis and of the manner in which the subject will be treated, and of the way in which the proposed treatment relates to existing work relevant to the chosen topic, the statement to include a provisional scheme of the contents of the chosen topic, and (ii) two typed copies of a piece of written work normally not more than about 10,000 words long (which will usually be the same as the dissertation submitted for the degree of M.St. in Modern Languages).

    No application for admission within the terms of §3 of the general regulations for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy will normally be considered by the Graduate Studies Committee of the board unless the applicant has previously been interviewed by a member of the Faculty invited to act in this capacity by the committee. The application form must be signed by the person who interviews the candidate.

    The material shall be sent to two assessors, neither of whom shall normally be the candidate's supervisor and who, in the case of students for the M.St. in European Literature, shall normally be acting as assessors in that examination also. The assessors shall examine the candidate orally (if appropriate in the course of the examination for that degree).

    The assessors will be asked to report to the Graduate Studies Committee for its meeting in July.

    The requirements for the submission of a piece of written work at (ii) above and for action by assessors will not apply in the case of candidates who have been given leave to supplicate for the degree of M.Phil. or of M.Litt. whose subject of thesis for that degree is in the broad field of research proposed for the D.Phil.

    Any candidate whose application for transfer to M.Litt. or D.Phil. Status is refused may reapply on one (only) further occasion.

  • 4. The board will award a Certificate of Graduate Attainment to a Probationer Research Student whose application for transfer to the status of student for the degree of D.Phil. or M.Litt. is approved by the committee. In exceptional circumstances the committee may recommend the award of the certificate to other Probationer Research Students who are strongly supported by their supervisor.

2. Application for confirmation of status as a student for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

  • (a) Candidates other than those who have already been given leave to supplicate for the Degree of M.Phil.

    • (i) Each applicant for confirmation of D.Phil. status must submit two copies of a piece of written work of 15,000 words in length (except where text is accompanied by graphs or statistical material), being a draft of a chapter or chapters of the thesis (excluding the introductory or concluding chapters and any section submitted for the first transfer examination). The student shall show on a provisional list of the contents of the thesis the place he or she plans for the draft chapter(s). This piece of work must be substantially different from that submitted on application for admission to D.Phil. status. Each applicant must also submit, at the time of application, three copies of a statement (of not more than 1,000 words) of the title of the proposed thesis and of the manner in which the subject will be treated, and of work achieved on other parts of the thesis and work remaining to be done.

    • (ii) Unless permission is given otherwise by the committee, the application for confirmation of D.Phil. status shall be submitted to the Modern Languages Graduate Office, 41 Wellington Square, Oxford, not later than the Friday of the fourth week of the applicant's ninth term from admission to graduate status, and copies of the written work by not later than 30 June. The written work shall be read by two assessors appointed by the Graduate Studies Committee of the board. Neither of the assessors shall normally be the candidate's supervisor. The assessors shall examine the candidate orally.

    • (iii) The assessors shall report to the committee in writing whether they recommend that the candidate's status as a D.Phil. student should be confirmed. They shall also make a written report, in support of their recommendation, covering the following points: whether the subject of the thesis and the manner of its treatment proposed by the candidate are acceptable; and whether the thesis can reasonably be completed in three or at most four years of full-time study from the date of the candidate's admission as a research student, (Note: students reading for the M.St. in Modern Languages are considered to be taught-course students). On receipt of the report, the committee shall decide whether to approve the candidate's application. If it reaches the conclusion that the candidate's subject for a thesis is unsatisfactory and/or that the candidate is unlikely to be able to complete the thesis proposed, it may permit resubmission by a date which the committee shall specify. If, after a second application, the committee continues to be unable to give approval, it will either admit the candidate to M.Litt. status or take appropriate action under the regulations made by the Education Committee for the removal of a student from the Register.

  • (b) Candidates who have already been given leave to supplicate for the degree of M.Phil. (Candidates who propose a topic for their D.Phil. which is different from their M.Phil. topic shall be subject to the regulations under (a) above).

    Applicants must submit to the Modern Languages Graduate Office, 41 Wellington Square, Oxford with their applications three copies of a statement (of not more than 1,000 words) of the title of the proposed thesis and of the manner in which the subject will be treated, and of the way in which the proposed treatment relates to existing work relevant to the chosen topic, and of work achieved on other parts of the thesis and work remaining to be done. The statement should include a provisional scheme of the contents of the thesis, which identifies the place of the M.Phil. thesis in the scheme. Confirmation will be subject to the Graduate Studies Committee of the board being satisfied, on the evidence of the statement and of the examiners of the M.Phil., that the student is capable of carrying out advanced research; that the M.Phil. thesis is in the field of research proposed for the D.Phil.; that the subject can be profitably pursued under the superintendence of the board; and that the thesis can reasonably be expected to be completed in three or at the most four years of full-time study from the date of the candidate's admission as an M.Phil. student. If the committee is not satisfied, it may permit one further application by a date which it shall specify.

3. Theses

Theses submitted for the Degree of M.Litt. should not exceed 50,000 words and those submitted for the Degree of D.Phil. should not exceed 80,000 words, excluding the bibliography and any text that is being edited but including notes, glossary, appendices, etc. Leave to exceed these limits will be given only in exceptional cases. Any application for permission to exceed the limit should be submitted with a detailed explanation and statement of the amount of excess length requested, and with a covering letter from the supervisor. Application must be made immediately it seems clear that authorisation to exceed the limit will be sought and normally not later than six months before the intended date of submission of the thesis.

Every candidate who is editing a text must also state the length of the text being edited.

In addition to the arrangements for an abstract of the thesis set out in the Education Committee's regulations above, three printed or typewritten copies of a fuller abstract of the thesis (which shall not normally exceed 1,500 words for the M.Litt. and 2,500 words for the D.Phil.) prepared by the student is required. A copy of the fuller abstract must be bound into the copy of the thesis which, if the application for leave to supplicate for the degree is successful, will be deposited in the Bodleian Library. The fuller abstract may be bound into the two examiners' copies of the thesis if the candidate so desires.]

  • [From MT 2015: 1. Admission as a Probationer Research Student

    Candidates may apply for admission as Probationer Research Student, or directly to DPhil status, on a full-time or part-time basis. In assessing applications from candidates seeking to undertake a research degree through part-time study, the Graduate Studies Committees of the Board of the Faculty of Medieval & Modern Languages shall have regard to evidence that the candidate can meet the following attendance requirements for their period of part-time study: attendance for a minimum of thirty days of university-based work each year, normally coinciding with the full terms of the academic year, to be arranged with the agreement of their supervisor, for the period that their names remain on the Register of Graduate Students unless individually dispensed by the Graduate Studies Committee of the Board of the Faculty of Medieval & Modern Languages. During a candidate's probationary period the attendance arrangements must take account of relevant induction and training events scheduled by the Faculty.

    2. Transfer to M.Litt. and D.Phil. status

  • Candidates must give notice of intention to apply for transfer in writing to the Modern Languages Graduate Office, 41 Wellington Square, Oxford, by the end of the fourth week of the third term before they seek entry to D.Phil. status, giving the title of the proposed thesis. By Friday of the sixth week they shall submit an application form together with:

    • (i) three copies of a statement (not more than 500 words) of the title of the proposed thesis and of the manner in which the subject will be treated, and of the way in which the proposed treatment relates to existing work relevant to the chosen topic, the statement to include a provisional scheme of the contents of the chosen topic, and

      (ii) two typed copies of a piece of written work normally not more than about 10,000 words long.

      (iii) The application for transfer of status shall be submitted to the Modern Languages Graduate Office, 41 Wellington Square, Oxford.

  • 3. Confirmation of D.Phil. status

    • (i) Each applicant for confirmation of D.Phil. status must submit two copies of a piece of written work of 15,000 words in length (except where text is accompanied by graphs or statistical material), being a draft of a chapter or chapters of the thesis (excluding the introductory or concluding chapters and any section submitted for the first transfer examination). The student shall show on a provisional list of the contents of the thesis the place he or she plans for the draft chapter(s). Each applicant must also submit, at the time of application, three copies of a statement (of not more than 1,000 words) of the title of the proposed thesis and of the manner in which the subject will be treated, and of work achieved on other parts of the thesis and work remaining to be done.

      (ii) The application for confirmation of D.Phil. status shall be submitted to the Modern Languages Graduate Office, 41 Wellington Square, Oxford.

  • 4. Theses

    Theses submitted for the Degree of M.Litt. should not exceed 50,000 words and those submitted for the Degree of D.Phil. should not exceed 80,000 words, excluding the bibliography and any text that is being edited but including notes, glossary, appendices, etc. Leave to exceed these limits will be given only in exceptional cases. Any application for permission to exceed the limit should be submitted with a detailed explanation and statement of the amount of excess length requested, and with a covering letter from the supervisor. Application must be made immediately it seems clear that authorisation to exceed the limit will be sought and normally not later than six months before the intended date of submission of the thesis.

    Every candidate who is editing a text must also state the length of the text being edited.

    In addition to the arrangements for an abstract of the thesis set out in the Education Committee's regulations above, three printed or typewritten copies of a fuller abstract of the thesis (which shall not normally exceed 1,500 words for the M.Litt. and 2,500 words for the D.Phil.) prepared by the student is required. A copy of the fuller abstract must be bound into the copy of the thesis which, if the application for leave to supplicate for the degree is successful, will be deposited in the Bodleian Library. The fuller abstract may be bound into the two examiners' copies of the thesis if the candidate so desires.]