Doctor of Medicine

[These regulations are currently suspended. See the Medical Sciences Division notice in the Gazette of 21 July 2016 for further information.]

Status of Student for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine

  • 1. Any person may supplicate for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine if either:

    • (1) he or she has been admitted to the Degree of Bachelor of Medicine and has entered upon the thirty-sixth term from his or her matriculation, or, in the case of a person who has been admitted to the Oxford Graduate Entry Medical Course, the thirtieth term from the date of his or her matriculation, or, in the case of a person who has incorporated as a Bachelor of Medicine, the thirty-sixth term from the date of his or her matriculation at the University of Cambridge, or, in the case of a person who has been admitted to the Second Examination for the Degree of Bachelor of Medicine under the provisions of clause 1 of the special regulations for the Second Examination for the Degree of Bachelor of Medicine, the twenty-seventh term from his or her matriculation; or

    • (2) he or she holds the Degree of Master of Arts of the University (other than a degree by decree or resolution or an honorary degree), has previously been entered in the Register of University Medical Students and has passed the First Examination for the Degree of Bachelor of Medicine of this University, holds a degree qualifying him or her to be placed on the Medical Register, and has entered upon the thirty-sixth term from his or her matriculation.

  • 2. It shall be the duty of the Registrar to keep a Register of those admitted to the status of Student for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine.

  • 3. On application for admission to the status of Student for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine, the applicant shall state whether he or she will wish to submit as his or her dissertation a series of papers or books, as permitted under clause 3 of the regulations for the Examination of Students for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine.

Registration for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine

  • 1. Except in the case of submission of published work as a dissertation for the degree, no student shall submit a dissertation until at least the beginning of the sixth term after the Medical Sciences Board has granted his or her admission.

  • 2. A student must carry out the bulk of the research for the dissertation during the period in which he or she is registered.

  • 3. If the dissertation, including published work submitted as a dissertation, has not been submitted for examination before the fifteenth term after admission has been granted, a student shall be required to seek readmission.

Advisers of Students for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine

  • 1.

    • (1) Except in the case of students submitting published work as a dissertation for the degree, every student on admission as a Student for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine shall be allocated to an Adviser in Oxford appointed by the Medical Sciences Board in the student's area of research.

    • (2) In the case of students working outside Oxford, each student shall be required to seek additional advice from a senior member of the academic or clinical staff at the institution at which the research is to be pursued; and the student shall notify the Medical Sciences Board of the name of that person and provide a written statement signed by that person confirming that he or she is willing to undertake the role of an additional Adviser.

  • 2.

    • (1) It shall be the duty of the Adviser to offer support and assistance to the student in the manner prescribed in the Memorandum of Guidance for Advisers and Students for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine as published from time to time by the Medical Sciences Board.

    • (2) The Adviser shall submit reports on the progress of the student's work at the beginning of each Michaelmas and Trinity Term, and the reports of Advisers outside Oxford shall, in the case of the relevant students, also be received by the Adviser in Oxford.

    • (3) It shall be the responsibility of the Adviser at the host institution (whether that is Oxford or elsewhere) to inform the Medical Sciences Board if he or she is of the opinion that the student is unlikely to reach the standard required for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine.

  • 3.

    • (1) Except when approval has been given for submission of published work as a dissertation for the degree, it shall be the duty of every Student for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine to seek the advice of the Adviser (or, in the case of students working outside Oxford, both Advisers) at an early stage of the proposed research and to seek comments on his or her dissertation before its submission.

    • (2) During the course of the research the student shall maintain contact with the Adviser or Advisers in the manner prescribed in the Memorandum of Guidance for Advisers and Students for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine.

Confirmation of status as a Student for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine

  • 1.

    • (1) Except in the case of submission of published work as a dissertation, a student registered for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine must, not later than the sixth term and not earlier than the third term after that in which he or she was admitted to the status of Student for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine, apply to the Medical Sciences Board for confirmation of that status.

    • (2) Except in the case of students submitting published work as a dissertation, all Students for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine shall have their status confirmed before they may make an application for the appointment of examiners.

  • 2. Students applying for confirmation of status shall submit their application to the Medical Sciences Board through the Registrar; and each application shall be accompanied by:

    • (1) a report on the work undertaken since registration;

    • (2) a statement from the Adviser at the place where the work is being undertaken commenting on whether the student's progress provides firm evidence that the work when completed is likely to reach the standard required for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine.

  • 3.

    • (1) If, after considering a student's application for confirmation of status, the Medical Sciences Board concludes that the student's progress does not warrant confirmation, the board may permit the submission of a further application not later than the third term after the original application.

    • (2) If the second application is unsuccessful, the student's name shall be removed from the Register of Students for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine.

  • 4. Except in the case of submission of published work as a dissertation for the degree, a Student for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine shall cease to hold that status unless it has been confirmed within nine terms of his or her admission to that status.

Examination of Students for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine

  • 1. A Student for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine who has, where applicable, fulfilled the requirements set out in the regulations for Registration for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine and Confirmation of Status as a Student for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine respectively, and whose status has not expired, may apply to the Medical Sciences Board for the appointment of examiners and for leave to supplicate for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine.

  • 2. Students admitted to the Degree of Doctor of Medicine prior to April 2002 will be given the option of examination under the regulations introduced in April 2002.

  • 3.

    • (1) A Student for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine may

    • either

      • (a) submit a dissertation upon a subject which, together with the proposed manner of treating it, has previously been approved by the Medical Sciences Board;

    • or

      • (b) in exceptional circumstances, submit as his or her dissertation a series of papers or books published at least twelve months before the proposed date of submission, if the previous approval of the Medical Sciences Board has been given after considering the seniority of the student (who shall be required to have held a career-grade post for a period of at least fifteen years prior to submission), and the opinions of any referees who may be consulted.

    • (2) Submission of published works as a dissertation shall be permitted only when there is evidence of outstanding quality in the scientific papers or other works intended for submission; it shall also be a requirement that the published works be accompanied by a general introduction and a general conclusion and that they form a continuous theme.

  • 4. Applications for the appointment of examiners and for leave to supplicate shall be made to the Medical Sciences Board through the Medical Sciences Graduate School Office and shall include:

    • (1) a statement by the candidate that the thesis is his or her own work, except where otherwise indicated;

    • (2) a statement by the candidate of what part, if any, of the thesis has already been accepted, or is concurrently being submitted, for any degree or diploma or certificate or other qualification in this University or elsewhere;

    • (3) a statement, where applicable, from the Adviser at the place where the research was undertaken certifying that the candidate has sought his or her advice as appropriate;

    • (4) a statement from the candidate's college in support of the application;

    • (5) two printed or typewritten copies of an abstract of the thesis, which shall not normally exceed 300 words in length.

  • 5. Where the Medical Sciences Board has given approval for submission of published work as a dissertation, two printed or typewritten copies of the thesis may be submitted by the student immediately after approval, in a format which is in accordance with the instructions obtainable from the Medical Sciences Board through the Medical Sciences Graduate School Office.

  • 6. In all other cases, students shall submit an application in accordance with clause 4 above up to four months in advance of submitting two printed or typewritten copies of the thesis in a format which is in accordance with the instructions obtainable from the Medical Sciences Board through the Medical Sciences Graduate School Office.

  • 7. If a student has not submitted his or her thesis for examination within twelve months from submission of the application under the provisions of clause 4 above, then the application shall lapse.

  • 8.

    • (1) On receipt of an application the Medical Sciences Board shall appoint two examiners, neither of whom shall be the student's Adviser, and one of whom shall be external to the University.

    • (2) The duties of the examiners shall be:

      • (a) to consider the thesis and the abstract of it submitted by the candidate, except that they shall exclude from consideration in making their report any part of the thesis that either has already been accepted, or is concurrently being submitted, for any degree or diploma or certificate or other qualification in this University or elsewhere, or does not represent the candidate's own work;

      • (b) to examine the candidate orally in the subject of his or her thesis, unless, in exceptional circumstances in the case of submission of published work as a dissertation, the board agrees, on the recommendation of the examiners, to dispense with this requirement;

      • (c) to report to the Medical Sciences Board through the Registrar on the scope, character, and quality of the work submitted, in the manner prescribed in clause 10 below;

      • (d) to return to the candidate the copies of the thesis and abstract.

  • 9.

    • (1) The Medical Sciences Board shall have power to make regulations concerning the notice to be given of the oral examination, and of the time and place at which it may be held.

    • (2) The examination may be attended by any member of the University in academic dress, while non-members may attend only with the consent of the examiners.

    • (3) The Vice-Chancellor and Proctors after consultation with the board may decide (either at their own discretion or at the request of the student or the supervisor or department) to forbid the attendance of any person or all persons (other than the examiners and the candidate) or to impose any condition on attendance if and to the extent that such action is in their view necessary to protect the interests of the University or the candidate or both, and the examiners shall be informed accordingly and shall include this information in the notice of examination.

  • 10. Having completed the examination, the examiners may make one of the following recommendations in their report to the Medical Sciences Board, or they may alternatively proceed in accordance with the provisions of clause 11 below:

    • (1) that the board grant the student leave to supplicate for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine, if making this recommendation, the examiners shall include in their report statements that:

      • (a) the student possesses a comprehensive knowledge of the particular field of learning in which the thesis falls;

      • (b) the thesis embodies original observations on either clinical or experimental material;

      • (c) the work done by the student and embodied in the thesis has resulted in an original and substantial contribution to medical science;

      • (d) the thesis is presented in a lucid and scholarly manner;

      • (e) the student has presented a satisfactory abstract of the thesis;

      • (f) in their opinion the thesis merits the award of the Degree of Doctor of Medicine;

    • (2) that the board offer the student the option of reference of the thesis back to him or her in order that he or she may revise it for re-examination for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine on not more than one occasion, on the basis that the thesis has not reached the standard required for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine; if making this recommendation, the examiners shall annex to their report to the board a statement, for transmission to the student, setting out the respects in which the thesis falls below the standard required for the degree and what changes are necessary for it to reach that required standard, and setting a deadline (subject to the agreement of the board) for resubmission;

    • (3) that, in the case of a student whose thesis has already been referred back on one occasion, the student's application for leave to supplicate be refused; if making this recommendation, the examiners shall annex to their report a statement, for transmission to the student, setting out the respects in which the thesis falls below the standard required for the degree.

  • 11.

    • (1) If the examiners are satisfied that the student's thesis is of sufficient merit to qualify for the degree but consider, nevertheless, that before the thesis is deposited the student should make minor corrections (which are not sufficiently substantial to justify reference back for re-examination), they shall require the student to correct the thesis to their satisfaction before they submit their report.

    • (2) If the student has not completed these corrections within three calendar months of the date of the oral examination, his or her name shall be removed by the Registrar from the Register of Students for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine, except that the board may, on good cause shown by the student, grant an extension of time of three further calendar months in which the student may fulfil this requirement before the removal of his or her name from the Register.

    • (3) No subsequent extension shall be granted, but it shall be open to a student who has failed to fulfil this requirement within those three or six months in total, as the case may be, to apply to the board for reinstatement as a Student for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine, with the support of his or her college and Adviser(s), upon submission to the Registrar of a copy of his or her thesis incorporating the required corrections, and upon payment of such reinstatement fee as may from time to time be prescribed by Council by decree; leave to supplicate shall not be granted until this fee has been paid.

  • 12. The Medical Sciences Board may exempt a candidate who is being re-examined under the provision of clause 10(2) above from a further oral examination, if the examiners are able to certify that they are satisfied without examining the candidate orally that they can recommend to the board in the terms required by clause 10(1) above that he or she be given leave to supplicate for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine.

  • 13. In an exceptional case in which the Medical Sciences Board is unable to accept the examiners' recommendation, or in which the examiners cannot reach an agreed recommendation, the board shall have power to appoint one or two new examiners, as it deems necessary, to conduct such further examination of the candidate as the board may require.

  • 14.

    • (1) A student who has been granted leave to supplicate by the board shall be required to submit to the Registrar a copy of his or her thesis, incorporating any amendments or corrections required by the examiners and approved by the board, with a view to deposit in the Bodleian or other appropriate university library.

    • (2) Leave to supplicate shall in all cases be conditional upon fulfilment of this requirement.

  • 15.

    • (1) It shall be the duty of the Registrar to notify the student of the board's decision as soon as may be.

    • (2) The Registrar shall also be responsible for publishing at the end of each academic year (except in so far as it may be necessary not to publish any name in order to comply with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998) the names of those students to whom permission to supplicate has been granted during that year, together with a statement of the subject of the thesis written by each.

  • 16. When, on the conclusion of an investigation of a complaint made by a student, the Proctors recommend that a student be re-examined, the board shall have power to hold a new examination.

DM

1. Admission

Students qualified under the appropriate regulation may apply for admission as a Student for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine to the Medical Sciences Board through the Registrar. Such application shall be accompanied by:

  • (i) a completed application form (obtainable from the Medical Sciences Graduate School Office);

  • (ii) a statement of not more than 1,500 words outlining the proposed scope of the research to be undertaken and provisional thesis title;

and, in the case of students wishing to submit published work, the following additional information:

  • (iii) a list of the works to be submitted, details of their publication, and a statement on whether any part of the work to be submitted has previously been accepted for a degree. A student who submits work that has been produced in collaboration shall state in respect of each item the extent of his or her own contribution. This statement must be certified by each of the senior and primary authors (where he or she is not the student) in the case of each piece of collaborative work submitted.

A set of published works may constitute an acceptable dissertation but only if with the addition of a general introduction and general conclusion they form a continuous theme.

2. Confirmation of Status

Students who have been admitted to DM status, and intend to submit a dissertation for a thesis, must, not later than six terms and not earlier than three terms after admission to DM status, apply for confirmation of that status.

The requirements for confirmation of status are:

  • (i) completion by the student of the appropriate form (obtainable from the Medical Sciences Graduate School Office);

  • (ii) submission by the student of a report of no more than 2,500 words on the work undertaken since registration, including a comprehensive outline of the research topic, details of progress made, and the anticipated timetable for submission of the thesis;

  • (iii) completion of the appropriate form (obtainable from the Medical Sciences Graduate School Office) by the Adviser at the place where the work is being undertaken.

The application shall be directed to the Graduate School Committee of the Medical Sciences Board, which shall appoint two assessors competent in the student's area of research (who may include the Adviser in Oxford in the case of students working outside Oxford). The assessors shall submit to the board's Graduate School Committee a report (using a form obtainable from the Medical Sciences Graduate School Office) after considering the student's report and, if necessary, interviewing the student. Before a decision is reached on whether or not confirmation of status should be approved the Graduate School Committee shall take into account the comments made on the application by the Adviser at the place of work and that Adviser's biannual reports.

If the Graduate School Committee does not consider that the student's progress warrants confirmation of status it may either: (a) permit the resubmission of the application on one further occasion not later than the third term after the original application; or (b) reject the application.

A copy of the assessors' report, amended as necessary by the Graduate School Committee, will normally be made available to the student.

3. Theses

The requirements for the submission of a thesis are as follows:

  • (i) The completion by the student of the appropriate form (obtainable from the Medical Sciences Graduate School Office). The form may be submitted immediately in the case of students submitting published work as a dissertation and up to four months in advance of submitting the thesis in the case of other students.

  • (ii) The submission of two printed or typewritten copies of the thesis and two printed or typewritten copies of an abstract, formatted and supplied according to the instructions obtainable from the Medical Sciences Board through the Medical Sciences Graduate School Office.

4. Oral Examination

  • (i) The place, day, and hour of examination shall be fixed by the examiners, who shall be responsible for informing the student by post, and it shall be the duty of the student to ensure that any letter addressed to him or her is forwarded to him or her if away. The examiners shall allow reasonable time for receiving an acknowledgement from the student of their summons. The day shall be fixed by the examiners to suit their own convenience but they are asked, in order that the student may know what arrangements he or she may safely make, to give the student early information of the date fixed, even though it may be some considerable time ahead.

  • (ii) Notice of the examination shall be given by the examiners to the Research Degrees Team at the Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford, OX1 4BG.

  • (iii) If, owing to illness or other urgent or unforeseen cause, an examiner is unable to attend the examination, it shall be postponed to a later date, except that, if the Proctors are satisfied that postponement will be a serious hardship to the student, the Proctors may authorise another person to attend the examination as a substitute. The substitute shall not be required to sign the report, but he or she shall receive such remuneration as the Vice-Chancellor and Proctors shall determine.