During the Easter term, MPhil By Advanced Study students write a dissertation. Dissertations must, according to the criteria laid down by the University, ‘represent a contribution to learning’. Dissertations must be written in English. The arrangements for their preparation are similar to those for the essays. Titles are chosen by students, in consultation with module convenors and/or prospective supervisors, and then have to be approved by the Faculty Degree Committee.
Topics and precise dissertation titles must be submitted by a specific deadline in Lent Term. Up to this point the Course Director is the titular supervisor of MPhil students, but once the dissertation topics are approved, a specialist supervisor is appointed for each student. Students are entitled to up to four hour-long sessions with their supervisor. (In the event that a dissertation is co-supervised, a candidate may expect two hours of individual teaching from each supervisor. Only one supervisor should comment on the full draft of the dissertation.)
Each element of the assessment is scrutinised independently by two examiners, and may be referred to the External Examiner, whose role is to act as moderator to the entire process of assessment.