Rules and regulations
Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree regulations
Updated on 29 October 2020
The powers and duties conferred upon the Senatus under the sections marked + have been delegated to the relevant School Board.
1. The Degree of Master of Philosophy may be awarded following successful completion of a thesis which requires the equivalent of a minimum of two years' full-time or four years' part-time study and research.
2.+ Each candidate for the Degree of Master of Philosophy, before being admitted to a course of study leading to the Degree, must have obtained a Degree with Honours of the First or Second Class in the University or in another university recognised for this purpose by the Senatus Academicus, provided that the Senatus may, in exceptional circumstances, admit a candidate who possesses such other qualification as it may approve for the purpose; and must also have satisfied the Senatus of fitness to undertake higher study and of the suitability of the work which it is proposed to undertake.
3. The period of study and research leading to the Degree shall be carried out in the University or in some other place approved for the purpose by the relevant School Board.
4.+ A candidate admitted as a research student of the University under Ordinance No. 12 may be permitted by the Senatus, on the recommendation of the School Board, to transfer to a course of study and research for the Degree of Master of Philosophy. In such a case the date of admission under Ordinance No. 12 shall be reckoned as the date of admission as a candidate for the Degree of Master of Philosophy.
5. The subject of research and programme of work for each candidate shall be approved by the School Board.
6. Supervisors of the candidate's work shall be appointed by the School Board.
7. A candidate may be required by the supervisors to attend courses of lectures or other instruction and may be required to pass an examination associated with such courses of lectures or instruction.
8.+ A full-time candidate must have completed the work for the Degree, including the submission of any thesis or dissertation, not later than three years from the date of first admission to the Degree course, and a part-time candidate not later than five years, except by the special permission of the Senatus.
9. Each candidate for the Degree shall be required to matriculate in each year of study and pay the prescribed tuition fee.
10. Each candidate shall submit a thesis, which shall embody the results of study and research.
11.+ The Senatus, on the recommendation of the School Board, shall appoint two University members of a committee to examine the thesis. The Court, on the recommendation of the Senatus as advised by the School Board shall appoint to membership of the committee one or more external examiners who shall not be members of the University.
12. Each candidate for the Degree shall be required to submit to a viva voce examination; this requirement may be waived in special circumstances but only with the express approval of the School Board concerned.
13. No thesis may be presented for a second time except by special permission of the Senatus on the recommendation of the committee of examiners.
14. A candidate for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the University may be permitted by the Senatus, on the recommendation of the School Board, to transfer to a course of study for the Degree of Master of Philosophy by thesis. Such a candidate may be credited, for the purposes of the Degree of Master of Philosophy, with the period of study already credited as a candidate for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
15. A copy of each thesis must be submitted in an approved style. Each copy shall be accompanied by a declaration signed by the candidate that the study and research has been carried out and the thesis composed by the candidate, and that the thesis has not been accepted in fulfilment of the requirements of any other degree or professional qualification.
Master of Philosophy with Specialism
16. The Degree of Master of Philosophy with Specialism may be awarded following successful completion of both a specialist programme of taught modules and a research thesis which in combination requires the equivalent of a minimum of two years full time or four years part time study and research.
17. The Degree of Master of Philosophy with Specialism will be subject to (i) the general Master of Philosophy degree regulations in paragraphs 1 to 15 above, (ii) to the University’s Higher Degree Regulations,(iii) to the University’s Research Degrees Quality Code and (iv) to the applicable course regulations for the specialist programme of taught modules.
18. Under the terms of Paragraph 7 above each candidate for the Degree of Master of Philosophy with Specialism is required to undertake and pass a programme of taught modules as specified in a Schedule approved by the relevant School Board for each specialism.
19. Each candidate is required to accumulate 120 credits at SCQF Level 11 before proceeding to the supervised research component of the Degree. In exceptional circumstances and with permission of the School Board a candidate may proceed carrying a maximum of 30 credits for retrieval at resit.
20. Candidates that do not proceed to the supervised research component may exit the programme with institutional credit or a postgraduate certificate/diploma in the appropriate specialism based on the total credit accumulated from successful completion of the specialist taught modules.
21. A candidate for the Degree of Master of Philosophy with Specialism may be permitted by the Senatus, on the recommendation of the School Board, to transfer to a course of study for a taught masters degree or to a one year research degree, appropriate to their specialism, if available and if indicated by their academic performance. Candidates that are given permission to transfer in this way will not be automatically eligible for any additional time or any refund of tuition fees.