Research Degrees in Biological Sciences (Plant Sciences and Zoology)
Differences from 2014/15 to 2023/24
All research students will be admitted to the status of Probationer Research Student in the first instance. Individuals may hold this status for a maximum of four terms. The provisions for extension to this time limit are set out in the General Regulations Governing Research Degrees, §4. Candidates should discuss with their supervisors whether to apply for transfer to M.Sc. status or to D.Phil. status, and the most appropriate time at which to apply. It is possible to transfer to M.Sc. status initially and thereafter to D.Phil. status if this is appropriate.
1. Admission of students to the status of Student for the M.Sc. by Research
Applicants should submit the material specified in Regulations for the Degree of Master of Science by Research, §3, cl. 1; the board does not normally require any further test under §3, cl. 2. Candidates may obtain full details from the Director of Graduate Studies.
2. Admission of students to the status of Student for the Doctor of Philosophy
The form of written work to be submitted by candidates for admission as Students for the Doctor of Philosophy, and the manner of its examination, as required by Regulations for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, §3, cl. 2, shall be determined by the board acting through the candidate's department or sub-department. Details may be obtained from the Director of Graduate Studies.
3. Confirmation for Status of Student for the Doctor of Philosophy
The status of Students for the Doctor of Philosophy will be confirmed by the board under the provisions of Regulations for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, §4, cl. 2, when it has received a certificate from the candidate's head of department that he or she is continuing satisfactorily to conduct research. Details may be obtained from the Director of Graduate Studies.
D.Phil. theses should normally be not more than 50,000 words in length (approximately 170 sides of A4 paper), exclusive of bibliography, appendices, diagrams, and tables. In exceptional circumstances the permission of the board can be sought to exceed this limit, but in no case may a thesis be longer than 75,000 words.
A set of scientific papers prepared as for publication, but not necessarily yet published, that concern a common subject may constitute an acceptable thesis, provided that with the addition of an Introduction, General Discussion, and General Conclusions they constitute a coherent body of work. Such papers should either be incorporated as typescript pages or as offprints bound in to the body of the thesis. Papers written in collaboration should not be included unless the greater part of the work is directly attributed to the candidate himself or herself, and the supervisor so certifies. Joint papers may however be included as appendices in a thesis.
Candidates with some published work may also include that as part of a traditional thesis, normally as an appendix.
Approval to submit a thesis using this format must be sought in advance from the appropriate Director of Graduate Studies.