Master of Philosophy in Modern Languages
1. Candidates must follow a Programme chosen from those listed in the ‘Handbook for Taught-Course Graduate Students’.
In order to gain admission to the course, applicants must show evidence of linguistic ability compatible with advanced literary study in the language(s) chosen to study. Comparative Literature candidates shall not be required to have reading fluency in more than two languages other than English. Unless otherwise stated, candidates will be expected to write in English unless explicit permission is obtained to write in the language (or one of the languages) studied. In the case of Comparative Literature candidates, writing in more than one language in addition to English will not be authorised.
All candidates must follow a course of instruction in Modern Languages at Oxford for a period of six terms. In exceptional circumstances, the Board of the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages may permit an extension of time. Candidates shall, when entering their name for the examination, be required to produce from their society a certificate stating that they are following the course of instruction for the period prescribed.
2. All candidates shall be required to offer A, B, C, D, and E as defined in 3 below.
3. The examination shall consist of the following:
(A) One of the following options:
(i) Key Questions in Critical Thought
(ii) Spaces of Comparison
(iii) History of Ideas in Germany from the Eighteenth to the Twentieth Century
(iv) Palaeography, History of the Book and Digital Humanities
Candidates are required to submit an essay on one of the options above of between 5,000 and 7,000 words in total.
The essays should be formatted and submitted electronically as specified in the course handbook, by noon on Thursday of Week 10 of Hilary Term.
Each copy must have a cover sheet giving the candidate's name, college, the title of the essay, the name of the candidate's supervisor, and the title of the ‘method’ option submitted.
The work submitted under (i), (ii) or (iv) must be written in English; the work submitted under (iii) may be written in English or German.
(B) A thesis, which may be written in English or, with the approval of the Medieval and Modern Languages Faculty Board, in the language appropriate to the literature concerned, of approximately 20,000 words and not more than 25,000 words, on a subject approved by the Board or by a person or persons to whom the Board may delegate this function. The subject of the thesis shall be related either to the fields of study represented by (A) (i), (ii), (iii) or (iv) above or to one or more of the candidate’s Special Subjects (C). When seeking approval for the subject of the thesis, every candidate shall submit with the proposed title a written statement of not more than 500 words explaining the scope of the topic and the manner in which it is proposed to treat it. Candidates are required to register the subject area or title of their dissertation with the Modern Languages Graduate Office by the end of Week 4 of Hilary Term of their second year. The thesis should be formatted and submitted electronically as specified in the course handbook, by noon on Thursday of Week 7 of Trinity Term.
Successful candidates will be required to deposit one copy of their thesis in the Bodleian Library.
(C, D, and E) Three Special Subjects.
Candidates must select three Special Subjects from those listed in the ‘Graduate Studies in Modern Languages’ handbook associated with the programme which they are following; candidates may select a special subject from a different programme with approval from their supervisor.
Candidates will normally offer three Special Subjects from the same language and area, or from different areas in the same language. The Comparative Literature Programme will contain Special Subjects from two different languages, or one at least of the special subjects (C, D, and E) is comparative in scope.
Candidates will be assessed on an essay, or two essays (which may be written in English, or, with the approval of the Medieval and Modern Languages Faculty Board, in the language appropriate to the literature concerned), on the topics they have agreed with the supervisor of each Special Subject.
The essay or essays submitted for each Special Subject should be between 5,000 and 7,000 words in total.
Students are required to submit work for assessment on all four of the non-dissertation components (A, C, D, and E). Of these four, the component gaining the lowest passing mark will be discounted in the final assessment. No candidate who has failed any of the components (A, B, C, D, and E) will be awarded the degree in that examination.
The Special Subject should be formatted and submitted electronically as specified in the course handbook. The special subject for Michaelmas Term should be submitted by noon on Thursday of Week 10 of Michaelmas Term of the candidate’s first year. The special subject for Hilary Term should be submitted by noon on Thursday of Week 10 of Hilary Term of the candidate’s first year. The third special subject should be submitted by noon on Thursday of Week 10 of Michaelmas Term of the candidate’s second year.
4. Candidates for Comparative Literature should ensure that either at least one of the special subjects (C, D, and E) is comparative in scope or the three special subjects are concerned with different languages. The dissertation must deal explicitly with comparative issues.
5. If it is the opinion of the examiners that the work done by a candidate, while not of sufficient merit to qualify for the degree of M.Phil., is nevertheless of sufficient merit to qualify for the Degree of Master of Studies in Modern Languages, the candidate shall be given the option of re-sitting the M.Phil. examination under the appropriate regulation, or of being granted permission to supplicate for the Degree of Master of Studies.
6. In the case of re-submission, candidates shall be required to submit all the material by noon of the final Monday of September following their first examination. Candidates may resubmit on one occasion only.