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Master of Science by Coursework in History of Science, Medicine, and Technology

The regulations of the Board of the Faculty of History are as follows:

1. Every candidate must follow for at least three terms a course of instruction in History of Science, Medicine and Technology, and must upon entering for the examination produce from his or her society a certificate to that effect.

2. The examination will consist of the following parts:

Qualifying test

Every candidate must pass a qualifying test. The test shall consist of a course in Methods and Themes in History of Science, Medicine and Technology (HSMT).

The Methods and Themes in HSMT course will be assessed by a methodological essay of up to 4,000 words. The essay must be uploaded to the University approved online assessment platform by noon on Monday of Week 10 of Michaelmas Term accompanied by a declaration that it is the candidate’s own work. In addition, convenors of qualifying courses will confirm in writing to the chair of examiners not later than Friday of eighth week of Hilary Term the candidates’ satisfactory participation in their classes, including the completion of any assignments for the weekly sessions. No candidate who has failed the qualifying test will be permitted to supplicate for the degree. Candidates who fail the qualifying course once will be permitted to take it again, not later than one year after the initial attempt.

Candidates will submit two ‘practice’ essays of 3,000 words, one on Friday of Week 3 of Michaelmas Term and one on Friday of Week 6 of Michaelmas Term. Of these two essays and the Methods and Themes in HSMT essay, at least one must address a topic in the history of medicine and at least one must address a topic in the history of science and technology. The essays must address a range of topics in the history of science, medicine, and technology, and may not overlap considerably in subject matter.

Final examinations

The examination shall consist of two papers and a dissertation.

These papers are each assessed by two essays of 4,000-5,000 words. The essays must be the work of the candidates alone and they must not consult any other person including their supervisors in any way concerning the method of handling the themes chosen. The themes chosen by the candidate must be submitted for approval by the Chair of Examiners by the examination entry date. Candidates will be informed within two weeks, by means of a letter directed to their colleges, whether the topics they have submitted have been approved. The finished essays must be uploaded to the University approved online assessment platform by noon on Monday of Week 9 of Trinity Full Term. The essays must be presented in proper scholarly form and accompanied by a declaration that they are the candidate’s own work.

  • I. One advanced paper selected from Schedule I below.

  • II. Either (i) one paper in a relevant discipline or skill or sources or methods selected from Schedule II below;

    or (ii) a second advanced paper selected from Schedule I or from any additional list of papers for the M.Phil. and M.Sc. in History of Science, Medicine, and Technology approved by the Graduate Studies Committee of the Board of the Faculty of History and published in the definitive list of Advanced Papers as set out in Schedule I.

  • III. A dissertation of not more than 15,000 words, including appendices but excluding bibliography, on a topic approved by the candidate's supervisor. The dissertation must be uploaded to the University approved online assessment platform not later than noon on the last Friday in August of the year in which the examination is taken. Dissertations submitted must not exceed the permitted length. If they do the examiners will reduce the marks awarded. The presentation and footnotes should comply with the requirements specified in the Regulations of the Education Committee for the degrees of M.Litt. and D.Phil. and follow the Conventions for the presentation of dissertations and theses of the Board of the Faculty of History. The dissertation should be accompanied by a declaration that it is the candidate’s own work.

    Each dissertation must include a short abstract which concisely summarises its scope and principal arguments, in about 300 words. This is not included in the dissertation word count.

  • 3. A candidate who fails the examination will be permitted to retake it on one further occasion only, not later than one year after the initial attempt.

Such a candidate whose dissertation has been of satisfactory standard may resubmit the same piece of work, while a candidate who has reached a satisfactory standard on the written papers will not be required to retake that part of the examination.

Schedule I

Advanced Papers for the M.Phil. and M.Sc. in History of Science, Medicine, and Technology

A broad range of the course resources are shared with the corresponding courses in Economic and Social History, and Advanced Papers are therefore available in the subject areas listed here.

  • 1. Economic and business history

  • 2. History of science and technology

  • 3. Social history

  • 4. Historical demography

  • 5. History of medicine

A descriptive list of Advanced Papers will be published by the Board of the Faculty of History in September for the academic year ahead (not all options may be available in every year). The definitive list of the titles of Advanced Papers for any one year will be circulated to candidates and their supervisors and posted on the Faculty notice board not later than Friday of third week of Michaelmas Term.

Schedule II

The paper in a relevant discipline or skill may be:

  • 1. One of the papers from the M.Phil. in Sociology or in Comparative Social Policy.

  • 2. One suitable paper from another Master's degree under the auspices of the Faculty of History approved from time to time by the Graduate Studies Committee of the Board of the Faculty of History.

  • 3. One suitable paper in a related skill or discipline other than those specified in paragraphs 1 to 2 above on the recommendation of the candidate's supervisor and endorsed by the Course Director.

Choices under Schedule II have to be approved by the Chair of the Graduate Studies Committee of the Board of the Faculty of History not later than Monday of the fourth week of Michaelmas Term. Candidates wishing to take a paper under 1 or 3 will also need the approval of the appropriate course convenor and the Graduate Studies Committee of the relevant faculty board or inter-faculty committee who need to be satisfied that each candidate has an adequate background in the subject. Not all options may be available in any one year.