Being research degrees the MPhil and PhD are awarded primarily on the basis of examination by thesis.  Before being accepted into the programme at least one supervisor will be assigned to a student.  The role of the supervisor is to provide guidance and direction in the conduct of the student’s research. (For more information see Graduate Studies Guide for Students and Supervisors.)
The minimum period of registration and the deadline for submission of the thesis are outlined in the table below.
Degree  Minimum registration period Required to submit thesis after initial registration
MPhil (full time) 2 years 3 years
MPhil (part time) 4 years 5 years
PhD (full time) 3 years 5 years
PhD (part time) 5 years 7 years


Taught Courses

Students are required follow courses of study as recommended by the Head of Department.  A candidate for the MPhil degree is required to read courses totaling a minimum of 6 credits.  A candidate for the PhD degree is required to read courses totaling a minimum of 9 credits.  Candidates are required to pass both the coursework and the written examinations components before submitting their thesis.  Students who already hold a Taught Masters degree may apply to the Campus Committee for exemption from the course requirements of the research degree.

Research Seminars

Students enrolled for both the MPhil and PhD degrees must satisfactorily complete a specified number of research seminars prior the submission of their thesis.  MPhil students are required to complete 2 seminars.  PhD students are required to complete 3 seminars.

Examination by Thesis

The thesis may be submitted after satisfactorily completing the required number of research seminars.  A candidate must apply to enter for the examination by thesis at least three months before the expected submission date of the thesis.  At this time the candidate must submit for approval of the Campus Committee the exact title of the thesis.  The application for examination is done through the supervisor who is required to certify that the thesis is ready for examination.
Candidates are required to satisfy the Examiners in such oral, practical or written examinations as stipulated by the Board for Graduate Studies and Research and in Faculty Regulations.

Upgrade from MPhil to PhD

A candidate registered for the MPhil degree may apply for the upgrade of his or her registration to the PhD.  This can only be done after a period of one year full time, or two years part time from the date of initial registration.  The candidate must have the support of the supervisor and the Head of Department and have given evidence of the qualifications necessary for writing a thesis for the PhD.
For more information see the Regulations for Graduate Diplomas and Degrees.
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