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Department of Land Economy

Environment, Law & Economics

To undertake an extensive piece of original research in just one year can be a particularly challenging option and the Department will not admit students to it unless it can be satisfied that they have the necessary research skills, together with a clear vision of their topic and a good grasp of the appropriate methodology to explore it. The 'by thesis' option is unusual for a research degree in specifying a submission deadline and in not allowing for resubmission should the necessary standard fail to be achieved in the examination. Candidates are therefore encouraged to start their research as early as possible.

Applicants are requested to enclose with their application an outline of their proposed research, setting out their objectives and proposed methodology. Before offering a place for the 'by thesis' option, the Department will need to be satisfied that the proposal is one that can be undertaken satisfactorily by the candidate and that it can provide an appropriate supervisor. In some cases, it may suggest that the candidate consider opting instead for the instructional degree course (MPhil in Land Economy Research) in order to build up broader research skills.

Approval of title

Each student's subject of research is approved provisionally by the Degree Committee when the student is accepted. It can be revised subsequently, but has to be finally approved by the Degree Committee in the Lent Term (normally in February). The Degree Committee will also then appoint examiners and approve the submission date for the thesis, which is normally the end of August.  It is customary to appoint one internal examiner (who will not be the supervisor, and will not normally have had any direct involvement with the research), and one external examiner who is a recognised expert in the field of the research.

Once in the Department, all students on this course play a full part in the graduate programme. They are in any event required to attend and participate in either or both of the quantitative and mixed research methods courses. They are also encouraged to participate in any of the other relevant taught MPhil modules and the Department’s Research Management Programme.

Their Vital link, however is with their Supervisor. The Supervisor assumes professional responsibility for guiding the student's research.