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Current Postgraduate Students


About two months before you expect to submit your thesis, you should give the Degree Committee notice so the process of appointing your examiners can begin.

Your MPhil thesis must be prepared in accordance with the University regulations. The scheme of examination for the one-year course of study in Chemistry for the degree of Master of Philosophy shall consist of a thesis, of not more than 15,000 words in length, including summary/abstract, tables and footnotes, but excluding table of contents, photographs, diagrams, figure captions, list of figures/diagrams, list of abbreviations/acronyms, bibliography, appendices and acknowledgements (Notes 1–3) on a subject approved by the Degree Committee for the Faculty of Physics and Chemistry. The Degree Committee will not normally accept any reports that go over the word limit and some of the best reports are well under; 15,000 is a maximum, not a target.

The MPhil thesis is submitted electronically in A4 portrait format. There is no requirement for a hardbound copy at any stage in the examination for the MPhil. You are strongly advised to check your thesis carefully prior to submission for typing errors, spelling mistakes and poor English. Number the pages consecutively and ensure work is fully referenced. Remember, the Examiners must be left in no doubt as to which parts of your submitted work are your own original work and which are not.

The examination that follows shall then include an oral examination (viva) on the thesis and on the general field of knowledge. The thesis shall provide evidence to satisfy the examiners that the candidate can design and carry out investigations, assess and interpret the results obtained, and place the work in the wider perspective of the subject. You may be asked about your training and any lectures attended by the Assessors.

Note 1: Derivations, code and spectra should routinely be included in the MPhil thesis as Appendices, unless they form part of the connected argument presented in the report. 

Note 2: Experimentalists who find that their experimental section is taking them over the 15,000 word count should retain only the key compounds in the Experimental Section (part of the main report body, i.e. included in the word count); all other compounds (including preparation method and experimental data) should be moved to an Appendix entitled 'Supporting Information', i.e. rendering them excluded from the word count.

Note 3: Occasionally, it may be necessary to submit information electronically that it is not possible to include in the printed version, e.g. datasets, movies/simulations or computer code.  If you need to take up this option, please make a case to submit a CD-Rom or DVD by filling out the application form (your Supervisor and the HoD/nominee also need to approve this) and submit to the Degree Committee at least two months in advance of your actual submission deadline: 

Research Impact Statement

General Board and its Education Committee (GBEC) have now agreed that PhD students can submit a Research Impact Statement with their thesis that details the impact of COVID-19 on their research. If the student wishes to do this (it is optional), the statement should be made on a template form, signed by both student and supervisor, and submitted with the thesis to Moodle. GBEC state the statement should describe any restrictions or difficulties experienced in undertaking their research as a result of COVID-19 and details of any alternative arrangements made to complete the work for their thesis, but it should not include details of students’ personal circumstances.

Further information can be found on the Degree Committee website.