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Current Postgraduate Students


General Requirements

MPhil students need not attend all the courses that first year PhD students are required to attend but they are required to attend the following:

Welcome Talk given by the Head of Department

Talks on Graduate Education, Researcher Development, Careers and Cambridge Enterprise

Departmental Advanced Safety Talk

Departmental Advanced Talk for Experimentalists (if relevant)

University Safety Course Workshops to include (if relevant to their research: discuss with your Supervisor which you will need to attend):

Biological Safety Workshop

Working Safely with Ionising Radiation & Local Arrangements and Regulations for Radioactivity

Laser Safety Workshop

IS1: Chemistry Library Orientation

IS3: Research Information Skills for Graduates

FS1 & FS2: Successful Completion of a Research Degree & Dignity@Study

FS4: Unconscious Bias

FS5: Equality and Diversity in the University (on-line)

Relevant RIG and Departmental Seminars

Although there are no further Course Requirements for MPhil students, you may still choose to attend academic courses or Researcher Development sessions. If you do, you should record them in your electronic Researcher Development Log Book and submit this by e-mail to the Graduate Student Co-ordinator at the end of your course. Please also take a hard copy into your viva so your examiners, if they wish, can consult the record of courses and training you have attended in addition to carrying out your research degree.

Indeed, you should take advantage of the huge array of educational opportunities available to you and be mindful that some of the undergraduate Part II or Part III courses may also be relevant to you: you may attend any of these courses (they are open to all) without needing to sign up.

In addition to your appointed Research Supervisor, each student is assigned an Academic Mentor to support their progress. Students are expected to arrange to meet with their Academic Mentor during the first term (a Departmental event will be arranged to facilitate this), then again at six months and subsequently upon request, as necessary. You will also be assigned a College Graduate Tutor whose role is to help you with any problems outside the responsibility of your academic Supervisor or Mentor and we have a Departmental Tutor Group whom you may also call upon under such circumstances.

MPhil Requirements

About two months before you expect to submit your dissertation 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 thesis should be soft bound (there is no requirement to submit a hard bound copy at any point for the MPhil Degree) and you must include a signed declaration stating that the work is original and all your own. The following should be submitted to the Degree Committee Office (17 Mill Lane) by 5.00pm on August 31st for Michaelmas starters, 5.00pm, 30th November for Lent starters and 5.00pm, 28th February for Easter starters.

  1. Two soft-bound copies of the thesis;
  2. MPhil Certificate of Submission form 

In addition, all students submitting an MPhil thesis are asked to submit an electronic copy of their MPhil thesis (the final, corrected version) to the Apollo repository (formerly known as DSpace).

The examination that follows shall then include an oral examination (viva) on the thesis and on the general field of knowledge within which it falls. 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 should take a hard copy of your Training Record into your viva so your examiners can consult it if they wish.

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: