Both the M.Phil. and the Ph.D. are research degrees, in which the final assessment is dependent on the writing of a dissertation. However, both degrees do incorporate a coursework component. These courses are of a qualifying nature – that is, they must be passed before the student can proceed further with their studies, but they will not be counted towards the assessment of the M.Phil. or Ph.D. degree itself. The aim of the courses is to enhance students’ teaching and research skills.

Courses are provided by either the Graduate School, the Department of Fine Arts, or another teaching department within the Faculty of Arts. The Graduate School courses provided basic instruction in thesis writing and research methods. The Faculty and Department courses provide more discipline-specific training. In some cases, it is possible to substitute a Departmental course for a Graduate School requirement.

In the case of the three year Ph.D., only one course, in research ethics, is required. The course requirements for the M.Phil and four year Ph.D. are more extensive, and can be consulted here (General Coursework Requirements), here (Graduate School Courses), and here (Faculty/Departmental Courses).

Full time students are normally expected to complete all departmental courses during their first year of study and they must do so within their first eighteen months. All students will be expected to give a seminar paper to the Department as one part of their coursework.