The MSc by Research programme is for students with a good general knowledge of the subject area, who wish to focus their interests and deepen their knowledge of a specific topic.
To complete the programme you would normally submit two, 5,000-word, independent research essays, on topics chosen in consultation with your supervisor. You are also required to complete the History of Art core course, Research Theories and Methods (which is assessed via a 3,000-word essay) plus one further course (which may be chosen from a broad range of taught postgraduate option courses, assessed by a 4,000-word essay, or a credit-bearing language course or other suitable option), over semesters 1 and 2. At the end of the summer, you are required to submit a 15,000-word dissertation.
The MPhil and PhD degrees are both major pieces of independent research, preparing you for a future in academic scholarship. These degrees are obtained by research and presentation of a thesis of up to 60,000 words (MPhil) or 80,000–100,000 words (PhD). You will work closely with your supervisors throughout the research period.
The first year of a PhD is probationary, meaning that you must pass a first year review before you are permitted to continue to the second year of the PhD. At your review, you will be required to discuss with a review board a presentation comprising an overview of your thesis and proposed chapter plan, with a bibliography, and a draft chapter of at least 10,000 words.
Throughout your degree, you will be required to take a number of workshops and training courses in research and/or language skills, unless the principal supervisor is satisfied that this is unnecessary.
Training and support
All of our research students benefit from ECA’s interdisciplinary approach and all are assigned two research supervisors. Your second supervisor may be from another discipline within ECA, or from somewhere else within the College of Humanities & Social Science or elsewhere within the University, according to the expertise required. On occasion more than two supervisors will be assigned, particularly where the degree brings together multiple disciplines.