The Institute of Astronomy does not routinely offer the one-year MPhil degree. However, occasionally, it is possible for students with certain one-year scholarships, notably Churchill and Marshall Scholars, to pursue a one-year MPhil in Astronomy. The degree is exclusively by research and a project and supervisor will have been identified during the application process. There is no taught element and this course is not suitable for physicists and mathematicians wishing to prepare for a research PhD in Astronomy.
The aims of the programme are:
- to give students with relevant experience at first-degree level the opportunity to carry out focussed research in the discipline under close supervision; and - to give students the opportunity to acquire or develop skills and expertise relevant to their research interests.
- a comprehensive understanding of techniques, and a thorough knowledge of the literature, applicable to their own research; - demonstrated originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how research and enquiry are - used to create and interpret knowledge in their field; - shown abilities in the critical evaluation of current research and research techniques and methodologies; - demonstrated some self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and acted autonomously in the planning and implementation of research.
This course is entirely research with no taught elements however a Principal Supervisor is appointed for each student individually and the topic of research is approved by the Degree Committee with a view to producing a thesis after 11 months of research; a pattern of individual supervision, and other training as needed, is agreed with the student.
The scheme of examination for the one-year course of study in Astronomy for the degree of Master of Philosophy shall consist of a thesis of not more than 15,000 words in length, exclusive of tables, footnotes, bibliography, and appendices, on a subject approved by the Degree Committee for the Faculty of Physics and Chemistry.
The examination shall include an oral examination 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.