Master of Studies

The Master of Studies (rendered M.St. or MSt) is a postgraduate degree at the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, The Australian National University and University of Dublin which typically requires both classroom study and the completion of a thesis. It is a lesser degree than the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) or Engineering Doctorate (EngD), but greater than the Bachelor of Philosophy (BPhil), and is comparable to the Master of Arts and Master of Science at other universities. An M.St. is generally considered equivalent to the French diplôme d'études approfondies (or DEA) or the Spanish Diploma de Estudios Avanzados (also DEA). In some instances the degree may be awarded to graduate students after completing several years of original research, but before the defence of a dissertation, or as a substitute for a Ph.D. thesis that is a marginal fail. In some cases it can serve as a provisional enrolment for the Ph.D. The M.St. and the M.Phil. are to be distinguished at Oxbridge and Dublin from the Master of Arts (MA) in that the latter requires no postgraduate study and is awarded to Bachelor of Arts after a defined time-period has passed from when undergraduate study began. An Oxford MA, for example, is awarded to Bachelors of Arts during or after the twenty-first term from matriculation and requires no postgraduate study. Degree course structure Students reading for an M.St. at Oxford, Cambridge, ANU, and Dublin (Trinity College) are normally required to undertake one or two years of study followed by an examination; in the latter institution, the M.St. is a one-year, part-time course. The specific requirements vary according to each programme of study but usually involve a range of core and optional courses and the submission of a dissertation of 10,000-25,000 words. Independent research is supported by seminars and lectures, and assessment is typically by coursework as well as by examination papers and dissertation. In some cases, transfer to a DPhil or PhD is possible for students reading for a Master of Studies.

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