Degree of Master of Philosophy


The Degree of Master of Philosophy is governed by Resolution No. 575 of the University Court which came into effect on 1 September 2008, as subsequently amended, with provision that:

1.  The Degree of Master of Philosophy (MPhil) may be awarded by the University of Glasgow in each of the Colleges.

2.  a)  A candidate for the Degree may undertake research in accordance with the provisions of Schedule B or Schedule C[1] as set out in the Regulations.[2] Such study shall be prosecuted in the University of Glasgow or The Glasgow School of Art or in another institution recognised for the purposes of study and research

b)  Colleges and Graduate Schools may allow the candidate’s research to be conducted in an institution external to the University of Glasgow. The choice of such an institution will be determined ad hoc and only where there exists clear alignment of the candidate’s proposed research with the aims and objectives of the institution proposed, and where the institution can demonstrate ability to provide an appropriate level of supervision of the candidate. A full-time member of staff of a recognised institution may be nomi­nated to Senate either as a supervisor or as an internal examiner although such an individual may not be nominated as an examiner if they have previously supervised the candidate's work. In cases where an employee of the institution acts as supervisor or internal examiner, a member of staff from an appropriate subject area in the University will also be appointed.

3.  Every candidate for the Degree, before being admitted to a programme of research qualifying therefore, (a) must have obtained a Degree in any Institution of Higher Education specially recognised for this purpose by the University Court on the recommendation of the Senate, provided always that a diploma or a certificate recognised in like manner as equivalent to a Degree may be accepted in place of a Degree and (b) must have satisfied the Senate of their fitness to undertake advanced study.

4.  A candidate who is a full-time student shall follow a programme of study by research in the University or another Institution recognised for the purpose:

a)  in the College of Arts, the College of Medical, Veterinary & Life Sciences and the College of Social Sciences, for 12 months, and

b)  in the College of Science & Engineering, for 24 months.

The period of study for a candidate who is a part-time student shall be at least one year longer than that prescribed for full-time students.

These provisions notwithstanding, the Collegesmay on special cause shown extend the prescribed period of study for any full-time candidate by not more than one year.

5.  The Collegeshall designate a Professor or Lecturer in the University to supervise the study of each candidate. The supervisor shall report at appropriate intervals as determined by the College on the progress of the candidate.

6.  On the conclusion of their period of study each candidate shall present for such written examination as may be prescribed by the Senate and may be required to submit a dissertation. The candidate may also be required to undergo oral and/or practical examination.

7.  The examiners for the Degree shall be such Professors and Lecturers in the University as the Senateshall designate and such additional ex­aminers as the University Court, on the recommendation of the Senate shall appoint.

8.  The Degree shall in no case be conferred on persons who have not satisfied the conditions hereinbefore set forth and shall not be conferred as an Honorary degreeexcept on the conditions contained in Ordinance of the University Court No. 109, Glasgow No. 28.

9.  The regulations for the Degree shall be as stated in the Schedules hereto.

Schedule B - Master of Philosophy by Research

1.  Admission to study for the Degree will normally be granted from the beginning of the academic year.

2.  The normal standard of admission will be that of a Degree with First or Upper Second Class Honours but another qualification, being a qualification approved by the University Court as provided in Section 2 of the Resolution, may be accepted by the College as being suitable for the programme of research which it is proposed that the applicant should follow.

3.  The minimum period of prescribed research for the Degree shall be:

a)  in the College of Arts, the College of Medical Veterinary & Life Sciences and the College of Social Sciences, one year’s full-time study or two years’ part-time study, and

b)  in the College of Science & Engineering two years’ full-time study or four years’ part-time study.

The candidate shall prosecute this research under the supervision of a member of staff from the appropriate subject area appointed by the College Higher Degrees Committee (or equivalent) on the recommendation of the Head of School. The Higher Degrees Committee shall have power for special reasons to permit a candidate to pursue study elsewhere for part of the prescribed period. The College Graduate School shall organise research training course(s) as appropriate for each research student.

A part-time candidate, and in the College of Science & Engineering a full-time candidate, shall be subject to the College requirements for progress prior to being permitted to progress to a subsequent year of study.

4.  a)  On completion of the research the candidate shall present a thesis or a portfolio of work.

b)  The thesis shall normally be 30,000-40,000 words in length, embodying the results of the work for examination for the degree. The composition of the portfolio will be defined and agreed with the supervisor at the outset.

c)  In Theology & Religious Studies candidates may present themselves for a practice-based MPhil. The candidate shall present a portfolio of work for examination containing both a practical component and a critical component. The practical component may explore: religious/spiritual insights through a variety of creative media; demonstrate creative practice in areas such as liturgy, ritual and homiletics; or consist of Arts-based research into issues of theological/religious significance. The critical component shall consist of an academically rigorous reflection upon the research process and its critical significance within theology/religious studies. The length of the critical component shall be agreed between the supervisors and the candidate and confirmed through the Annual Progress Review process. Typically it shall be 10,000–15,000 words.

d)  The candidate must expect to attend an oral examination unless specified otherwise by the Graduate School.

e)  Subject to §4(a), the thesis and portfolio must normally be written and defended in English. Exceptionally, however, in the College of Arts at the time of application the College Higher Degrees Committee may approve arrangements where­by the thesis may be written and defended in a language other than English, such as Gaelic. Approval will normally be given only where the use of a language other than English is deemed appropriate by the relevant School, and the Higher Degrees Committee, and where the School and the Higher Degrees Committee are satisfied that appropriate arrangements can be made for supervision and examination.

5.  A candidate must submit the thesis or portfolio for examination within six months of the conclusion of the statutory period of full-time or part-time study specified by regulation. The College will specify the date of commencement of part-time study. In exceptional circumstances, and on submission of a stated case, an extension of six months may be approved by the College Higher Degrees Committee.

6.  A candidate must submit two bound typewritten or printed copies of the thesis or portfolio accompanied by a declaration that the research has been carried out and the submission composed by the candidate, and that the submission has not been accepted in fulfilment of the requirements of any other degree or professional qualification. The submitted copies of the thesis or portfolio may be soft-bound but otherwise should generally conform to the British Standard Institution’s Recommendations for the presentation of theses (BS4821:1990) which is available for consultation in the University Library or from the College Graduate School.

7.  If the Examiners consider that the thesis or portfolio, has not achieved the standard required for the award of the Degree, the candidate may be permitted to revise the thesis or portfolio and resubmit it, on one occasion only, under such conditions as the Examiners may prescribe in each particular case. Normally, resubmission should be no later than six months after the date of the meeting of the Board of Examiners.

8.  If approved for the degree, one hard-bound copy of the thesis and one electronic copy shall be deposited with the University Library.  The bound copy should normally be produced to the standard defined in BS4821:1990, and the electronic copy must conform to University Library specifications published at https://www.gla.ac.uk/myglasgow/research/enlighten/theses/formattingyourthesis/. It is the University's normal practice to make the bound copy available for consultation in the Library, and to permit computer download of the electronic copy through its repository service, Enlighten.  Such access may, however, be restricted under provisions of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 or the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.

9.  In addition to these regulations, each student must also comply with the detailed requirements for research degrees published by the relevant Graduate School.

[1] Schedule C is published in The Glasgow School of Art section of the University Calendar.

[2] Schedule A, pertaining to the award of the Degree following a prescribed course of study, has been deleted from the Regulations.