Supervision of the MPhil Thesis
Each MPhil student is allocated a thesis supervisor prior to, or soon after, the beginning of the course. You can expect about ten meetings of up to one hour of one-to-one supervision guidance through the year and briefer meetings if needed. In addition you will receive guidance for the preparation of any assessed course essays and other work from the relevant course teacher.
All students should be warned that thesis supervisors are concerned to advise you in your studies, not to direct you. Students must accept responsibility for their own research activity and candidacy for a degree. Postgraduate work demands a high degree of self-discipline and organisation. Students are expected to take full responsibility for producing the required course work and thesis to the deadlines specified under the timetable for submission.
An important function of research is to train and assess how well you cope with working both as an independent scholar, and as part of a team with other students during assignments or with academic staff within research groups. It is therefore essential for students to understand that they will have to establish a working routine and timetable, working with their supervisor and working with the director of their MPhil, and their teachers in each specific aspect.
Whilst supervision is organised to offer you personal research guidance, it is important to remember that supervisors are not always available (they may be away on research fieldwork, etc), they have other commitments, and generally prefer to work towards meeting dates fixed in advance in diaries with targets for outputs (drafts of text, reading, etc) achieved for each meeting.
Students must also remember in preparing their timetables that they must allow reasonable time for their supervisors to read and comment on any draft material. Timetables, therefore, need to be arranged carefully with individual supervisors, and their other commitments, in mind.