The Master of Science (MSc) is a two-year degree which encompasses both coursework and research. The first year involves mainly coursework and preliminary research preparation. Students will have the opportunity to contribute to existing fields of research, or to begin to develop new areas.
The MSc can be studied in any of the subjects listed below, and may be taken by a combination of coursework and thesis, or by thesis only. Students who have a Bachelor's degree will complete the MSc by papers and thesis (at least two years of full-time study). Students who have an Honours degree or postgraduate diploma can complete the degree by thesis only (minimum of one year of study).
Regulations for the Degree of Master of Science (MSc)
Admission to the Programme
- Admission to the programme shall be subject to the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Sciences).
- Every applicant must either
- be a graduate with an average grade of at least B for the appropriate 300-level papers, or
- have alternative qualifications or experience acceptable to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Sciences).
- An applicant seeking admission to the thesis-only option of the programme (see regulation 2(c) below) on the basis of the degree of Bachelor of Science with Honours or the Postgraduate Diploma in Science or equivalent must have achieved a grade of at least B+ for the research report, thesis preparation, or dissertation requirement of the qualification concerned.
- In considering an applicant's qualifications, regard will be had to the detail of the course of study followed to gain the qualification, as well as the applicant's performance in the programme.
Structure of the Programme
- The degree may be awarded in any of the subjects listed above. With the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Sciences) the degree may be awarded in a subject not listed above.
- The programme of study shall be as prescribed for the subject concerned.
- A candidate whose qualification for entry to the programme is the degree of Bachelor of Science with Honours or the Postgraduate Diploma in Science or equivalent may achieve the degree after a minimum of one year of further study, normally by completing a thesis or equivalent as prescribed in the MSc Schedule.
- A candidate may be exempted from some of the prescribed papers on the basis of previous study.
- A candidate shall, before commencing the investigation to be described in a thesis, secure the approval of the Head of the Department concerned for the topic, the supervisor(s), and the proposed course of the investigation.
- A candidate may not present a thesis which has previously been accepted for another degree.
- A candidate taking the degree by papers and thesis must pass both the papers and the thesis components.
- For the thesis, the research should be of a kind that a diligent and competent student should complete within one year of full-time study.
Duration of the Programme
A candidate achieving the degree by papers and a thesis shall normally follow a programme for the equivalent of not less than two years of full-time study and not more than three years of full-time study, and a candidate achieving the degree by thesis alone shall normally follow a programme of study for the equivalent of not less than one year of full-time study and not more than two years of full-time study. Exceptions shall be permitted only with the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Sciences).
Withdrawal from the Programme
- A candidate undertaking both papers and thesis whose paper results are not satisfactory, as defined by the department or subject area concerned, or who does not achieve a grade of at least B+ for the research report, thesis preparation, or dissertation requirement of the programme shall be required to withdraw from the programme.
- Where a candidate withdraws from the programme, whether voluntarily or otherwise, after completing the prescribed papers, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Sciences) may recommend the award of the Postgraduate Diploma in Science or determine which papers shall be credited towards the Diploma.
Examination of the Thesis
- The thesis shall be assessed by at least two examiners, at least one of whom shall be external to the University.
- The candidate's supervisor shall not be an examiner but may make a report on the work of the candidate to the Convener of Examiners.
- Each examiner shall supply a written report on the thesis and recommend a mark and grade on the basis of the thesis as submitted, and an overall result selected from the options specified in clause (d) below.
- The examiners may recommend that a thesis:
- be accepted without requiring amendments;
- be accepted subject to minor corrections being made at the discretion and to the satisfaction of the Convener of Examiners;
- does not meet the criteria for the award of the degree, but may be revised and resubmitted for examination;
- does not meet the criteria for the award of the degree, and should be rejected without right of resubmission.
- Amendments 5(d)(ii) and revisions 5(d)(iii) shall be completed by a specified date to be determined by the Convener of Examiners.
- A candidate shall be permitted to revise and resubmit a thesis for examination once only.
- If a revised and resubmitted thesis is finally accepted, the result shall be either Pass or Fail (i.e. ungraded) and without eligibility for the award of the degree with credit or distinction.
- Where examiners cannot agree on a result, the Convener of Examiners should so report to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Sciences) or nominee who shall arrive at a decision after consulting a referee who should normally be external to the University.
Level of Award of the Degree
The degree may be awarded with distinction or with credit.
The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Sciences) may in exceptional circumstances approve a course of study which does not comply with these regulations.Note: The due date for applications for first enrolment in the programme is 10 December. Late applications will be considered.