The MPhil Degree

Admission Requirements

Minimum Requirements: the norm for admission to the MPhil degree is a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree or its equivalent in the discipline in question.

Upgrade from the MA: alternatively, candidates for the MA degree who have successfully completed their Course Work component with an average grade of 60% or more may be allowed to upgrade to the MPhil degree.

Availability of Expertise and Resources: given the large research component of this programme, it should be noted that admission to the programme is contingent upon whether candidates have a thesis proposal compatible with the expertise and resources available at Cave Hill.

Time Limits

Full-time candidates are required to complete all requirements within two (2) years of the start of the programme.

Part-time candidates are required to complete the same requirements within three (3) years of the start of the programme.

Programme of Study

Status: candidates may enroll for the MPhil on a full-time or part-time basis.

Course Work: all candidates admitted directly to the MPhil programme are required to complete four [4] courses (unless courses have already been completed at the MA level) by the end of their second semester of study.

This Course Work is intended to expand and strengthen disciplinary knowledge acquired at the undergraduate level and to facilitate more concentrated specialist work in the discipline. It should be noted that all courses are of 36 hours duration (12 weeks x 3 hours).

Graduate courses in another discipline may be substituted, where appropriate and subject to approval, for up to two (2) prescribed Courses. Independent Reading Courses may also be substituted, in special circumstances and subject to approval, for up to two (2) prescribed Courses. (See MA / MPHIL INDEPENDENT READING COURSES(PDF) ».)

The performance of candidates in each Course is assessed by two internal examiners. Assessment may be by way of:
  • course work (this may consist of oral presentations and/or term papers) and/or
  • written examination (normally three hours, two questions).
Course work may accordingly count for 100% of the final grade or the final grade may be divided between course work and written examination. It should be noted that candidates are permitted to repeat a Course only once. It should be noted, too, that at the Course 2 Work stage of the Programme, no Supervisor is appointed.

Thesis Proposal:
  • FULL-TIME candidates are also required to submit a Thesis Proposal of acceptable scope and quality for the MPhil degree by the end of their first year of study;
  • PART-TIME candidates are also required to submit their proposal by the end of the first semester of their second year of study.
The Thesis Proposal must follow the guidelines set out in THE MPHIL / PHD THESIS PROPOSAL(PDF) »

  • FULL-TIME candidates are also required to complete a thesis (40,000 - 50,000 words, exclusive of notes and bibliography) on a topic approved by the Department and under the guidance of a Supervisor, by the end of their second and final year of study;
  • PART-TIME candidates are required to complete the thesis by the end of their third and final year of study.
(For further details on the thesis, see THE MPHIL / PHD THESIS(PDF) ».)

Compulsory Seminar Presentations: all candidates are also required to make at least two (2) seminar presentations, each before a panel consisting of the Supervisor and at least two other members of the Department. For each such Seminar Presentation, candidates are required to write and present a paper (approx. 10 - 15 pages in length [i.e. approximately 30 to 45 minutes speaking time], accompanied by a list of works consulted, and photocopied and distributed before hand) on a topic arising out of his/her research (it may, for example, be part of a chapter of the proposed thesis or derived from previous course work) as well as to field questions afterwards.

StudyPlans/Progress Reports

The candidate’s Supervisor is required to submit a detailled progress Report on the work accomplished by the candidate under his / her supervision once per semester. This Report indicates what, if anything, remains to be completed and whether the candidate is on schedule. To these ends, normally in the first week of each semester, the Supervisor evaluates the work accomplished in the previous semester and, in cooperation with the candidate, sets out an agenda (in the form of a Study Plan) for the coming semester, in relation to which the student’s progress is measured in the following Report. Any candidate whose progress is repeatedly reported to be unsatisfactory by his/her Chief Supervisor may be required to withdraw from the programme.

Conferment of the MPhil Degree

The successful completion of all required courses (where necessary), the Thesis, and the compulsory Seminar Presentations will lead to the award of the MPhil degree.

In short, in order to obtain the MPhil degree, candidates are required to complete:
  • Four (4) Courses (if not already taken for the MA);
  • Two (2) Seminar Presentations; and
  • A Thesis.

Other Information

(PDF documents)
- MPhil Independent Reading Courses
- MPhil/PhD Thesis Supervision
- MA/PhD Thesis Proposal
- MPhil/PhD Upgrade Seminar
- Study Plan


Faculty of Humanities and Education
Telephone: (246) 417-4385/87 Fax: (246) 424-0634 E-mail: