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Thesis-only route

University of Cambridge

The thesis-only route is for students whose knowledge of linguistics is already substantial, and who already know the area they wish to research for their thesis. To be eligible for consideration for the thesis-only route to the MPhil, a student will need (a) a broad foundation in linguistics, with depth in at least some subfields, and (b) a clear idea of the area in which the thesis will be written. Students taking this route will follow some elements of the MPhil programme as described below under 'Course structure and examination', but formal assessment is by a 30,000 word thesis alone, submitted in June. Progress will be monitorted through the year by work submitted according to a schedule specified by TAL.

Applicants may find it useful to look at the staff research interests, and at those of others in the Faculty with interests in linguistics, to find out more about potential supervisors in their fields of interest.

Michaelmas Term

All students are required to follow a course in 'Research Methods' and a statistics course to acquire skills needed for research and 'transferable' skills. Beyond that, each student will follow his or her own 'Study Plan', which allows the individual interests, needs, and strengths of the student to be met. At the start of the course the student, with advice if needed from the Director of the MPhil and subject specialists, draws up a Study Plan for the Michaelmas and Lent Terms (October to March) which is approved by the Section.

Lent Term

In the Lent Term students participate in a minimum of two research seminars in areas related to their thesis, as discussed with their supervisor.  

Lent Term seminars

A proposed title and summary for the 30,000 word thesis, formulated in discussion with the supervisor, must be submitted in mid-February, and this will be subject to approval by the Linguistics Section, the supervisor, and the Faculty's Degree Committee. The thesis demands independent study under the guidance of the supervisor and will involve a substantial piece of original research. 

Easter Term

The thesis is submitted on the seventh Thursday of Easter Full Term, and about two to three weeks later there is an oral examination on the thesis.

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