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The taught elements of the MPhil by Advanced Study (core course plus two modules) will be assessed by course work comprising three 4,500-word essays, one at the end of the first term, and two at the end of the second. Those taking the Medieval and Early Modern Pathway through the Core Course can opt to be assessed by a paleographic exercise. There is no unseen examination.

During the Easter term, students write a dissertation. Dissertations must, according to the criteria laid down by the University, 'represent a contribution to learning'. Dissertations must be written in English. The arrangements for their preparation are similar to those for the essays. Titles are chosen by students, in consultation with module convenors and/or prospective supervisors, and then have to be approved by the Faculty Degree Committee.

Topics and precise dissertation titles must be submitted by a specific deadline in Lent Term. Up to this point the Course Director is the titular supervisor of MPhil students, but once the dissertation topics are approved, a specialist supervisor is appointed for each student. Students are entitled to up to four hour-long sessions with their supervisor. 

Each element of the assessment is scrutinised independently by two examiners, and may be referred to the External Examiner, whose role is to act as moderator to the entire process of assessment.