The Part II thesis is examined by thesis and orally usually in 9th or 10th week of Trinity Term.
There are guidelines on what the Examiners are looking for in a Part II thesis. These guidelines were written by Professor George Smith, Chairman of Part II Examiners 1999-2000.
Guidelines for Preparation of Part II Thesis
Extract from the Examination Regulations for the Honour School of Materials Science Part II:
'Every candidate for Part II is required to submit three copies of a report on the investigations which he or she has carried out under the direction of his or her supervisor. The report on the investigations shall also include an abstract, a literature survey, a brief account of the project management aspects of the investigation, and a description of the engineering context of the investigation and should be accompanied by a signed statement by the candidate that it is his or her own work. The copies should be handed in to the Chair of the Examiners in the Honour School of Materials Science, Part II, c/o Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford, not later than noon on the Wednesday of the seventh week of Trinity Full Term. The report shall be word-processed or typewritten on A4 paper (within a page area of 247 mm x 160 mm, using double line-spaced type of at least 11pt font size, printed on one side only of each sheet, with a left hand margin of at least 30mm) and presented in a binder. The main report should not normally exceed 12,000 words together with a maximum of a further 1,500 words for the reflective account of the project management aspects of the investigation that must be included in the final chapter. These word counts exclude references, title page, acknowledgements, table of contents and the three Project Management Forms. All other text is included in the word count, including the abstract and the figure captions. Additionally, the main report should not normally exceed 100 pages in length (including an abstract, the text as defined above for the word limits, the three Project Management Forms, computer programs, graphs, diagrams, photographs, tables, and similar material). All pages of the report should be numbered sequentially. The report must be accompanied by a signed declaration that it is within the allowed word and page limits. Candidates seeking permission to exceed the word and/or page limits should apply to the Chair of Examiners at an early stage. Further detailed data, computer programs and similar material may be included in one or more appendices at the end of the main report, but appendices are not included within the limits of the word or page counts of the thesis and, entirely at the discretion of the Examiners for each report, may or may not be read.'
- Word limit: 12,000 words for the main body of the thesis, plus 1,500 words for the mandatory final chapter containing an account of the project management aspects of your investigation. Word counts exclude references, title page, acknowledgements, table of contents and the three project management forms. All other text is included in the word count, including the abstract and the figure captions.
- Page limit: 100 pages. Page count includes an abstract, the text as described in the word limits above, the three project management forms, computer programs, graphs, diagrams, photographs, tables and similar material. All pages of the thesis should be numbered sequentially.
- If you feel that you have an exceptional case for exceeding the word and/or page limit, and you wish to seek permission to do so, both you and your supervisor should contact the Part II Project Organiser who will put your case to the Chair Examiners. Such a case should be made at the earliest possible stage. The Examiners will enforce the word limit strongly, and any thesis submitted over the word limit may be subject to penalties.
- Appendices: the purpose of the above word and page limits is to prevent the excessive inclusion of material that is unnecessary for development of the key argument(s) of the thesis. Material which is additional to the main body of the thesis, e.g. further detailed data, may be included in appendices. However, whilst Examiners are required to consider the main body of the thesis, whether they read appendices is entirely at their discretion.
- The thesis must include:
- a one-page abstract;
- a literature survey;
- a brief account of the Engineering Context/Relevance of your project (a requirement of Accreditation);
- a final chapter containing an account of the project management aspects of the investigation;
- a signed statement by the candidate that it is his or her own work and that it adheres to the previously described word and page limits (See Appendix A: MS Part II Declaration of Authorship) (doc~132kb)
- The thesis must be submitted to the Chair of the Examiners in the Honour School of Materials Science, Part II, c/o Examination Schools, High Street by 12.00 noon on Wednesday of week 7 of Trinity Term.
- Three copies must be submitted.
- The thesis must be word-processed or typewritten on A4 paper. The text should fit within a page area of 247 mm x 160 mm (i.e. top and bottom margins totalling 50 mm, and left and right margins totalling 50 mm) with a left hand margin of at least 30 mm (for ease of reading after binding). The thesis should be printed/typed on one side of the paper only. The text should be double line-spaced. The typeface should be of at least 11pt size.
- The thesis must be presented in a binder. Paula Topping (Teaching labs) will assist with the binding in 7th week.
- The viva voce examination is normally held in 9th or 10th week of Trinity Term. Please keep these weeks clear in your diary.
- Following the formal submission of your thesis to the Examiners, you are requested to submit to the Department Librarian 2 CD-Roms each containing an electronic version of your thesis. Please see the section on “Leaving the Department” later in this Handbook. This requirement is not a part of the formal examination process.
The Part II contributes a maximum of 400 marks towards the total of 1200 marks for the whole degree.
Your thesis will be read independently by two internal Examiners, who will each allocate a provisional mark before the viva.
Those two marks are declared to all the Examiners just before the vivas begin.
Each thesis will be read by one of the two External Examiners.
After the viva the Part II Examiners discuss the marks from the two internal examiners and agree collectively a mark out of 400.
The Chair of Examiners in the Department of Materials for 2012-13 is Professor Pete Nellist.
It must be stressed that in order to preserve the independence of the Examiners, you are not allowed to make contact directly about matters relating to the content of the exams or the marking of coursework. Any communication must be via the Senior Tutor of your college, who will, if he or she deems the matter of importance, contact the Proctors. The Proctors in turn communicate with the Chair of Examiners. If you have any queries about the Examinations or anything related to the Examinations, for example, illness, personal issues, please don’t hesitate to seek further advice from your College tutor, or one of the Department’s academic support staff.
Part II Prizes
Part II Talks
There is a prize of £400 and a medal from The Worshipful Company of Ironmongers for the best talk.
The Armourers and Brasiers’ Company award a medal and a prize of £250 for the best MS Part II project.
The award is based on the recommendation of the Part II examiners, after the examination of the Part II thesis is completed.
The Armourers like to award the prize and medal at a formal presentation by one of their senior people, on a public occasion.