There are two unseen two-hour examination of the core course modules, in which students are required to answer two questions under strict examination conditions. These will be held in Week 0 of Hilary and Trinity Terms at the Examination Schools.

The research methods courses are examined by means of a 2,500-3,000 word assessment to be submitted in Week 10. These courses also have some term-time assignments which are assessed on a pass/fail basis.

Each option is examined by means of an assessed essay of 3,500-4,500 words for which time is set aside during the last three weeks of each term.   Assessed essay titles are given out on Thursday of Week 7 and must be completed by Wednesday of Week 10 of Michaelmas and Hilary term.

The dissertation is between 12,000 and 15,000 words long on a topic of the student's choice, subject to the agreement of the Board of Studies. It should be library-based, and should not involve the student in any empirical research (as there is insufficient time for this task). Students are expected to carry out the research independently, with only minimum guidance from their dissertation supervisor.

The degree of MSc shall be awarded to any candidate who achieves a mark of at least 50 per cent for (a) the five options and the ‘Research Design and Data Collection’ course, (b) the core course papers, and (c) the dissertation, as well as satisfactorily completes the continuous assessment element of ‘Research Design and Data Collection’, and, where relevant, those of ‘Quantitative Methods for Social Scientists’ and/or ‘Qualitative Methods’.