Where a student can show evidence that he or she is capable of a long dissertation of 12,000 words and wishes to submit such a long dissertation, this may replace two of the electives, subject to agreement on a topic by an MSc in Taxation programme director. A programme director must be satisfied that the dissertation topic is of sufficient scope and depth to be appropriate to replace two courses. The director shall make the decision in consultation with the other directors.

The long dissertation may cover material not covered expressly by any other course on the programme or may build on material covered in another course within the programme provided it has the necessary element of originality, analysis and independent research.  A teacher on the MSc in Taxation must have the suitable knowledge to supervise the dissertation before it can be accepted as an appropriate topic. The topic must, however, be sufficiently different from that chosen for the Tax Research Round Table extended essay to avoid overlap and unfair reduction of burden. It may not be a dissertation, or part of a dissertation, that has been or is being submitted for any other degree in Oxford or elsewhere.