Postgraduates studying for taught masters degrees will usually be taught through a mixture of classes, lectures and individual tutorials organised by a University faculty or department. They will also be expected to participate in University seminars and programmes designed to train them in methods of academic research. One and two-year taught courses, leading to masters degrees, usually entail a combination of examinations and shorter dissertations.
Doctorates, usually taking three or four years, are conferred after submission and examination of a lengthy and detailed piece of individual and original research. This work will be undertaken under the supervision of an academic staff member who is an expert in the student’s field and who directs their work. It is not essential – or indeed common – for the supervisor and student to be members of the same college. Doctoral students will also be expected to participate in University seminars and programmes designed to train them in methods of academic research.
All postgraduates at St Peter's have a College Advisor who oversees their welfare and takes an interest in their academic progress in Oxford.
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