Degrees in Byzantine Studies
It has long been possible to study at Oxford for a research degree (M.Litt. or D.Phil.) in any aspect of the Byzantine heritage, though the faculties of Modern History, Classics, Medieval and Modern Languages,or Theology, or the School of Archaeology. Indeed, many of the scholars today teaching Byzantine subjects in British universities have been trained at Oxford. In addition to the M.Litt. and D.Phil., ‘taught’ degrees are also available. These, the Master of Studies (M.St.) and Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) in Byzantine Studies, are designed to induct students, whose undergraduate studies have been directed to the humanities, into the field of Byzantine and related Near Eastern Studies, and to prepare them for doctoral research in these subjects. A long and varied menu of options provides a wide range of choice of specialisms for those who enrol in either course. It reflects the spread of interest and expertise of Byzantinists and Orientalists teaching at Oxford.
Both courses are taught in the traditional Oxford manner, by a combination of lectures, seminars and individual tutorial and supervisory sessions. Care has been taken in devising the programme to ensure that there is as much connection as possible with existing courses on Byzantine and related subjects which are already being taken by students in the fields of History, Classics, Medieval Languages, Archaeology and Oriental Studies. In this way Byzantinists are brought into contact with students in related fields instead of being kept in isolation. In addition to the lectures, classes and seminars given specifically for the two degrees, there are other lectures available to the student. A general Byzantine Studies seminar is held each week where papers are given by scholars and students alike, both from Oxford and elsewhere. Weekly seminars are also given in Byzantine Archaeology and Art, and Late Roman and East Christian Studies.
It is also possible to take a Master's degree specialising in Late Roman and/or Byzantine archaeology and art by following all Late Roman and Byzantine options for the M.St. or M.Phil. in Classical Archaeology. Further information on these is available in the brochure on Research Opportunities in Archaeology which is available from the Graduate Admissions Office.
The M.St. course lasts one year and concludes with a written examination consisting of four papers. Candidates may, however, submit either two extended essays, each not more than 5,000 words in length, or a dissertation of not more than 10,000 words, on topics approved by the Chairman of the Committee for Byzantine Studies, in place of any one paper set for timed examination, apart from the translation paper.
(a) All candidates will be required to offer a translation paper in Byzantine Greek or another relevant ancient language, set at a level appropriate to their skills. Only a modest linguistic knowledge will be required of graduates enrolling in the MSt course, though they will be expected to develop their knowledge in the course of the year.
(b)/(d). Candidates are required to offer three options which they must take from three different sections of the eight (A-H) listed below. Candidates wishing to take two different options from either section D or section E will be permitted to do so.
The M.Phil. course lasts two years and concludes with the submission of a 30,000 word thesis on a topic of the candidate's choice (subject to the approval of the supervisor) and a written examination of five papers. Candidates may, however, submit two extended essays, each not more than 5,000 words in length, on topics approved by the Chairman of the Committee for Byzantine Studies, in place of any one paper set for timed examination.
(a) All candidates will be required to offer an unseen translation paper in any one of the following languages:
(b) All candidates will be required to demonstrate knowledge of auxiliary disciplines by offering a paper from Section H below.
(c)/(e) Candidates will be required to offer three options which they must take from three different sections of the seven (A-G) listed below, except that candidates who wish to take two different options either from Section D or E will be permitted to do so.
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