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Research Programme

The OCMS research degrees programme consists of the pre-University ‘OCMS Stage’ and the University Stage.

The OCMS Stage

The OCMS Stage extends from admission into OCMS to registration with Middlesex University, London on a research degree. This Stage normally lasts twelve to eighteen months for part-time students, and six to twelve months for full-time students. It is a period of induction into mission studies research and into the community of OCMS. Its function is both diagnostic and preparatory to help students for university registration.

The OCMS Stage is intended, in particular, to equip students with the knowledge and training to enable them to:

  • Formulate a suitable research problem.
  • Propose suitable method(s) of research.
  • Identify the necessary sources (primary and secondary) for research in line with the proposed research method(s).
  • Work towards competency in the research method(s) and transferable research skills .
  • Apply successfully for university registration on a research degree.

At the beginning of the OCMS Stage, a new student will attend an induction programme at OCMS of five weeks duration. The induction programme prepares new students to accomplish the goals set for the OCMS Stage.

Forthcoming dates for the Research Induction School:

Monday 2 Oct – Friday 3 Nov 2017

Tuesday 3 April – Friday 4 May 2018

Monday 1 Oct - Friday 2 Nov 2018


The University Stage

After registering with Middlesex University, the student enters the university stage. There are some constraints on how much time students can spend in the university stage. For part-time students, the minimum and maximum times for completion of the PhD degree are 45 months and 7 years respectively. For full-time students, the minimum and maximum times for completion of the PhD degree are 33 months and 5 years respectively. These times are calculated with respect to the time of a student’s university registration.

A registered student in the university stage goes through the following process before completing a PhD degree:

  • Progress review after two years in the university stage for part-time students (one year for full-time students). If the progress is not satisfactory, the student will pursue a MPhil degree instead, otherwise, the student will progress towards completing the PhD degree.
  • A Dean’s Review: a second review of progress held by the Academic Dean.
  • Completion of first full draft of the thesis.
  • A Pre-Submission Sub-Committee. (a formal pre-viva)
  • Final writing up.
  • Submission of thesis for examination (max. length of thesis is 80,000 words).
  • Oral examination by Examining Board. (‘viva voce’ exam)
  • Corrections, or modifications and re-submission of thesis, as required by the Examining Board.
  • Award of a PhD degree by the University when the Examining Board is satisfied.

In exceptional cases, a student may choose to pursue a MPhil degree at the point of university registration.

The Oxford Centre for Mission Studies has undergone a review for educational oversight by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA). See our QAA Review page for current judgements and a link to the full report on the QAA site.

If you do not wish to study as a formal student with us, you can study as a Research Associate.

Click here to download our current prospectus

*Please contact OCMS on further information on Middlesex University.

Further information and a downloadable application form are available from the Apply page.

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