A Master's Degree may be obtained in one of two main modes namely
(a) Research only, or by
(b) Coursework, Examination and Dissertation/Minor Thesis (Taught Masters) (under revision).
(a) Master's Degree by Research
1. To be eligible for consideration to undertake a programme of study for a Master's Degree by Research, a candidate must have obtained a standard of at least Second Class Honours in an approved primary degree or possess such other qualifications as the Academic Council Graduate Studies Committee may recommend to Academic Board.
2. All applications for admission to a programme of study and research for the Degree of Master will be considered by the relevant College/Faculty, following recommendation of the Head of Department/School in which the programme is to be pursued, after consultation with the Departmental/School Graduate Studies Committee.
3. The period of study will be determined by the relevant School/Department in accordance with the provisions applicable to the particular programme. If the application is approved, the student will register for the Master's Degree for the duration prescribed, as a minimum.
4. In certain circumstances, applications recommended for approval by a College/Faculty may be subject to final approval by the Academic Council Graduate Studies Committee (ACGSC).
5. A candidate who wishes to obtain a Master's Degree by research must:
a. pursue a programme of supervised research for at least the equivalent of one year full-time from the date of first registration for the programme or two years full-time in the case of the MPhil Degree. Master's candidates undertake a student workload equivalent to 90 ECTS credits for each calendar year of full-time research, or proportional equivalent for part-time students. Students will complete minimum student workload equivalent to 90 credits (1 year, full-time or pro rata, part-time) and a maximum workload equivalent to 180 credits, for consideration for the award of Master's.
b. submit a thesis upon the work done during such programme which will be assessed by Internal and External Examiners.
6. A number of generic and disciplinary training modules are available to Research Master's candidates to provide them with research and transferable skills. Details of these modules are described under the heading Modules for Postgraduate Training.
7. LLM by Research students in the Department of Law may take for audit the 5 credit module LW6004">LW6004 Research Methods in Law described under the heading Modules for Postgraduate Training.
8. A candidate for a Master's Degree by research will normally submit his/her thesis at the earliest opportunity following the end of the prescribed period of study. Permission to submit the thesis will be approved by the Supervisor and Head of Department/School. Except where shorter periods are specified in the regulations for specific degrees, a candidate for a Master's Degree will be allowed a maximum of five years in the case of the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences, three years in the case of Engineering, or four years in all other cases to submit their thesis. Candidates who do not submit their thesis within the prescribed number of years from the date of first registration for the programme for which they have been approved will require approval for extensions from College/Faculty and Academic Board.
9. In the case of the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences, the length of a Master's Degree thesis should normally be approximately 40,000 words.
10. The Head of Department/School will nominate a member of staff to supervise the candidate's research, following consultation with the Departmental/School Graduate Studies Committee. The name of the Supervisor should be forwarded when the candidate's name is submitted to College/Faculty for approval.
11. In the case of an Interdisciplinary Programme, the Chair of the Board of Studies/Director of the Programme may assume the role of a Head of Department/School and the Board of Studies may assume the role of the Departmental/School Graduate Studies Committee, where appropriate and where approved by College/Faculty.
12. Joint supervision of a thesis is permitted. In the case of joint supervision, one of the Supervisors must be a permanent member of the University staff. Supervision by a suitably qualified, non-permanent supervisor is allowable, where the contract of employment covers the length of the Master's project and the Head of Department/School to whom the supervisor reports, or within which the student is registered, approves the Master's application (this covers research staff, temporary staff or academic staff who are due to retire during the registration of the student).
13. Unless permission is given to the candidate by the Supervisor(s) and Head of Department/School to work elsewhere under the general direction of the Supervisor, the research for the Degree will be carried out in the Department/School mainly responsible for the subject area concerned but, where the research is inter-disciplinary in nature, there will be due co-operation between the Department(s)/School(s) involved.
14. The Supervisor should assess the progress of the candidate and, if he/she arrives at the view that the candidate is unlikely to achieve the degree for which he/she is registered, this should be notified to the Head of Department/School who, following consultation with the Departmental/School Graduate Studies Committee, should communicate with the candidate without delay. A candidate's progress may be evaluated either routinely or on specific occasions, on the request of the student or supervisor, using the procedures described for PhD degrees here.
15.The regulations and procedures for the conduct of the Masters (Research) examination can be found in the Procedures for Submission and Examination of Research Masters Degrees in University College Cork.
Note: Students registered for the Master's (Research) degree before 1 October, 2009 may choose between the regulations described in the Procedures document referenced above and those applying previously by indicating their choice when they are notifying the University of their intention to submit their thesis.
The differences which apply in the regulations applying before 1 October, 2009 concern the composition of the Examination Board, as follows:
16. In all Faculties/Colleges, Examination Boards for Master's Degrees by Research will involve at least two Intern Examiners and at least one External Examiner approved by the Head of Department/School and countersigned by the Dean.
17. The Intern Examiners will be nominated by the Head of Department/School following consultation with the Departmental/School Graduate Studies Committee and will normally include the Supervisor. One of the Intern Examiners will be the relevant Professor, or subject to the agreement of the Head, the nominee of the Professor.
18. The External Examiner will be nominated by the Head of Department/School following consultation with the Departmental/School Graduate Studies Committee and the relevant Professor and the Supervisor.
19. One of the Intern Examiners other than the supervisor will be nominated by the Head to act as Chair of the Board.
20. Where the Master's candidate is a member of UCC's academic staff, there will be an additional External Examiner for the thesis. The same rule will apply where a thesis is being presented by a part-time member of the University staff. However, for the purposes of this regulation, a candidate will not be classified as a part-time member of staff.
a. where they only carry out work for the Department/School pursuant to a student support scheme or
b. where they are paid on an hourly basis, and, in the opinion of the Head of Department/School, their level of involvement in the Department/School is not such as to justify the application of the rule requiring an additional External Examiner.