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Encyclopedia > Degrees of Oxford University

This article concerns the degrees of Oxford University. The system of academic degrees in the University of Oxford can be confusing to those not familiar with it. This is not merely because many degree titles date from the Middle Ages, but also because many changes have been haphazardly introduced in recent years. For example, the (mediaeval) B.D., B.M., B.C.L., etc., are postgraduate degrees, while the (modern) M.Phys., M.Eng., etc., are undergraduate degrees. A degree is any of a wide range of status levels conferred by institutions of higher education, such as universities, normally as the result of successfully completing a program of study. ... The University of Oxford, located in the city of Oxford, England, is the oldest university in the English-speaking world. ...


In postnominals, "Oxford University" is normally abbreviated "Oxon.", which is short for (Academia) Oxoniensis: e.g. M.A. (Oxon.)

Contents


Undergraduate degrees

  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.)

The Bachelor's degree is awarded soon after the end of the degree course (three or four years after matriculation). Until recently, all undergraduates studied for the degree of Bachelor of Arts. The B.F.A. was introduced in 1978. Holders of the degrees of B.A. and B.F.A. both proceed in time to the degree of Master of Arts (M.A.). Note that even in science courses, such as the three-year Physics degree, students are awarded the B.A.. The degree of Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) has never been awarded as an undergraduate degree at Oxford; it used to be awarded as a graduate qualification, however. A Bachelor of Arts (B.A. or A.B., from the Latin Artium Baccalaureus) is an undergraduate academic degree awarded for a course or program in the arts and/or sciences. ... The Bachelor of Fine Arts, usually abbreviated BFA, is the standard undergraduate degree for students seeking a professional education in the visual or performing arts. ... The matriculation ceremony at Oxford Matriculation refers to the formal process of entering a university, or of becoming eligible to enter by acquiring the required prior qualifications. ... 1978 (MCMLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (the link is to a full 1978 calendar). ...

  • Bachelor of Theology (B.Th.)
  • Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.)

The B.Th. is awarded primarily to students of the various Theological Colleges and Halls enjoying some sort of associate status with the University, such as Wycliffe Hall, St Stephen's House, Ripon College (Cuddesdon) [1] and the former Westminster College, Oxford. Usually, these students are candidates for the ordained ministry of one of the mainstream Christian denominations, but may be drawn from any faith background or none at the discretion of the College or Hall. It should not be confused with the degree of bachelor of divinity (B.D.), which is a postgraduate degree. This page is a candidate for speedy deletion, because: it is patent nonsense. ... A Bachelor of Education (BEd) is an undergraduate academic degree which qualifies the graduate as a teacher in schools. ... Wycliffe Hall is a Church of England theological college, and one of the constituent institutions of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. ... St Stephen’s House, Oxford, is an Anglican theological college and a Hall of the University of Oxford, England. ... Ripon College Cuddesdon, is an Anglican theological college (seminary) located in Cuddesdon, a small village a short distance from Oxford. ... Westminster College, Oxford was founded in 1851 in Horseferry Road, London, and originally specialised in the training of teachers for Methodist schools. ...


The B.Ed. was formerly awarded to students at Westminster College, Oxford, when that course was validated by the University. Westminster College, Oxford was founded in 1851 in Horseferry Road, London, and originally specialised in the training of teachers for Methodist schools. ...


Undergraduate masters degrees

In the 1990s the degrees of Master of Engineering, etc., were introduced to increase public recognition of the four-year undergraduate science programmes in those subjects: The 1990s decade refers to the years from 1990 to 1999, inclusive. ...

The holders of these degrees have the academic dress and standing of BAs until the twenty-first term from matriculation, when they rank and dress as M.A.s. In Cambridge the same purpose has been accomplished more elegantly by granting science undergraduates the additional degree of Master of Natural Sciences (M.Sci.) while continuing to award them the B.A. (and the subsequent M.A.). Note that biology undergraduates are still awarded the B.A./M.A., as are all other undergraduates, whether their degree courses last three years or four years. A Master of Engineering (M.Eng. ... A Master of Mathematics (or MMath) degree is a specific masters degree for courses in the field of mathematics. ... The University of Cambridge (often called Cambridge University), located in Cambridge, England, is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world. ... Biology is the branch of science dealing with the study of life. ...


The degree of Master of Arts

  • Master of Arts (M.A.)

The degree of Master of Arts is awarded to B.A.s and B.F.A.s twenty-one terms (seven years) after matriculation, without further examination, upon the payment of a nominal fee. Recipients of undergraduate masters' degrees are not eligible to incept as M.A., but are afforded the same privileges after the statutory twenty-one terms (currently only nine terms). The degree of Master of Arts degree is an undergraduate degree awarded by the universities of Oxford and Cambridge as well as by the University of Dublin. ...


This system dates from the Middle Ages, when the study of the liberal arts took seven years. In between matriculation and the licence to teach which was awarded at the end of an undergraduate's studies (whereafter he incepted as a Master of Arts), he took an intermediate degree known as the baccalaureate, or degree of Bachelor of Arts. In the University of Paris the baccalaureate was granted soon after responsions (the examination for matriculation), whereas in Oxford and Cambridge the bachelor's degree was postponed to a much later stage, and gradually developed a greater significance. While the requirements for the bachelor's degree increased, those for the master's degree gradually diminished. An examination along modern lines was introduced for the M.A. degree in 1800, but this was abolished in 1807. The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times, beginning with the Renaissance. ... In the history of education, the seven liberal arts comprise two groups of studies, the trivium and the quadrivium. ... The Sorbonne, Paris, in a 17th century engraving The historic University of Paris (French: Université de Paris) first appeared in the second half of the 12th century, but was in 1970 reorganized as 13 autonomous universities (University of Paris I–XIII). ... Responsions, was previously a name describing the first of the three examinations once required for an academic degree at the University of Oxford. ... The University of Cambridge (often called Cambridge University), located in Cambridge, England, is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world. ... 1800 (MDCCC) was an common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... 1807 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ...


While the length of the undergraduate degree course has been shortened to three or four years, the University of Oxford still requires seven years to pass before the awarding of the M.A. The universities of Cambridge and Dublin have similar systems. In the four ancient universities of Scotland, the B.A. has become obsolete, and the Scottish M.A. is awarded on completion of the four-year undergraduate degree course in the arts. The University of Cambridge (often called Cambridge University), located in Cambridge, England, is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world. ... The University of Dublin, located in Dublin, Ireland, was founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I, making it Irelands oldest university. ... The Ancient universities of Scotland are those universities founded during the medieval period, and comprise (list by year of being chartered): The University of St Andrews, founded 1411 by papal bull The University of Glasgow, founded 1451 by papal bull The University of Aberdeen, founded 1495 by papal bull (as... A Master of Arts in Scotland is an undergraduate academic degree in humanities and social sciences awarded by the five ancient universities. ...


The shortening of the degree course reflects the fact that much of the teaching of the liberal arts was taken over by high schools, and undergraduates now enter university at a much older age.


Significance of the M.A.

Despite the fact that no greater academic achievement is involved, the M.A. remains the most important degree in Oxford. Traditionally the M.A. represented full membership of the University: until 2000, only M.A.s (as well as doctors of divinity, medicine, and civil law) were members of Convocation, the main legislative assembly of the University, which today only elects the Chancellor and the professor of Poetry. Before then, members of the university who had not yet been made M.A. were known as "junior members", while those who were M.A.s were "senior members". This conveniently excluded most postgraduate students from the privileges the university and colleges accord to dons as well as their graduate alumni, such as the right to dine at High Table. This article is about the year 2000. ... A Convocation is a group of people formally assembled for a special purpose. ... A Chancellor is the head of a university. ... The term Don may refer to: Don, Donald Ducks nickname. ... An alumn (with a silent n), alum, alumnus, or alumna is a former student of a college, university, or school. ...


Members of the University who are M.A.s still outrank any person who does not have the degree of M.A., other than doctors of divinity, medicine, and civil law. Hence, a doctor of philosophy who is an M.A. outranks someone who is simply an M.A., but the M.A. outranks a doctor of philosophy who is not an M.A.


Whilst recently there has been increasing criticism of being awarded a Masters degree whilst not doing any additional academic work, supporters assert that the academic workload of a three-year Oxford undergraduate degree exceeds that of a four-year Masters course at many other British universities.


Postgraduate degrees

Bachelors' degrees

In mediƦval times a student could not study some subjects until he had completed his study in the liberal arts. These were known as the higher faculties. The degrees in Science and Letters were added in the 19th century, and the degree in Philosophy was added in 1914 (although the D.Phil. is not considered a "higher doctorate"). The higher bachelor's degree programme is generally a taught programme of one or two years for graduates. In Medicine and Surgery this corresponds to the clinical phase of training, after which they are accorded the courtesy title "Doctor". The B.M. and B.Mus. are open only to Oxford graduates who have done well in the B.A. examinations in divinity and music respectively. The B.Phil./M.Phil. is a part-taught, part-research degree which is often a stepping stone to the D.Phil. A Bachelor of Divinity (BD or BDiv) is usually an undergraduate academic degree awarded for a courses taken in the study of divinity or related disciplines, such as theology or, rarely, religious studies. ... The Bachelor of Medicine, abbreviated BM, is an academic degree denoting the degree obtained after studying Medicine at University. ... A Bachelor of Science (B.S., B.Sc. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Bachelor of Philosophy (B.Phil. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1914 (MCMXIV) was a common year starting on Thursday. ...


Masters' degrees

  • Master of Surgery (M.Ch.)

The M.Ch. is the higher degree in surgery, and is awarded on similar conditions to higher doctorates such as the D.M., e.g., ten years must have passed since the lower degree in the faculty. In mediƦval times the distinction between a master and doctor was not significant, and both words signified the higher degree in a faculty. The title "master" is used instead of "doctor", as surgeons in England are traditionally known as "Mr" rather than "Dr".

Due to pressure from employers and overseas applicants to conform with United States practice, which is also that of most other U.K. universities, the B.Litt., B.Sc., and B.Phil. (in degrees other than philosophy) were re-titled masters' degrees. However, the more prestigious B.D., B.C.L., B.M. & B.Ch., B.Mus., and philosophy B.Phil. degrees are well recognised and so have seen no need to change. In the usage of the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and some other countries, the Master of Philosophy (M.Phil. ... A Master of Letters (M.Litt. ... A masters degree is an academic degree usually awarded for completion of a postgraduate course of one or two years in duration. ...

The M.Jur., M.St., and M.B.A. are awarded after taught courses, the M.Jur. being the equivalent of the B.C.L. for students from non-common-law backgrounds. The M.Th. is an applied theology course for those intending to enter holy orders. The degree of Master of Education was formerly awarded to students at Westminster College, when that course was validated by the University. A Masters degree which is typically earned after one has already completed a Master of Divinity or a Master of Theological Studies. ... Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a masters degree in business administration, which attracts people from a wide range of academic disciplines. ... The Master of Education (M.Ed or M.A.E.) is a degree conferred by American institutions for educators moving on in their field. ... The Master of Education (M.Ed or M.A.E.) is a degree conferred by American institutions for educators moving on in their field. ... Westminster College, Oxford was founded in 1851 in Horseferry Road, London, and originally specialised in the training of teachers for Methodist schools. ...


Doctorates

Bachelors in the higher faculties other than Medicine can proceed to a doctorate in the same faculty without further examination, on presentation of evidence of an important contribution to their subject, e.g., published work, research, etc. Doctorates in the higher faculties may also be awarded honoris causa, i.e., as honorary degrees. It is traditional for the Chancellor to be made a D.C.L. jure officio (by virtue of his office). Until the 19th century all bishops who had studied at Oxford were made D.D.s jure officio. Doctor of Divinity (D.D., Divinitatis Doctor in Latin) is an academic degree. ... Some universities, such as the University of Oxford, award Doctor of Civil Law (DCL) degrees instead of Doctor of Laws (LL.D.) degrees. ... Doctor of Medicine (M.D., from the Latin Medicinæ Doctor) is an academic degree. ... A Doctor of Letters is a university academic degree. ... D.Sc, Sc. ... The Doctor of Music degree (D.Mus. ...

The DPhil is a research degree, modelled on the German and American Ph.D., which was introduced in 1914. Rather atypically, Oxford was the first university in the U.K. to accept this innovation. Doctor of Philosophy, or Ph. ... 1914 (MCMXIV) was a common year starting on Thursday. ...

The new degrees of D.Clin.Psychol. and Eng.D. are professional degrees in the American model. The Eng.D. is the only Oxford degree to use the Cambridge abbreviation format.

A Doctor of Engineering is a university academic degree. ...

Order of academic standing

Members of the University of Oxford are ranked in the following order according to their degree. The order is as follows:

  • Doctor of Divinity
  • Doctor of Civil Law
  • Doctor of Medicine if also a Master of Arts
  • Doctor of Letters if also a Master of Arts
  • Doctor of Science if also a Master of Arts
  • Doctor of Music if also a Master of Arts
  • Doctor of Philosophy if also a Master of Arts
  • Doctor of Clinical Psychology if also a Master of Arts
  • Master of Surgery if also a Master of Arts
  • Master of Science if also a Master of Arts
  • Master of Letters if also a Master of Arts
  • Master of Philosophy if also a Master of Arts
  • Master of Studies if also a Master of Arts
  • Master of Theology if also a Master of Arts
  • Master of Education if also a Master of Arts
  • Master of Business Administration if also a Master of Arts
  • Master of Fine Art if also a Master of Arts
  • Master of Arts, or Master of Biochemistry or Chemistry or Earth Sciences or Engineering or Mathematics or Physics with effect from the twenty-first term from matriculation
  • Doctor of Medicine if not also a Master of Arts
  • Doctor of Letters if not also a Master of Arts
  • Doctor of Science if not also a Master of Arts
  • Doctor of Music if not also a Master of Arts
  • Doctor of Philosophy if not also a Master of Arts
  • Doctor of Clinical Psychology if not also a Master of Arts
  • Master of Surgery if not also a Master of Arts
  • Master of Science if not also a Master of Arts
  • Master of Letters if not also a Master of Arts
  • Master of Philosophy if not also a Master of Arts
  • Master of Studies if not also a Master of Arts
  • Master of Theology if not also a Master of Arts
  • Master of Education if not also a Master of Arts
  • Master of Business Administration if not also a Master of Arts
  • Master of Fine Art if not also a Master of Arts
  • Bachelor of Divinity
  • Bachelor of Civil Law
  • Magister Juris
  • Bachelor of Medicine
  • Bachelor of Surgery
  • Bachelor of Letters
  • Bachelor of Science
  • Bachelor of Music
  • Bachelor of Philosophy
  • Bachelor of Arts, or Master of Biochemistry or Chemistry or Earth Sciences or Engineering or Mathematics or Physics until the twenty-first term from matriculation
  • Bachelor of Fine Art
  • Bachelor of Theology
  • Bachelor of Education

Within each degree the holders are ranked by the date on which they proceeded to their degree. In the case of people who graduated on the same day they are ranked by alphabetical order.


See also

A degree is any of a wide range of status levels conferred by institutions of higher education, such as universities, normally as the result of successfully completing a program of study. ... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ... A masters degree is an academic degree usually awarded for completion of a postgraduate or graduate course of one to three years in duration. ... The University of Oxford, located in the city of Oxford, England, is the oldest university in the English-speaking world. ... This page concerns the Academic dress of Oxford University. ...

External links

  • University of Oxford

  Results from FactBites:
 
Degrees of Oxford University - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1765 words)
In the University of Paris the baccalaureate was granted soon after responsions (the examination for matriculation), whereas in Oxford and Cambridge the bachelor's degree was postponed to a much later stage, and gradually developed a greater significance.
While the length of the undergraduate degree course has been shortened to three or four years, the University of Oxford still requires seven years to pass before the awarding of the M.A. The universities of Cambridge and Dublin have similar systems.
The degree of Master of Education was formerly awarded to students at Westminster College, when that course was validated by the University.
University of Oxford - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2920 words)
Oxford is a member of the Russell Group of research-led British universities, the Coimbra Group (a network of leading European universities), the LERU (League of European Research Universities), and is also a core member of the Europaeum.
Oxford is a collegiate university, consisting of the University's central facilities, such as departments and faculties, libraries and science facilities, and 39 colleges and 7 Permanent Private Halls (PPHs).
The executive body of the University is the University Council, which consists of the Vice-Chancellor, Dr John Hood (succeeding Sir Colin Lucas), heads of departments and other members elected by Congregation in addition to observers from the Student Union.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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