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Award Regulations

These are the award regulations for the Software Engineering Programme at Oxford; they should be read in conjunction with the programme specification, and the admissions policy, and the examination conventions.

Regulations

For students registering on the M.Sc. in Software Engineering or the M.Sc. in Software and Systems Security on or after 1 April 2010. (Students registering prior to that date should consult the previous regulations.)

  1. Definition of the Programme
    1. The Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Divisional Board shall offer a Programme of Studies in Software Engineering at postgraduate level.
    2. The subjects of the Programme shall be Software Engineering, Software and Systems Security, and Object Technology.
    3. The following awards shall be available within the Programme:
      1. M.Sc. in Software Engineering
      2. M.Sc. in Software and Systems Security
      3. Postgraduate Diploma in Software Engineering
      4. Postgraduate Diploma in Software and Systems Security
      5. Postgraduate Certificate in Software Engineering
      6. Postgraduate Certificate in Software and Systems Security
      7. Postgraduate Certificate in Object Technology
    4. The Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Divisional Board shall elect for the supervision of the Programme a Supervisory Committee which shall have the power to arrange lectures and other instruction.
  2. Progression
    1. Entry to the Programme is to the M.Sc. in Software Engineering or the M.Sc. in Software and Systems Security.
    2. With the approval of the Programme Director, a candidate may transfer from the M.Sc. in Software Engineering to the M.Sc. in Software and Systems Security, or from the M.Sc. in Software and Systems Security to the M.Sc. in Software Engineering, subject to being eligible to study for the relevant award as set out in sections C and D below.
    3. With the approval of the Programme Director, a candidate for the M.Sc. in Software Engineering or for the M.Sc. in Software and Systems Security may be awarded one of the Postgraduate Certificates or Postgraduate Diplomas set out in clause 3 above, subject to such a candidate having satisfied the criteria for the award of the relevant Postgraduate Certificate or Postgraduate Diploma as set out in sections C and D below.
  3. Eligibility for awards: duration of study
    1. To be eligible for the award of an M.Sc., a student must have been on the Register for the Programme for a period of not less than two years, and not more than four years.
    2. To be eligible for the award of a Postgraduate Diploma, a student must have been on the Register for the Programme for a period of not less than one year, and not more than three years.
    3. To be eligible for the award of a Postgraduate Certificate, a student must have been on the Register for the Programme for a period of not less than one year, and not more than two years.
    4. The Programme Director shall have power
      1. to grant suspension from the Register for a period or periods totalling not more than three terms during each of the maximum periods given in clauses 8, 9, and 10 above;
      2. to approve an extension of time of not more than three terms to each of the maximum periods given in clauses 8, 9, and 10 above;
      subject to the total periods of suspensions and extensions not exceeding six terms overall.
  4. Eligibility for awards: study and examinations
    1. Students on the Register shall enter for the examination for the award of the M.Sc., unless they have been given approval under clause 7 above to be awarded one of the Postgraduate Certificates or Postgraduate Diplomas.
    2. Schedules A-C of modules will be published at http://www.cs.ox.ac.uk/softeng/handbook/schedules.html. If insufficient students register for a module the Programme Director may make the decision not to offer that module.
    3. Every candidate will be required to satisfy the examiners in the following:
      1. M.Sc. in Software Engineering
        1. attendance at a minimum of ten modules chosen from those in the Schedule, comprising a programme of study approved by the Supervisory Committee;
        2. submission of at least ten written assignments corresponding to those modules;
        3. participation in a project module;
        4. submission of a dissertation of not more than 20,000 words (including appendices and footnotes but excluding bibliography) on a subject selected by the candidate in consultation with the supervisor and approved by the Supervisory Committee. In preparation for the dissertation, candidates will be required to submit a proposal following participation in the project module. Dissertations submitted which differ from the topic approved by the Supervisory Committee may not be marked by the examiners.
      2. M.Sc. in Software and Systems Security
        1. attendance at a minimum of ten modules chosen from those in the Schedule, of which six should come from Schedule C, together comprising a programme of study approved by the Supervisory Committee;
        2. submission of at least ten written assignments corresponding to those modules attended;
        3. participation in a project module;
        4. submission of a dissertation of not more than 20,000 words (including appendices and footnotes but excluding bibliography) on a subject selected by the candidate in consultation with the supervisor and approved by the Supervisory Committee. In preparation for the dissertation, candidates will be required to submit a proposal following participation in the project module. Dissertations submitted which differ from the topic approved by the Supervisory Committee may not be marked by the examiners.
        5. the subject of the projects and dissertation shall relate to software and systems security, and must have been approved as such by the Supervisory Committee.
      3. Postgraduate Diploma in Software Engineering
        1. attendance at a minimum of eight modules chosen from those in the Schedule, comprising a programme of study approved by the Supervisory Committee;
        2. submission of at least eight written assignments corresponding to those modules attended.
      4. Postgraduate Diploma in Software and Systems Security
        1. attendance at a minimum of eight modules chosen from those in the Schedule, of which at least five should come from Schedule C, comprising a programme of study approved by the Supervisory Committee;
        2. submission of at least eight written assignments corresponding to those modules attended.
      5. Postgraduate Certificate in Software Engineering
        1. attendance at a minimum of four modules, chosen from the Schedule, together comprising a programme of study approved by the Supervisory Committee;
        2. submission of at least four written assignments, corresponding to those modules attended.
      6. Postgraduate Certificate in Software and Systems Security
        1. attendance at a minimum of four modules, chosen from the Schedule, at least three of which chosen from Schedule C, together comprising a programme of study approved by the Supervisory Committee;
        2. submission of at least four written assignments, corresponding to those modules attended.
      7. Postgraduate Certificate in Object Technology
        1. attendance at a minimum of four modules, at least three of which chosen from Schedule B, together comprising a programme of study approved by the Supervisory Committee;
        2. submission of at least four written assignments, corresponding to those modules attended.

      The assignments and, for the M.Sc., two typewritten or printed copies of the dissertation, shall be forwarded to the examiners for consideration by such dates as the examiners shall determine and shall notify to candidates, supervisors and tutors. The assignments and the dissertation must be accompanied by a statement that it is the candidate's work except where otherwise indicated. Candidates are usually required to submit the assignments electronically. Details will be given in the programme handbook. Any candidate who is unable, for some reason, to submit practical work electronically must apply to the Programme Director for permission to submit the work in paper form. Such applications must reach the Programme Director two weeks before the deadline for submitting the work. The two copies of the dissertation shall be addressed to the Chairman of Examiners, Software Engineering Programme, c/o Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford, OX1 4BG.

    4. Provided the Supervisory Committee is satisfied that a candidate has undertaken equivalent study, of an appropriate standard, normally at another institution of higher education, the committee shall have the discretion to permit the candidate to be exempted from attending, and submitting the written assignment for, modules chosen from Schedule A, B, or C, as required under clause 13 above as follows:
      1. For the M.Sc.: up to two of the total of ten modules for which written assignments are required;
      2. For the award of the Postgraduate Diploma: up to two of the total of eight modules;
      3. For the award of the Postgraduate Certificate: up to one of the total of four modules.
    5. Candidates may be required to attend a viva voce examination as part of the examination for each award at the discretion of the examiners.
    6. The examiners may award a distinction for excellence in the whole examination for each award.
    7. Candidates who fail to satisfy the examiners in the assignments under clause 14 above may be permitted to resubmit work in respect of part or parts of the examination which they have failed for examination on not more than one occasion which shall normally be within one year of the initial failure. No written assignment shall be submitted to the examiners on more than one occasion.
  5. Subsuming of previous awards under the Programme
    1. In the exceptional circumstances that a candidate granted approval under clause 7 above to be awarded of one of the Postgraduate Certificates or Postgraduate Diplomas (set out in clause 3 above) is readmitted to one of the M.Scs (set out in clause 3 above), then the following apply:

      1. If any candidate who is successful in the examination for the Postgraduate Diploma has previously successfully completed the Postgraduate Certificate, and for that examination has incorporated the assignments submitted for the Postgraduate Certificate into the Postgraduate Diploma, then the Postgraduate Diploma will subsume his or her Certificate.
      2. If any candidate who is successful in the examination for the M.Sc. has previously successfully completed the Postgraduate Diploma or the Postgraduate Certificate, and for that examination has incorporated the assignments submitted for the Postgraduate Certificate or Postgraduate Diploma into the M.Sc., then the subsequent award will subsume his or her previous award.
  6. Examination Conventions and Readmission
    1. In the case of a candidate who is readmitted they will be subject to the Examination Conventions in force at the date of their readmission.