The Master of Philosophy is a research based degree, in which students develop research skills that will be invaluable for further work in a research environment. The MPhil degree has a status higher than that of other masters degrees but lower than that of the PhD degree. Students are expected to make a significant contribution to knowledge in the field of study.
The regulations for the MPhil degree are set out in the University Calendar.
More information can be found in the Handbook for Research Degrees available from the Postgraduate Studies Office.
You will follow a programme of full-time advanced study and research under the direction of a supervisor, normally at the University, and present a thesis on an investigation relating to some branch of computer science.
The MPhil degree has a status higher than that of other Masters degrees but lower than that of the PhD degree. It is a research degree designed to recognise an original contribution to
knowledge and the comments on the originality and signifi cance of the PhD thesis apply here too. However, it is intended that an MPhil thesis be the product of only one year of full-time research (though in practice candidates invariably take longer) and the original contribution to knowledge will therefore be less than would be expected in a PhD thesis.
The thesis may consist of either published or unpublished material, or a combination of both, but you should indicate in the thesis any part that you have used or presented for any other degree.
It is possible to transfer from the MPhil programme directly into the PhD programme before completion, provided that a suitable case can be made based on excellent progress. Most students who seek a Masters level qualification rather than a Doctorate opt to study for the MSc instead of the MPhil.
To enrol for the MPhil you are normally required to hold a Masters or Bachelors degree in the appropriate field, with First or Second Class Honours. If you are a Waikato University graduate wishing to do a MPhil in the Faculty of Computing and Mathematical Sciences, you should have qualified for either the BCMS (Hons) or BSc (Hons) or the MSc with First or Second Class Honours.
You should begin by discussing your application with the chairperson of the appropriate department or, in the case of Computer Science, with the Director of Graduate Studies in that department. If you live outside Hamilton this initial discussion can be by letter, telephone, fax, or e-mail.
You will be referred to members of staff who are potential supervisors in the area in which you wish to work. You can help in this process by examining the research interests of members of the appropriate department (see the department's Graduate Handbook or refer to the department's Web pages), and looking for ideas about likely supervisors.
The next step is discussion with potential supervisors about project areas. You can contact them by letter, telephone, fax, or e-mail. It is always a good idea to consult widely at first-with more than one potential supervisor-and to consider a variety of possible research topics, though eventually you must settle on a particular supervisor and project area. The departmental Chairperson, or the Director of Graduate Studies, in the case of Computer Science students, will remain involved until that stage is reached.
Research students are normally supervised by a panel of two or three supervisors, one of whom-the one with whom you have set up the research topic-is designated "chief supervisor". This scheme provides breadth of coverage and some insurance against a supervisor's absence or illness. Your chief supervisor will arrange the other member for your supervisory panel, and will discuss the choice with you.
The next step is to fill out an application form for the MPhil degree. This is an application to the Higher Degrees Committee for registration. It will include a synopsis, usually about one page, of the research project you intend to tackle. Your supervisor will help you to come up with a suitable description of the proposed research.
Once the Higher Degrees Committee has approved your admission to the programme, you must then fill in a standard University of Waikato enrolment form so that the Academic Services Division can record the necessary information. For more information about the formal side of the registration process, please contact the Postgraduate Studies Office.