Please note that option papers will change from time to time, and not all will be run every year.
As at September 2020, it is expected that the following options will run in the academic year 2021-22: Gender and Society in India c. 1800 to the present; Societies and Economies in India c. 1600-1800; The Economic Development of South Asia 1947-2017; The International Relations of South Asia; Trade and Exchange in South Asia: transcultural objects, relations and identities; Culture and Society in contemporary India; as well as most of the advanced language options.
Students may alternatively apply to take an 'approved option' from elsewhere within the University, subject to the agreement of both the Modern South Asian Studies Teaching Committee and the Graduate Studies Committee of the hosting department. Such options may include: The History and Politics of South Asia (run by ODID) and the Anthropology of Buddhism (run by SAME).
By the end of the first year, MPhil students will have worked out a thesis proposal, and plans for field or archival work to be undertaken during the summer months between the first and second years.
In the second year, all students will attend a course on advanced methods, as part of which they will make a presentation of their developing thesis project. Both language track and non-language track students will take one further option paper and language track students will additionally continue their intensive language study. The major focus of the second year will be the 30,000-word thesis, for which you will receive expert supervision.
The MPhil is jointly taught by staff within the Social Sciences and Humanities Divisions, who will also assess your application. The application process is administered by the Oxford School of Global and Area Studies.
Students on the course will experience a variety of teaching modes, including lectures, seminars, classes, student presentations, and small group teaching. Supervision for the thesis will be offered as a series of individual meetings between you and your thesis supervisor.
You will be required to gather relevant materials for your thesis, usually by working in libraries and archives in the UK but potentially also via fieldwork.
Assessment is through a combination of coursework, assessed essays, written examinations and the thesis.
The Course Handbook for 2019-20 is attached below. (Please note information in the handbook relates specifically to the year for which it was published and information may change in future years.)