The Virtual MPhil falls under the current Open University part-time MPhil regulations; however, most processes take place remotely through online technology, with the exception of the viva voce examination of the dissertation at the end, which will take place at The Open University in Milton Keynes, UK. What follows is a summary of relevant regulations, based on The Open University Research Degrees Prospectus and Student Handbook.
The Virtual MPhil takes a minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 6 years. On registration, a student enrolls on a probationary period of at most 2 years. If completed successfully, registration to the MPhil is confirmed. If not completed successfully, the registration may be terminated. Students are required to submit and defend their thesis within the maximum registration period of six years.
In order to gain an MPhil, a student’s study should make a distinct contribution to scholarship in a specific field. The study entails undertaking a research programme that requires proficiency in research methods and techniques, and an adequate knowledge and critical review of the subject literature. The student will have to write and defend a thesis of no more than 60,000 words. MPhil candidates are assessed on the quality of their thesis and also on their performance in an oral examination.