Final research paper
The 10 research credits are obtained by writing a research paper. The paper addresses a question or problem of the student's own choice, but it has to be agreed with the supervisor. It is possible to write the paper on one of the topics of the other modules, or to develop (substantially) one of the papers written for the other modules.
Work on the paper will be supervised by one of the faculty of the APhil Master. Students can approach any of the faculty to ask whether he or she would be prepared to supervise their paper. Typically this would be done some time into the second semester. The coordinator will then, some time before April, ask all students whether they have found a topic and a supervisor. In April, each student will be assigned a supervisor. This assignment will take into account, as far as possible, the arrangements already made between students and potential supervisors.
For those who later go on to study for a PhD in Analytic Philosophy, the supervisor of the research paper need not, and often will not, be the future PhD supervisor. In addition to giving initial advice on an appropriate question to be addressed in the paper, supervisors will typically read, and provide feedback on, one complete draft of the research paper (whether in one go or in installments). They are not expected to go over the same material several times. Students are advised to plan their meetings with the supervisor ahead of time, supervisors aren't always available at short notice.
The Research paper must not exceed 8000 words in length.
Research papers will be examined by a committee formed by three examiners: the supervisor, the coordinator and a third member which will be appointed by the coordinator in agreement with the supervisor (from amongst APhil faculty). If the coordinator is the supervisor she/he must appoint two other members. The student has to defend the paper in a meeting with the committee in which usually the supervisor and the third examiner are present. This meeting is nominally public, as per university regulations, however in practice the defense meeting will usually be a discussion just between the student and the examiners. The committee will make public the marks of all research papers that it has evaluated in the 24 h. following the examination (if it evaluates more than one research paper, the qualifications will be published in the 24 h. following the last examination).
Students must submit their research paper in an agreed format by the agreed deadline. Typically, the agreed format will involve the student sending the paper via email as a pdf file to each of the examiners.
Usually marks have to be delivered to the faculty approximately by 10th of September, the exact deadline for delivery of marks is determined every year by the Faculty of Philosophy of the UB. The defense meeting has to take place before this date, at a time agreed early on between student and examiners. The research paper must be submitted by a deadline that allows the examiners to study it before the defense. This will be agreed individually, but should be agreed well in advance when the date for the defense is set. Thus, a typical timetable might be: deadline for submitting paper: 1st of September, defense meeting: 8th of September. There is no objection to holding the defense much earlier, say in July.
If you have any questions about any aspect of the research paper, please speak to your tutor.