Examinations and Boards

Contents of this section:

[Note. An asterisk denotes a reference to a previously published or recurrent entry.]

Return to Contents Page of this issue


With the approval of the Educational Policy and Standards Committee of Council, and, where applicable, the Humanities Board, the following changes in regulations made by the Life and Environmental Sciences Board and the Board of the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages will come into effect on 1 November.

1 Life and Environmental Sciences Board

M.Sc. by Coursework in Biodiversity, Conservation, and Management

With effect from 1 October 2003 (for first examination in 2004)

1 In Examination Regulations, 2002, p. 671, after l. 14 insert:
`Biodiversity, Conservation, and Management       Life and Environmental

2 Ibid., p. 681, after l. 8 insert:

`Biodiversity, Conservation, and Management

1. The Life and Environmental Sciences Divisional Board shall elect for the supervision of the course a standing committee. The Course Director will be responsible to the standing committee.

2. Candidates must follow a course of instruction in Biodiversity, Conservation, and Management for at least three terms, and will, when entering for the examination, be required to produce a certificate from the Course Director to this effect.

3. The examination will consist of:

(i) a written examination of three three-hour papers based on nine core courses as described in the schedule;

(ii) two assessed essays based on option courses;

(iii) a dissertation on a subject selected in consultation with the supervisor and Course Director and approved by the standing committee.

4. Candidates must submit to the Course Director by the end of eighth week of Hilary Term in the year in which they enter the examination, the title and a brief statement of the form and scope of their dissertation, together with the name of a person who has agreed to act as their supervisor during preparation of the dissertation.

5. The dissertation shall be of a maximum length of 15,000 words excluding appendices and references.

6. Two double-spaced, bound typewritten or printed copies of the dissertation must be sent, not later than noon on the first Friday in September in the year in which the written examination is taken, to the M.Sc. examiners (Biodiversity, Conservation, and Management), c/o the Clerk of the Schools, Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford OX1 4BG. The examiners may retain one copy of the dissertation of each candidate who passes the examination for deposit in an appropriate library. Both copies must bear the candidate's examination number but not his/her name.

The dissertation shall be accompanied by a statement certifying that the dissertation is the candidate's own work except where otherwise indicated.

7. In the written examination, the examiners will permit the use of hand-held pocket calculators subject to the conditions set out under the heading `Use of calculators in examinations' in the `Special Regulations concerning Examinations'.

8. The examiners may also examine any candidate viva voce on the candidate's written papers, dissertation, or both.

9. To complete the course successfully the candidate must satisfy the examiners in each of the three specified elements (core courses, options and dissertation). A candidate who has failed to satisfy the examiners in any of the three elements may enter again for the examination in those elements on one, but not more than one, subsequent occasion.

10. Arrangements for reassessment shall be as follows:

(i) Core courses. Candidates who fail any of the core-course examinations may resit the examination in the Trinity Term of the following academic year.

(ii) Options. Candidates who fail any of the assessed essays may resubmit that essay or essays to the Clerk of the Schools by noon on Friday four weeks after week nine of the term in which the essay or essays were first submitted.

(iii) Dissertation. Candidates who fail the dissertation may resubmit the dissertation by the required date in Trinity Term of the following academic year.

11. The examiners may award a distinction for excellence in the whole examination.


(a) Core courses

(i) Biodiversity: its definition, meaning, and significance. This course will cover the origin and evolution of the term Biodiversity. It will provide an advanced understanding of the definitions, measurement and terminologies used in biodiversity discourse and discuss the different perceptions and uses of this term in society.

(ii) Developing a critical understanding of the science of biodiversity. This course will critically examine the data and analytical techniques used to legitimise biodiversity as a scientific and policy imperative. It will discuss the validity of perceived `truths' and how these have shaped contemporary biodiversity research, policy and practice. It will examine the wide range of methods needed to integrate qualitative/quantitative data and to link different components measured by different stakeholders.

(iii) Practical techniques for biodiversity assessment and monitoring. This course will provide an advanced introduction to the techniques of collecting and analysing biodiversity data. It will cover subject areas such as research design, ecological field techniques, rapid biodiversity assessment techniques, laboratory and statistical techniques, remote sensing, and GIS.

(iv) Conservation conventions, legislation and the role of statutory agencies. This course will study the genealogy of conservation and environmental law and its relationship to international conventions. It will focus on the how these statutes relate to and structure the operations of Governments, NGO and corporate bodies. It will also cover the processes of conservation policy-making, implementation of national and local biodiversity action plans, and the stakeholder consultation processes that must accompany them.

(v) Strategic conservation planning. This course will provide an advanced introduction into spatial and species-based approaches for conservation planning. It will focus on a critical examination of high profile global schemes, in particular those promoted by international NGOs, and discuss cutting edge approaches employing landscape, social values and climatic frameworks.

(vi) Biodiversity, communities, and local economic development. This course will study current debates on the relationship between biodiversity and people in developing countries. In particular it will consider issues surrounding integrated conservation development projects, the protectionist versus community-based conservation debate, and the role of traditional approaches to biodiversity conservation.

(vii) Conservation, ethics, values, and society. This course will explore the emergence of the aesthetic, ethical, economic and prudence-based values that underpin conservation. It will analyse the development of conservation as a social movement and the challenges it faces in an increasingly globalised world.

(viii) Nature and society. As specified for the M.Sc. in Nature, Society, and Environmental Policy.

(ix) Research design. As specified for the research skills course of the M.Sc. in Nature, Society, and Environmental Policy.

(b) Option courses

Candidates will be expected to show advanced knowledge of two of the option courses on offer in any one year. The topics on offer and details will be approved by the standing committee and published in the Gazette before the end of Trinity Term of the academic year preceding that in which the written papers are to be taken.'

3 Ibid., p. 980, after l. 44 insert: `in Biodiversity, Conservation, and Management for three examinations;'.

Return to List of Contents of this section

2 Board of the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages

Preliminary Examination for Modern Languages

With immediate effect (for first examination in 2003)

In Examination Regulations, 2002, p. 95, l. 20, delete La ciudad y los perros.' and substitute La fiesta del chivo.'

Return to List of Contents of this section