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PostBCL Degree, Oxford (Tom Hashimoto, -UK, 02/20/17 3:08 am)
I would like to add BCL (Oxon) to David Duggan's list of JD and LLB (16 February). The Bachelor of Civil Law at Oxford is a taught master's programme, equivalent to an LLM elsewhere. So, it says "Bachelor" but in fact it is a Master's programme, and it says "Civil Law" but it is a "Common Law" programme.
Allegedly, it is called "civil" law as opposed to Church/Canon Law. At Oxford, the highest degree (in terms of the order to be presented at the official ceremonies) is Doctor of Divinity, and so, I assume that by contrasting with Canon Law, BCL came under the control of the Department of Law rather than the School of Theology.
MJur (Magister Juris) is another taught master's programme at Oxford, but it is for students who completed a civil law degree prior to admission. It is an equivalent of MSc/MA, which paves the way to MPhil/DPhil.
Yes, yes, MPhil/DPhil is another strange degree at Oxford. MPhil is considered as a research degree (as opposed to a taught degree), or mini DPhil. Those who successfully completed an MPhil may proceed to a DPhil, and if they do so, they become the second-year equivalent in DPhil. Those who do not have MPhil (like myself) enter the programme as PRS (Provisional Research Student) before we go through the Transfer of Status exam and become DPhil candidates. Typically, 1-2 years after the ToS, all DPhil candidates have to go through the Confirmation of Status exam, at which we must present roughly half of the written thesis/dissertation.
JE comments: Tom, could you tell us about the Oxford distinction between a research and a taught degree? For the former, does this mean you do not attend actual classes or seminars?