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History Faculty will not extend thesis deadlines

Issy Kenney-Herbert explains the History Faculty's latest emails and the impact on students.

The History Faculty has sent an email to finalists stating that due to the “undesirability of cutting into the time for Finals revision and the submission of the History of the British Isles portfolio, the Faculty has decided not to extend the submission deadline”. The deadline for students to submit their thesis remains Friday of Week 8 Hilary Term.

 The advice given is that students “should now plan to write a thesis making use of material available online” as well as to “revisit the research you have already completed” and “consult with you thesis supervisor(s) for advice on how to adapt your thesis and alternative reading suggestions.”

There are reassurances throughout the email that “thesis examiners are fully aware, and will be instructed to take account, of the general conditions affecting your thesis work since Trinity Term last year: namely, a national lockdown and remote study away from the academic community since March 2020, then under constrained condition in Oxford for Michaelmas Term, and then from home again this term, and the impact of continuing. Uncertainties on your ability to plan and on mental health.”

One finalist told Cherwell: “the fact that the thesis has been left unchanged by the faculty creates serious issues for its integrity. Even with the mitigating circumstances processes put in place, which will surely be inconsistent at best, students will still be rewarded if their topic happens to be conducive to remote learning, rather than because they are better historians”.

The main provision the Faculty has made for the Special Subject extended essay is “an additional mechanism through which you can communicate the specific impact on your work of limited library access to the essay markers.”

In specific circumstances such as “poor internet connections, the lack of a quiet space to work, illness or the illness of a family member, acute anxiety, and mental health issues” students are also able to submit a Mitigating Circumstances form.

As for Finals exams, the Faculty has not clarified anything further in this latest email.

Image Credit: Maxime Gtn/CC BY-SA 4.0

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