You will do lectures for the first two terms, have exams at the end of the second term, just before Easter, and then through the Easter break, Easter term and up to the deadline, effectively half the course, you do your dissertation. The course is new, so I think you will receive a positive response if you ask the department for clarification. I would slightly disagree with JoshLyman's point, I think the department are very welcoming of practitioners. The problem is that for the UK funding system, Masters degrees have to have a specific research element in order to be sufficient to provide qualification for a government funded PhD. The department has been very badly bitten by this in recent years and I think they are just trying to clarify that the course does contain a research element. Again (and for anyone else reading this) if you are looking to do this MPhil as a precursor to a UK funded PhD I think you can bother the department to get a clear line on this.