School of Mathematical Sciences

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MSc Project

Each MSc Mathematics student is required to complete a 60 credit (4 course unit) project dissertation.

A student must find a potential supervisor and fill out an MSc Mathematics Project Approval Form by the end of Semester B at the very latest. The supervisor and project must be approved by the MSc Mathematics Exam Board Chair, in consultation with the MSc Mathematics Programme Director, and the process for this, which may involve an interview with the student, takes place as approval forms are submitted. It is advisable to fill in a project approval form as soon as possible, so that official approval can be given in good time for background reading to be started before the examination period.

The main work on the project usually takes place from early June to September (part-time over two summers for part-time students).

A typical MSc project dissertation consists of about 25-40 word-processed pages, securely bound, covering a specific research-level topic in mathematics or statistics, usually requiring the student to understand, explain and elaborate on results from one or more journal articles. An MSc project may also involve computation. An MSc project should be more advanced than an MSci one, and an MSc student is expected to work with less supervision than an MSci one. An MSc project should help prepare a good student for PhD research and even allow an excellent student the possibility of doing some research.

Each project dissertation must be written in good English and precise mathematics, and include a brief abstract, an introduction, and a thorough bibliography. The MSc Mathematics Programme Director keeps a selection of past project dissertations, which current students may look at to get an idea about what is involved.

You should carefully read the official guidelines on writing the project dissertation. You should also consult Franco Vivaldi's web-book Mathematical Writing, in particular the chapter on writing a thesis. Also important and useful is the QM Library guide for finding information for MSc Maths and MSci project students.

Students may wish to use the LaTeX system to prepare their project dissertation. Several introductions to LaTeX are available on the web, including Getting Started with LaTeX, by D.R. Wilkins, and LaTeX for Complete Novices, by N.L.C. Talbot.

The deadline for submission of the project dissertation is Wednesday 10th September 2014, and this deadline is strict. Two neatly bound copies should be given by this date to the Postgraduate Programme Administrator in the Maths Office, room 101 in the Mathematical Sciences Building. Students will also be required to upload an electronic copy of their project (in PDF or Word format) to the MTHM038 module space on QM Plus (further instructions regarding submission will be provided via email closer to the deadline).

Suggestions for MSc projects

The list of 3rd year and MSci projects offered by the School contains projects which can be adapted to MSc level.

Feel free to contact any member of the academic staff if you are interested in any project or have ideas for other projects.

Further MSc project suggestions