Module code: MATM046

Module Overview

The dissertation consists of a written report of around 50 pages completed by the student towards the end of their programme of study. The report is based on a major piece of work that involves applying material encountered in the taught component of the programme and extending that knowledge with the student's contribution, under the guidance of a supervisor. The work for the dissertation and the writing up begins approximately May/June, continues through the Summer and the dissertation report is submitted in late Summer. The work may, but need not, involve original research. It may instead consist of a substantial literature survey on a specific topic.

Module provider

Mathematics & Physics

Module Leader

BRODY Dorje (Maths & Phys)

Number of Credits: 60

ECTS Credits: 30

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 586

Seminar Hours: 12

Captured Content: 2

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

Some project titles may require the student to have taken specific taught modules from the MSc programme. A student must have successfully completed the taught component of the MSc programme before being eligible to submit a dissertation report.

Module content

The dissertation is the result of an expected 600 hours of work. Most of this is done individually by the student, in locating and reading relevant sources, working on the technical contribution that is the main part of the dissertation, and writing up the final report. Some time is also spent in regular discussions with the supervisor. Further details are given in the programme handbook.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Project (Group/Individual/Dissertation) Written Report 80
Oral exam or presentation Final Oral Presentation 20

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate:

  • Their ability to independently research and report upon a mathematical topic relevant to their degree programme;

  • Their ability to prepare and present mathematical work in both a written and oral fashion.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • A written report worth 80% of the module mark.

  • A viva voce examination, after the submission of the report; worth 20% of the module mark.

Formative assessment and feedback

Students receive continuous feedback through regular meetings with their supervisor during the period of the dissertation. 

Module aims

  • To provide an opportunity for students to pursue a single topic in depth and to demonstrate evidence of research ability at a Masters level. The topic would normally be related to current or recent research within the broad area of the MSc programme. Students are encouraged to either carry out an original piece of mathematical work or carry out a substantial survey of the literature on a particular topic.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Students should demonstrate a well-developed ability to use research databases such as MathSciNet and Web of Knowledge. KPT
002 Students should be able to locate, select, and interpret sources relevant to the topic. KC
003 Students should have achieved an advanced level of mathematical knowledge and understanding in the field of study. KC
004 Students should have successfully integrated and built upon the concepts, theories, and knowledge gained in the taught component of the MSc programme. KC
005 Students should be able to demonstrate their command of the subject matter of their dissertation via a written report, and also verbally via an oral examination. KPT
006 Students should demonstrate independent, critical and analytical skills, and an ability to evaluate evidence. KCPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

Regular meetings with the supervisor to discuss progress with the dissertation and report writing. The student may be able to benefit from SPLASH events.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: MATM046

Other information

The School of Mathematics and Physics is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Digital Capabilities, Employability, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Resourcefulness and Resilience and Sustainability. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills, and capabilities in the following areas:

Digital Capabilities: Students produce the dissertation using LaTeX or Microsoft Word. The experience of assembling a substantial document with appropriate referencing, tables and graphs enhances their digital proficiency. Digital skills are further developed through preparation of the presentation. Many dissertation topics involve programming skills.

Employability: Undertaking a dissertation enables students to develop critical employability skills such as analytical thinking, problem-solving, data analysis, and effective communication. These abilities are highly sought after by employers in various industries, making individuals more competitive and adaptable in the job market.

Global and Cultural Capabilities: Engaging in a mathematical dissertation can immerse students in researching internationally published works, encouraging the development of cross-cultural and global perspectives. It also encourages diverse viewpoints and problem-solving approaches, preparing students to navigate complex, culturally diverse environments, and contribute to global challenges and opportunities.

Resourcefulness and Resilience: Researching and producing the report cultivates resourcefulness by challenging students to find innovative solutions to complex mathematical problems. The independent work involved in researching the selected mathematical topic cultivates self-reliance and the ability to manage one's time and resources effectively. This autonomy further strengthens resilience by teaching students how to navigate complex tasks and take ownership of their work.

Sustainability: Researching and producing a dissertation report intersects with sustainability by addressing critical environmental and resource challenges. Many topics relate directly to sustainability. For example, mathematical models can be used to optimise processes, such as renewable energy deployment, waste reduction, and efficient supply chains, all of which are key components of sustainability efforts.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Mathematics MSc 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2025/6 academic year.