MSc Pure Mathematics / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
MSc Pure Mathematics Research and Project Skills

Course unit fact file
Unit code MATH61000
Credit rating 30
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Full year
Offered by Department of Mathematics
Available as a free choice unit? No


A list of possible project titles and supervisors will be circulated early in semester one. Students may substitute an alternative title, subject to a member of staff being willing to supervise it. The project supervisor will provide a description of the project, and a partial list of library references. It is then the responsibility of the student to read up on the topic, and (eventually) to write a report on it. Project supervisors will give some guidance on the early chapters, but otherwise supervision is expected to be minimal.

The project gives you the experience of working independently providing useful practice for later life. The skills developed are regarded highly by employers and this is useful when you apply for jobs. The experience of preparing the project will also provide useful training for writing the dissertation (and, for those who go on to study for a PhD, writing a doctoral thesis).


To allow the student to personally research a particular mathematics topic and to produce his/her own expository description of it.

Learning outcomes

Learning outcomes: At the end of the course unit the student will:

  • have successfully located information regarding a chosen mathematical topic;
  • used independent learning skills to read and research the chosen topic;
  • acquired some factual knowledge of the chosen topic;
  • written an expository account of the chosen topic, showing an appreciation of the subject area.

Assessment methods

10 credits will be awarded for the mini-project and 20 credits will be awarded for the main-project.

For both projects 80% of the marks for the project will be awarded for the quality of the written report. The examiners will look for:



  • Clear definition of aims and objectives
  • Selection of material
  • Organisation and ordering of material



  • Precise and effective communication
  • Clarity of writing and exposition



  • Correctness of arguments
  • Factual accuracy
  • Mathematical precision





  • Independent thinking and individual expression
  • Critical writing (as opposed to routine copying)
  • Independent use of library and external sources



  • Appreciation of the meaning, context and significance of the work


The remaining 20% in each project will be awarded based on performance in an oral exam.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Tutorials 10
Independent study hours
Independent study 290

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Marcus Tressl Unit coordinator

Additional notes

This course unit detail provides the framework for delivery in 20/21 and may be subject to change due to any additional Covid-19 impact.  

Please see Blackboard / course unit related emails for any further updates.


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