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The Board of Examiners consists of the Academic Committee and the Course External Examiner. The Examiners will appoint assessors to help with the assessment of the written assignments and dissertations.

Examination in Scientific Computing for the MPhil Degree

The scheme of examination for the one-year course of study in Scientific Computing for the degree of Master of Philosophy shall be as follows:

1. The Degree Committee for the Faculty of Physics and Chemistry shall publish, not later than the end of the Easter Term of the academical year preceding that in which the examination is to be held, a list of modules in ‘Scientific Computing’, provided that the Degree Committee shall have power to give notice of additional elective modules not later than the division of Michaelmas Term. The list will include core courses in scientific computing and may include elective courses from Master’s-level courses offered by the Departments of the Schools of the Physical Sciences, Technology, and Biological Sciences. In publishing the list of modules, the Degree Committee shall announce the form of examination for each module.

2. The examination shall consist of:

(a) a dissertation of not more than 15,000 words in length (including tables, figure legends, and appendices, but excluding bibliography) on a major project, involving in-depth original scientific research and a literature survey of the topic. The topic of the project shall be approved by the Degree Committee;

(b) two written assignments on two of the core-course options in scientific computing. The topic of the assignments shall be approved by the Degree Committee;

(c) written examination papers. The form of the examination of these papers shall be dictated by the regulations of the donor Department.

3. The examination shall include an oral examination of the dissertation or other work submitted by the candidate under Regulation 2(b), and on the general field of knowledge within which they fall.

The form of examination of each module is shown below:

Module name

Mode of Assessment

Core courses in Scientific Computing

C (written assignments), E

Elective courses in science or technology



C (dissertation + viva)

C = coursework assignment (as specified)

E = unseen written examination

As will be published in the official University Statutes and Ordinances for the academic year 2018-19.

Weighting of the Assessed Course Components

Course Element


Pass Mark

(% overall mark)




Written assignments:




Written examinations






Marking of the Course Components

Lecture courses and Research Project



Marginal fail


≥ 75%

60% - 74%


≤ 54 %

Marking Guidelines

The following are marking guidelines, which are designed primarily for the marking of the dissertation but may be adapted for coursework and examinations. Where marks are awarded using a different scale they will be adjusted by the Examiners at their final meeting to achieve comparability with the scale below.

The MPhil in Scientific Computing has an overall pass mark of 60%, achieved in the Lecture-course component and the Project component, and no one component can be missed or failed completely.

Students who fail or marginally fail one component but obtain an overall mark of 60% or above, and students who marginally fail both components of the course, will be expected to attend an oral examination with the External Examiner on all aspects of the course.

Marking guidelines for the dissertation and the viva voce examination

Fail: Work that is not of the standard that might be expected of an MPhil dissertation, either because of lack of original content or because it shows a poor grasp of the relevant literature or research method adopted, because the analysis is seriously flawed, because the argument is incoherent or because the standard of writing or presentation is unacceptably poor.

Marginal fail: Work that, while below the standard that might be expected of an MPhil dissertation shows some evidence of independent thought and research, and a good basic command of the subject.

Pass: Work that shows evidence of independent thought and research, is of genuine interest as a contribution to its area of research, maintains a high standard of argument and scholarship throughout and provides evidence of the suitability of the candidate for Ph.D. research.

Distinction: Work of undoubted interest and originality, which combines the qualities noted above to an impressive degree and provides clear evidence of the suitability of the candidate for Ph.D. research. Work at the upper end of the range will be able to stand comparison against leading scholars in the field.

Submission Guidelines

Please see  for more information.