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The MPhil in Scientific Computing is a 12-month full-time Master’s Degree, which has a research and a taught element.

The taught element comprises of lectures and practicals. It is examined by means of written assignments and written examinations and accounts for 50% of the total examination credit.

The research element is a project on a science or technology topic which is studied by means of scientific computation (most of the projects are expected to make use of the University’s High Performance Computing Service). To gain examination credit (which accounts for 50% of the total examination credit), students have to submit a dissertation and attend a viva-voce examination.

The topic of the research project should fall within the research interests of the Departments of the Schools of Physical Sciences and Technology.

The choice of a student's research project strongly influences their training during the course, i.e. their choice of lectures and practicals and hence their assessment (written assignments and examination pages). These are selected in consultation with the Course Director and the research project supervisor.

The combination of the research project, lecture courses, written assignments and written examination papers, defines an informal route (or stream) within the MPhil.

Commonly followed routes are related to atomistic or continuum modelling of matter and on computational multiphysics and engineering.

These routes are for guidance only and are not exhaustive of the topics that can be supported.

Candidates who have a specific research topic in mind are encouraged to approach the relevant research staff members from the Departments of the Schools of Physical Sciences and Technology before making their application.

The structure of the course
Length: 12 months
Course structure:

Core taught courses: Michaelmas Term
Elective taught courses: Michaelmas and Lent Terms
Research Project/Dissertation: Lent and Easter Terms
Entrepreneurship/Simulation in Industry seminars: Easter and Lent Terms

Teaching methods: Lectures, practicals, tutorials, and supervision (for the dissertation)
Forms of assessment and weighting:

Written assignments (start of Lent Term), 25% credit
Examinations (Lent or Easter Term), 25% credit
Dissertation (15,000 word limit, submission date in August), 50% credit, examined by viva voce examination (September)

The students will attend lecture courses during Michaelmas Term (some courses may be during Lent Term) and then they will undertake a substantial Research Project over the next 6 months (from March to the end of August) in a participating Department. The research element aims to provide essential skills for continuation to a PhD programme or employment, as well as to assess and enhance the research capacity of the students. It is based on a science or technology topic which is studied by means of scientific computation. Research project topics will be provided by academic supervisors or by the industrial partners who are working with the participating Departments and may be sponsoring the research project.

A timeline of the year is shown below:


There is equal examination credit weighting between the taught and the research elements of the course, which is gained by submitting a dissertation on the project and by written assignments & examinations on the core and elective courses, respectively.

Weighting of the assessed course components is as follows: Dissertation (research) 50%; written assignments on the core courses 25%; written examinations 25%.