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Course overview

(MSc) Master of Science
University of Essex
University of Essex
Mathematical Sciences
Colchester Campus
Mathematics, Statistics and Operational Research
MSC G10124

External Examiners

Prof Fionn Murtagh
Professor of Data Science

External Examiners provide an independent overview of our courses, offering their expertise and help towards our continual improvement of course content, teaching, learning, and assessment. External Examiners are normally academics from other higher education institutions, but may be from the industry, business or the profession as appropriate for the course. They comment on how well courses align with national standards, and on how well the teaching, learning and assessment methods allow students to develop and demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills needed to achieve their awards. External Examiners who are responsible for awards are key members of Boards of Examiners. These boards make decisions about student progression within their course and about whether students can receive their final award.

eNROL, the module enrolment system, is now open until Monday 21 October 2019 8:59AM, for students wishing to make changes to their module options.


Core You must take this module You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options You can choose which module to study
Compulsory You must take this module There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Compulsory with Options You can choose which module to study
Optional You can choose which module to study

Year 1 - 2019/20

Exit Award Status
Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits PG Diploma PG Certificate
01 MA305-7-AU Nonlinear Programming Compulsory 15 Compulsory Compulsory
02 MA319-7-AU Stochastic Processes Compulsory 15 Compulsory Compulsory
03 MA322-7-SP Bayesian Computational Statistics Compulsory 15 Compulsory Compulsory
04 MA323-7-AU Partial Differential Equations Compulsory 15 Compulsory Compulsory

Year 2 - 2020/21

Exit Award Status
Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits PG Diploma PG Certificate
01 MA981-7-FY Dissertation Core 60 Core
02 MA306-7-SP Combinatorial Optimisation Compulsory 15 Compulsory Compulsory
03 MA317-7-AU or CE802-7-AU Compulsory with Options 15 Compulsory with Options Compulsory with Options
04 MA902-7-FY Research Methods Compulsory 15 Compulsory Compulsory
05 MA314-7-SP Graph Theory Compulsory 15 Compulsory Compulsory
06 MA199-7-FY Mathematics Careers and Employability Compulsory 0 Compulsory Compulsory

Exit awards

A module is given one of the following statuses: 'core' – meaning it must be taken and passed; 'compulsory' – meaning it must be taken; or 'optional' – meaning that students can choose the module from a designated list. The rules of assessment may allow for limited condonement of fails in 'compulsory' or 'optional' modules, but 'core' modules cannot be failed. The status of the module may be different in any exit awards which are available for the course. Exam Boards will consider students' eligibility for an exit award if they fail the main award or do not complete their studies.

Programme aims

To prepare students who do not have sufficient background for entry into an MSc degree scheme within the Department of Mathematical Sciences. (Normally, admission to an MSc degree scheme requires the average of the aggregate marks for all the courses to be at least 55%.)


To give advanced mathematical training to graduates of cognate disciplines.

To provide students with a research-type experience that will aid them in their approach to further research activity.

Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods

On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:

A: Knowledge and understanding

A1 Knowledge and understanding gained through the study at an advanced level of one or more areas of mathematics, statistics or operational research.
A101 One or more current areas of research in Discrete Mathematics and its Applications, including an awareness of the development of these areas of research.
Learning Methods: Lectures are the principal method of delivery for the concepts and principles involved in A1.

Students are also directed to reading from textbooks and material available on-line.

In some courses, understanding is enhanced through the production of a written report.

Understanding is reinforced by means of classes, assignments, and, where appropriate, laboratories
A101 is principally acquired through the preparation of an essay and a thesis on specialized topics.

During the production of their written work, students are expected to extend and enhance the basic course material concerning internet searching and the production of mathematical texts.

The research guidance during the summer is a critical aspect of this training.

Assessment Methods: Achievement of knowledge outcomes is assessed primarily through unseen closed-book examinations, and also, in some courses, through marked coursework, laboratory reports, statistical assignments, project reports, oral presentations and oral examinations.

Formative assessment in all courses is provided by regular problem sheets.
Knowledge and understanding is also assessed through the summer dissertation.

B: Intellectual and cognitive skills

Learning Methods:
Assessment Methods:

C: Practical skills

Learning Methods:
Assessment Methods:

D: Key skills

Learning Methods:
Assessment Methods:


The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

Should you have any questions about programme specifications, please contact Course Records, Quality and Academic Development; email: