Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2017-2018 (archived)

Module MATH51460: Dissertation

Department: Mathematical Sciences

MATH51460: Dissertation

Type Tied Level 5 Credits 60 Availability Available in 2017/18 Module Cap
Tied to G1K509


  • Math Sciences I (MATH51860) and Math Sciences II (MATH51760)


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To assist students to develop creative and critical thinking, the ability to assemble material from several sources and to write an extended report.
  • To produce a dissertation that gives a coherent account of the topic, presented in an original, well organised and appropriate manner.


  • Students decide which unit, taken from MATH51760 or 51860, they would like to follow up with a dissertation. They then consult, initially with the lecturer of that unit, to agree a suitable topic for the dissertation. Students wishing to investigate a topic following on from a unit they have taken from outside the list given in MATH 51760 and Math51860 may be allowed to do so provided a member of staff is willing to supervise them.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • specialist knowledge of the chosen dissertation topic, including an appreciation of the development of that topic, its situation with respect to related topics and the directions in which that topic could lead.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • presentation of a body of mathematical knowledge in an interesting, innovative and comprehensible manner.
  • construction of illustrative examples and, possibly, production of original investigations.
Key Skills:
  • the ability to read and digest several sources
  • the ability to tackle material critically and communicate thoughts on it effectively.
  • the ability to make a report with appropriate chapters, sections, numbering, and references with reference lists, contents pages and acknowledgements of others' work in an appropriate format.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The student will research and write a dissertation on an advanced topic, under the guidance of his/her supervisor and the guidance notes provided.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Supervisions 10-15 1-2 fortnightly 1 hour 15
Preparation and Reading 585
Total 600

Summative Assessment

Component: Dissertation Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Dissertation 40-60 A4 pages 100% Resubmission the following year

Formative Assessment:

The student will produce work (for example, plans, lists of sources, drafts, reference lists, sample calculations, etc.) for the comments of the supervisor.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University