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Information Session - Wednesday 5th Feb 2020

Below are the slides and a link to the recording from this session which outlines information for Y4 MSci students commencing their 4th year in 2020/21. The recording includes a Q&A session at the end but unfortunately, we ran out of time before all the questions could be answered. The unanswered questions are answered on a google doc, the link to which is below:

Advanced Modules

Complete listings of advanced modules, with associated course details are available via the table below.

Year 4

Advanced Modules

2019-20Advanced Modules 2019-20
2020-21Advanced Modules 2020-21


A great deal of extremely useful information on carrying out a project, and subsequent write-up can be found via the MSci Projects - Key Information page. This section includes information on obtaining ethical approval which is an important part of preparing for your project. You can also find information here about the Key Dates associated with your project.

To identify potential project supervisors, please use the table below. 

 MSci Project - Potential Supervisors

Year 4Potential Project Supervisors
2020-21MSci Projects - Potential Supervisors 2020-21


Year 4

Advanced Modules



Deadline: Advanced Module selection open

via online app throughout Week 8 of the

Spring Term. Deadline Monday Week 9 Spring Term

Allocations announced: Week 10

Deadline: Preference Form to be submitted (electronically) by 5pm on Fri of Spring Term Week 9.

Allocations announced Week 1 Summer term.

Allocation procedures for Year 4 courses

How are MSci students allocated to Project supervisors?

All Project supervisors have a quota allocation for Projects they can supervise. Potential supervisors are informed of all students who have made them their first choice. They then decide which of these students they are able to take. If a supervisor is oversubscribed with first choices, these decisions are at the supervisor's discretion and will depend on factors such as the fit between student's and supervisor's interests, the availability of suitable facilities, previous experience, and the student's position in the ranked list.

After this first pass with first choices, students who could not be given their first choice supervisor are allocated to the most highly preferred supervisor who is still available by working down the ranked list outlined above, assigning to each student their most preferred supervisor who still has places within their quota.

We are confident that all students will receive excellent supervision, regardless of whether or not they get their first choice.

How are students allocated to Advanced Modules?

The Department uses an automatic module selection/allocation system developed by IT services, called Optional Modules App (OMA) which has been used widely across the University. Students first submit their module preferences online. Using a mathematical algorithm (Gurobi Optimizer algorithm), OMA will allocate students to each module based on their preferences in a way so that it will maximize the overall happiness of students (i.e., allocate as many students as possible to their first choice, while avoiding allocating them to less preferred module whenever possible).

Do the Advanced Modules differ between Y3 and Y4?

The content covered in advanced modules is the same, irrespective of whether you opt to take an advanced module in Y3 or Y4. In Y4 you will therefore be seated in advanced modules alongside Y3 BSc students and Y3 MSci students. 

The level of assessment for Y4 advanced modules differs from the level for Y3 advanced modules. Y4 is assessed at the taught postgraduate level (i.e., Level 7). The main difference between undergraduate and postgraduate marking scales is that the boundary for failing is placed at 50% (rather than 40% at undergraduate level). It is therefore important to remember that you must achieve a mark of 50 in order to pass any module in Year 4. 

The type of assessment for Y4 students on advanced modules also differs from that given to Y3 students to reflect the higher level of assessment. Advanced modules will typically be assessed with a closed short essay exam (1.5 hours taken in the same exam period as other student on the advanced) that makes up 60% of the overall mark, and a 3000 word open essay (students to choose from one of two essay questions, which will be made available during the term in which the module is taught) that makes up 40% of the final mark. For information on deadlines, please consult the MSci Deadlines and Feedback page. More details on the assessment for individual modules will be available on the VLE before the beginning of the academic year. 

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