Student progress is formally assessed at an Examination Board at the end of the Summer Term. The Chair of the Examination Board is the Head of the Department of Mathematics. An external examiner who is a senior academic at another leading university ensures that standards are maintained.
The Examination Board receives the result of the research project, all coursework assessments and examinations.
The Board makes use of University and Departmental guidance for the award of the Master of Advanced Study (MASt). Based on all the available information, including any special circumstances, the Board will make one of the following recommendations. Special consideration is given to borderline or special cases.
Award of MASt degree
Normally awarded if the average mark on the taught modules and the research project mark are both greater than or equal to 50%, and if at least 60 CATS of level 7 taught modules (year 4 or above e.g. MA4xx, MA5yy) have been passed at the 50% level. In the (very unusual) event of a student averaging 50% over all taught modules, but failing to get 50% in 60 CATS of the relevant taught modules, there is the possibility of resitting one or more modules in September.
Award of MASt with Merit
Normally awarded if the average combined mark on the taught modules and the research project is at least 60% and, in addition, the mark on the research project is at least 60%.
Award of MASt with Distinction
Normally awarded if the average combined mark on the taught modules and the research project is at least 70% and, in addition, the mark on the research project is at least 70%.
Failure to meet any of the above conditions.
The above decisions are subject to approval by the Senate.
Resits and Resubmission of Research Project
Under some circumstances the Examinations Board may allow students to resit some taught modules in September. The maximum possible mark in any resit exam is 50%. The resit for a failed module could either be a written exam or a viva, depending on the recommendation of the Examination Board.
Resubmission of the research project is likewise possible in certain circumstances. Where minor corrections are required the Board may pass the candidate subject to the necessary changes being made. It is then the duty of the supervisor to confirm that these have been carried out.