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MSc project guidelines for students and supervisors


  • All students will do one project of three months duration starting mid June, with a submission deadline in mid September.
  • Projects should be quantitative in nature and provide an opportunity to do original research in the area of complex systems science, broadly interpreted. Literature reviews, feasibility studies and data acquisition tasks are not suitable. In addition, our students are not trained to do laboratory work.
  • Under EPSRC-MRC rules for funding this DTC, at least 30% (on average) of the cost of MathSys PhD studentships must be met from non-RCUK sources. There is hence a strong push by all concerned to support projects that lead to PhDs with strong external support — at least involvement of an external partner organisation. The University has provided some funds to underwrite projects which have not yet secured external co-funding in situations where an exceptional case can be made. Potential supervisors wishing to offer a follow-on PhD project where external support cannot be found should discuss the arrangements with MathSys staff before submitting proposals.
  • The deadline for submission of project outlines is 10 March 2017.
  • Projects will be assessed by a written report (70%) and an oral presentation (30%). The report should be in the style of an academic journal appropriate to the field of study. Letter-style journals are acceptable provided the associated “supplementary material” containing the quantitative details is included.
  • Assessment will be done by appointed members of Complexity Science or MathSys staff to ensure uniformity of grading. Supervisors are expected to provide formal feedback on completion of the project to guide the grading of reports. Feedback should be provided via the webform.
  • Project proposals will be vetted for suitability by MathSys staff before and presented to the students at the end of the week they are submitted in. If potential supervisors have any doubt about the suitability of their topic MathSys staff would be very pleased to discuss it in advance. The MSc project coordinator for the 2015-16 academic year is s dot w dot grosskinsky at warwick dot ac dot uk.
  • Projects will be allocated on the basis of students' preferences subject to any additional constraints imposed by funding arrangements. If more than one individual wants to do the same project, priority will go to the student with the highest marks on the taught modules.
  • Students are encouraged to be pro-active in seeking out supervisors to propose projects in research areas which interest them. Project proposals which are developed collaboratively between particular students and supervisors can be tagged as "reserved" rather than being included in the list of openly available projects. Such bespoke projects are still subject to formal prior approval by MathSys staff.