MSc by research

The Mathematics Department offers the opportunity to obtain an MSc by research. Applicants for admission to graduate research degrees in Mathematics should have or expect to have a good honours degree (equivalent of 2.i or higher) in Mathematics, or a good honours degree in which Mathematics has formed a substantial part of the course. Applicants whose first language is not English are referred to the English Language Requirements of the University of York. Applications for part-time registration from UK/EU applicants will be considered.

In order to apply for a place on our MSc (by Research), we ask that you first submit an online application, containing details of the area(s) in which you are interested in carrying out research. We cannot accept a CV or any other documentation sent by email in place of a formal application. You should submit either a research proposal or an explanation (in your own words) of why you wish to undertake a research degree in your chosen field. This might include details of any relevant research that you have undertaken previously, perhaps as part of your undergraduate degree.

Description of course

The MSc by research is a one year degree (if taken full-time). It involves writing a Master's thesis under the supervision of a member of academic staff on a topic to be agreed between the supervisor and the student. Submission is required no more than three months after the end of registration, although submission before the end of registration is encouraged where possible. 

The MSc by research is assessed wholly on the basis of the thesis although the course may include an individually tailored element of taught courses to be taken in the early stage of the year. Work on the thesis is guided by regular meetings between student and supervisor and monitored by two meetings of the student's Thesis Advisory Panel, usually to be held in November and March (for October starts). The thesis must contain a substantial piece of research which includes some original work. This could include new ideas, or original commentary on (or amplification of) material which is currently considered to be at the forefront of mathematical knowledge.

MSc by research students have access to all of the transferable skills training programmes available to MPhil and PhD students and will be expected to take part in the induction week (usually the first week of the Autumn term), as well as taking the online Becoming an Effective Researcher course from the Research Excellence Training Team which is obligatory for all research students. 

Information on assessment

The thesis is to be examined by one internal examiner (who should not be the supervisor) and one external examiner, the appointment of which must follow the usual practice for MPhil and PhD examiners. The candidate will be required to give an internal seminar, to be attended by the internal examiner. This is part of the process of verifying that the thesis is the candidate's own work. A viva will not usually be required, but examiners may insist on one at their discretion.

Each examiner produces an independent report and makes a recommendation either for the award (perhaps subject to minor corrections) or against the award (sometimes with a referral for resubmission after more substantial corrections).