skip to content

Postgraduate Study

Course closed:

Mathematics (Mathematical Statistics) is no longer accepting new applications.


The structure of Part III is such that students prepare between five and eight lecture courses for examination. These lecture courses may be selected from those offered by both Mathematics Departments and regardless of the application stream. In addition, it is expected that students offer an essay for examination. There is also the possibility of taking a reading course for examination. Students often attend a wider range of courses throughout the year than they offer for examination, and may also choose to attend one or more of the non-examinable courses offered each year.

Courses are delivered predominantly by either 16 or 24 hours of formal lectures, supported by regular examples classes. Details of the courses for the current academic year are given in the Part III Guide to Courses. Details for subsequent years are expected to be broadly similar, although not identical; the Guide is updated over the summer.  Most courses in Part III are self-contained.

One to one supervision

In contrast to the undergraduate parts of the Mathematical Tripos, lecture courses in Part III are not normally accompanied by regular one-on-one supervisions. Instead, additional academic support is provided in the form of example classes.

During the preparation of the essay, students may consult the essay setter up to three times before the essay is submitted. Some of these meetings may take the form of group meetings at which the setter describes the essay topic and answers general questions.

Seminars & classes

Students have the opportunity to participate in the Part III seminar series, either by giving a talk or through attendance. This is encouraged but does not contribute to formal assessment.


Students will typically attend between 112 and 128 hours of lectures over the course of the academic year for courses which they prepare for an examination. Students typically attend an additional 24 to 72 hours of lectures for courses which are either non-examinable or which they choose not to select for examination.


Some statistics courses may involve practical data analysis sessions.

Small group teaching

Each 24-hour/16-hour lecture course is supported by four/three example classes, respectively, each lasting a minimum of one hour. In addition, a revision class for each lecture course is offered in the Easter term.


For each lecture course, ongoing feedback is provided to students by means of marked example sheet questions as well as associated examples classes.

For the written essay, students may seek guidance from the essay setter on up to three occasions during the academic year.

In addition, students have an individual meeting with a member of academic staff during each of the first two terms to discuss their progress in Part III.


Thesis / Dissertation

Not required.


Candidates are expected to offer an essay for assessment, which is written during the year. A list of approved essay titles is announced towards the end of the Michaelmas term, and further titles may appear up to 1st March. Students will be allocated one of their preferred titles by the end of the Michaelmas term, subject to supervision capacity.

Written examination

Lecture courses are assessed by formal written examination. Courses are worth either two or three units of assessment depending on whether they are 16 or 24 hours in length, respectively. A 16-hour course is assessed by a two-hour examination; a 24-hour course by a three-hour examination. An essay counts for 3 units of assessment.

Candidates for Part III may offer a maximum of 16 non-essay units of assessment for examination. Typically, it is recommended that candidates offer between 17 and 19 units of assessment in total.

Examinations usually begin in late May and are scheduled in morning and afternoon sessions over a period of about two weeks.

Part III is graded Distinction, Merit, Pass or Fail. A Merit or above is the equivalent of a First Class in other Parts of the Mathematical Tripos.

Key Information

9 months full-time

Study Mode : Taught

Master of Advanced Study

Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics This course is advertised in multiple departments. Please see the Overview tab for more details.

Course - related enquiries

Application - related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 4, 2023
Application deadline
Feb. 8, 2024
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2024

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Course Funding Deadline
Jan. 4, 2024
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 11, 2023

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2024, Lent 2025 and Easter 2025.

Similar Courses