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Postgraduate Study

Course closed:

Pure Mathematics is no longer accepting new applications.


The structure of Part III is such that students prepare between six and nine lecture courses for examination. These lecture courses may be selected from those offered by both Mathematics Departments. As an alternative to one lecture course, an essay may be submitted. 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.

Students who opt to undertake an essay may consult the essay setter up to three times before the essay is submitted. 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 136 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.

Students offering an essay as part of their degree 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.


In place of a three-hour examination paper corresponding to a 24-hour lecture course, candidates may submit an essay written during the year. 

Written examination

Lecture courses are assessed by formal written examination. Courses are worth either two or three credit units 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. Candidates for Part III may offer a maximum of 19 credit units for examination. Typically, it is recommended that candidates offer between 17 and 19 units.

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

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.

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Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 15, 2022
Application deadline
Feb. 10, 2023
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2023

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

Course Funding Deadline
Jan. 5, 2023
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 12, 2022

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2023, Lent 2024 and Easter 2024.

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