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Department of Computer Science and Technology

 

What is Part III?

Part III is similar to the MPhil in Advanced Computer Science (the ACS). The ACS comprises twelve modules, while Part III comprises nine modules of material: five taught modules and a project, worth four modules. The modules are shared with the ACS and almost all of next year's ACS modules will be available to Part III students. The exceptions are those ACS modules which contain significant overlap with material from earlier years of the Tripos. There are no compulsory modules in Part III.

How do I apply?

Any student wishing to take Part III must complete, sign, and submit an on line application. As part of the proposal, students should give an indicative module selection and write a brief project proposal, if you have one or that can be done at a later date if necessary. The completion of the module selection will be for internal planning purposes only and will not have an impact on whether students are allowed to progress to Part III or not.

Entrance to Part III is conditional on results in Part II, as explained in the Standing Order of the Faculty Board of Computer Science and Technology below. The standard criterion is that you must get a First in Part II of the Computer Science Tripos.

Applications should be submitted by the division of Lent term (13 February). We are asking for your applications to be submitted before you sit your Part II exams in order to assist our planning for the following academic year.

Your College Officer (e.g. Tutor/DoS) will need to email teaching-admin@cst.cam.ac.uk to confirm that you have the support of your College in making your application.  They should state your full name and Application to Part III in the subject line.

When will I hear?

Students achieving first class honours in Part II of the Computer Science Tripos and who have the support of their College, will automatically be permitted to progress to Part III. If you are successful in getting onto the Part III course it is vital that you do not graduate in June. Doing so will stop you from being an undergraduate and therefore make you ineligible to read Part III. Successful completion of Part III will lead to you being awarded your BA and your MEng at the same time in the following June or July.

Who is eligible?

Part III is available only to students who have read Part II of the Computer Science Tripos. A student who has read another Tripos at Cambridge may be able to make a special case; they will need to talk to their College Tutor. 

The following text is the Standing Order (19th January 2021) concerning progression from Part II to Part III of the Computer Science Tripos, which has been approved by the Faculty Board of Computer Science and Technology:

The Regulations for Part III of the Computer Science Tripos require that, in order to be a candidate for Part III, a student must demonstrate that he or she “has attained a satisfactory standard, as defined by the Faculty Board, in previous honours examinations” (Regulation 18, condition (b)). This Standing Order defines what is meant by “satisfactory standard” and the mechanism for assessment of individual students.

  1. A student who wishes to progress to Part III must submit an application on the form approved by the Faculty Board by the Division of the Lent Term (13 February) preceding the progression.  The application must be supported by the student’s College. It must be signed by both the student and the appropriate College Officer (the student’s Tutor or Director of Studies).
  2. The Faculty Board will appoint an Applications Sub‐Committee of three of its members to consider applications received under criteria 4 (b) and 4 (c).  No two members of the Applications Sub‐Committee shall be members of or direct studies at the same College.
  3. The Applications Sub‐Committee will meet to consider the standard required of applicants who have been on an exchange and the adequacy of the background of applicants from other Triposes (criteria 4 (b) and 4 (c)) as soon as practicable after the closing date, and in all but exceptional circumstances, before the end of the Lent Term.   Where a member of the Applications Sub‐Committee is also a member of an applicant’s College or is an applicant’s Director of Studies, that member shall take no part in the consideration of that applicant.
  4. The following criteria for progression to Part III will be applied:
    1. A student is deemed to have automatically attained a satisfactory standard, provided that he or she has achieved first class honours in Part II of the Computer Science Tripos and has the support of their College.
    2. A student who has been deemed to have deserved honours in Part II under Regulation 18 for the Computer Science Tripos may, at the Applications Sub-Committee's discretion, be deemed to have attained a satisfactory standard.  (Regulation 18 deals with student exchanges.)
    3. A student who has achieved First Class honours in Part II of another Tripos may, at the Applications Sub-Committee's discretion, be deemed to have attained a satisfactory standard provided that the Sub-Committee is satisfied that he or she has adequate background to undertake Part III.

    Candidates meeting criterion (a) will automatically be permitted to progress to Part III.  Candidates considered under criteria (b) or (c) will be informed by e-mail at the start of Easter Term whether or not they will provisionally be permitted to progress to Part III.  In all cases, progression will be dependent upon their examination results.

  5. Students who are not permitted to progress may appeal.  Appeals must be accompanied by supporting statements from the student’s Director of Studies and Tutor or Senior Tutor, along with any other supporting evidence and must reach the Secretary of the Faculty Board by 12 noon on Monday 28 June 2021.  Appeals will be considered by an Appeals Sub-Committee consisting of members of the Faculty Board and other established academic staff within the Faculty of Computer Science and Technology.  In considering appeals, the Sub-Committee will pay particular attention to the results of the Dissertation, as well as candidates’ suitability to undertake the course, which covers advanced material in both theoretical and practical areas of computer science as well as instilling the elements of research practice, and is designed to prepare students for doctoral research.  The Appeals Sub-Committee will have no members in common with the Applications Sub-Committee.  The Chair of Faculty Board will chair the Appeals Sub-Committee or will nominate a Deputy.  Appellants should not graduate at General Admission because the outcome of appeals will not be known until after the last Faculty Board meeting of the Easter term.

Can I apply for a PhD in the same year as applying for Part III?

Yes. Cambridge students may apply for any or all of Part III, the ACS, and the PhD simultaneously. The funding for each is different. Students are most likely to receive funding for the Part III (see below), and some may consider the Part III as a backup plan if their application for one of the other courses is unsuccessful or unfunded. Students who did not graduate in June (see above), but who then get accepted onto the ACS or PhD programme, can graduate with their BA in October, shortly after starting the ACS or PhD.

Further information for Directors of Studies and students including important dates