Extended Essays and Dissertations

Introduction to Part B Extended Essays and Part C Dissertations

Undergraduate projects are one of the options available to Part B and Part C students.  At Part B projects take the form of a 7500-word extended essay and at Part C projects are 10,000 word dissertations.  Students can opt to undertake a project on either a mathematical topic or a topic related to mathematics. The former counts as a 'mathematical option' and the latter an 'other option'.

The most comprehensive source of information about these projects is the  PDF icon project guidance notes. However, some key information and links to other useful sources of information are given below.

Timetable for Projects

Week 1, Trinity term Applications open for the approval of an extended essay or dissertation for the following academic year.
Week 6, Trinity term List of pre-approved Part C dissertations published.
15th September Deadline for making initial contact with your proposed supervisor.
12noon Friday, week 0, Michaelmas term Deadline for applying for approval of an extended essay or dissertation, or notifying Projects Committee that you will offer one of the pre-approved Part C dissertations. 
Week 2, Michaelmas term Students applying for approval of an essay or dissertation notified of outcome of application.
Weeks 6–8, Hilary term Suggested time for oral presentations to take place.
Monday, week 10, Hilary term Deadline for submission of extended essay or dissertation.

Choosing a Topic, Finding a Supervisor and Submitting your Application

Section 4 of the PDF icon guidance notes  provides advice on choosing a topic and finding a supervisor.  Part C students may opt to offer one of the PDF icon pre-approved dissertation topics. If you would like to do this, you should contact the supervisor who proposed the topic in the first instance.

Once you have found a supervisor and agreed on your project proposal you need to complete and submit an application form (PDF icon pdfFile tex).  Part C students who are offering a pre-approved dissertation should notify Projects Committee of this using this form (PDF icon pdfFile tex). Forms should be sent to the Deputy Academic Administrator, Mathematical Institute by 12noon on Friday of week 0, Michaelmas term.


Students offering a project are required to give a presentation to their supervisor and at least one other person. The presentation is not part of the final assessment of the project but provides an opportunity to develop presentation skills. It is recommended that the presentation takes place towards the end of Hilary term.

The template presentation below can be downloaded and used to help prepare a presentation in latex.  Further information can be found at the IT help page on Producing Slides and Presentations with Latex.

Presentation Template File (tex)

Example Presentation PDF icon (PDF)

Example Presentation File (tex)

Key Sources of Information


Project Guidance Lectures

  • Guidance Presentation given at Option Fair 
    PDF icon (PDF)
  • Michaelmas Term Presentation PDF icon (PDF)
  • Hilary Term Presentation  PDF icon (PDF)