Computer Laboratory

Part III and MPhil ACS projects and essays

Part III projects

Part III students undertake a research project similar to the ACS project, but of only half the size (and no more than 12,000 words). Each project must be supervised by a member of the academic staff (or alternative approved by Head of Department) who also acts as one assessor.


  • All MPhil in ACS and Part III students Project and essay briefing session: Monday 20 October 2014 09:00 in Lecture Theatre 1

Part III:

  • Submit project proposal with coversheet and project resource form: Friday 14 November 2014. †
  • Examiners consider proposals: Friday 21 November 2014. Proposals in need of revision will be returned to students.
  • Final date for revised proposals (signed, as above): Friday 28 November 2014
  • Preliminary work on projects begins: Monday 1 December 2014
  • Lent Term 2015: students expected to spend 50% of time on project work
  • Project progress reviews (students to arrange meetings with supervisors): week commencing 2 March 2015
  • Easter Term 2015: 100% project work expected
  • Part III Project presentations: date to be confirmed
  • Project title changes: no later than 20 May 2015
  • Submission: 12:00 Wednesday 3 June 2015 (*hard* deadline)

† Part III students who wish to propose their own research must identify a qualified and willing academic supervisor as soon as possible. They should discuss this with their course advisor at their first meeting. The supervisor's help should be obtained in the development of the proposal. To ensure that the project meets the requirements for the examination, such proposals should be submitted to the examiners no later than Friday 8 November.

Examiners' meetings and viva voce (oral) examinations

Computer Science Tripos, Part III

  • Internal Examiners' meeting, Michaelmas 2014 modules: Friday 30 January 2015
  • Internal Examiners' meeting, Lent 2014 modules: Friday 8 May 2015
  • Final Part III Examiners' meeting: Tuesday 16 June 2015, 10:00 — 16:30
  • Part III Oral examinations (if required): Tuesday 16 June 2015, afternoon

All Part III students must be available to attend a viva voce examination (oral exam) if called by the Examiners.

Resources for students and supervisors

Project proposals have 3 parts:

  1. Project proposal coversheet
    All project proposals must be accompanied by a proposal coversheet. This needs to be signed by the project's originator, the supervisor and also the Director of Studies.
  2. Project proposal
    Write a project proposal, respecting the word limits. A LaTeX template is available if required.
  3. Project resource form
    Please note that all project proposals must be accompanied by a project resource form even if you are using your own machine.

If your project may involve experiments with human participants, be sure to read the department's Ethical Review Policy, which explains the steps you need to take to obtain the necessary approval first.

All project proposals and project resource forms must be signed by the Project Supervisor and the Director of Studies before submission

Further guidelines:

  • Some official Part III project guidelines
  • A (less formal) project briefing presentation
  • See the sample dissertation for the ACS research project or research essay (see the sample dissertation tar ball which expands to a directory with a number of files including a LaTeX template acs-dissertation.tex and a Makefile which builds acs-dissertation.pdf).
    Part III students will need a modified title page and declaration, perhaps borrowed from the Part II project page.
    Students might also find the advice on PhD thesis formatting useful.
    Students may also find that the CL library's collection of previous years' M.Phil and Part III project reports a useful resource.

Project suggestions

In practice, we expect Part III students to start thinking about their project in the latter half of Michaelmas term. As mentioned above, all projects must have a faculty supervisor, and so the first step usually involves deciding which research area(s) you are interested in, looking at the various projects proposed by staff on Project suggestions and then contacting potential supervisors. Please do not approach staff until after the Project Briefing on 20 October unless you intend to propose your own project †.

Several research groups and members of staff maintain web pages with project suggestions. In many cases these are indicative and not final: ideally you, in conjunction with the supervisor, will work on fleshing out the details. This will likely involve doing background reading and preparation in October and early November so that the project proposal submitted on 14 November represents an informed and realistic idea of what you will do. Your Director of Studies will also be able to advise you.

See Project suggestions

Submission and assessment