Continuing to Part III of the Computer Science Tripos
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: six taught modules and a project, worth three 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 application form (please print both sides). Entrance to Part III is conditional on results in Part II, as explained on the application form. The standard criterion is that you must get a First in Part II of the Computer Science Tripos.
Applications must be submitted by the Division of Easter Term (21 May in 2012 and 2013). We are asking for your applications to be submitted before you sit your Part II exams, so that we can give decisions as soon as possible after the Part II results come out.
If you delay application until after results are announced, then the Faculty Board may still be able to consider your application but there will be a delay in getting a decision as the Faculty Board's sub-committee will need to re-convene to consider any late applications.
When will I hear?
Students applying for Part III will be told whether they are on the course a few days after the Part II results come out. 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.
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.
How do I get funding?
If you wish to take Part III of the Computer Science Tripos you will be changing from a three year course (the old regulations) to a four year course (the 2010 regulations). You will need, therefore, to tell your local authority or other funder about your change of circumstances (English students who started their course in 2009/10 or later, will need to tell Student Finance England instead; it is likely that English LEA funding will also transfer to Student Finance England in early 2011).
We recommend that you first discuss the change with someone competent to advise you. This would normally be your College Tutor or your College's student administration officer. They should be able to point you to the correct procedure for dealing with your local authority, with Student Finance England, or with other funding providers.
When it comes time to complete the appropriate form to send to your funding provider, we recommend that you state that you are "changing from the three-year Computer Science Tripos (old regulations) course to the four-year Computer Science Tripos (2010 regulations) course". You are likely to need to state also that your new course will lead to the MEng degree.
Further information for Directors of Studies and students including important dates