Department of Computer Science and Technology

Course pages 2019–20

Introduction to Part II

Students taking the Part II 50% option of the CST will read papers 7, 8 and 9 and submit a dissertation. Each of these four is marked out of 100 giving a total available credit in Part II of 400 marks. Alternatively, those taking the Part II 75% option will take papers 8, 9, submit a dissertation, and offer two units of assessment.

Some courses are specific to either Paper 7 or are Units of Assessment, and have been marked as such in this booklet. Those students following the 75% Computer Science option, who have taken Paper 7 in Part II, will additionally choose two of the units of assessment. Those students taking the 50% Computer Science option, will attend the Paper 7 courses instead, full details of which can be found in the Part IB booklet. The remaining courses can be chosen by all Part II students.

The taught modules in Part II are examined in papers 7, 8 and 9 and you answer five questions from each paper. There are no restrictions on which questions you answer. The layout of the papers is announced just before the Michaelmas term starts, but it is generally mostly the same as in previous years, varying only to accomodate new, withdrawn or suspended courses. The units are assessed in a variety of ways, and details can be found in the course descriptions.

It is up to you to make sure you read sufficient courses to be able to answer five questions on each of the papers. Generally, you should aim to be able to answer at least six questions on each paper. You are certainly not expected to go to all the Part II lectures and be able to answer all of the questions on every paper -- that would be more or less impossible.

Here is a suggestion for how to plan your courses: In September, just before the start of the year, look through the course list and strike out any course you know you won’t do (i.e. remove the definite ‘no’s - there are always some). Then attend the first lecture of every Part II course to get the feel for it and make a decision on whether to continue after checking that dropping the course doesn’t leave you short on any paper. Work on the basis of being able to answer 6 questions, with a 7th as a backup where you are confident of scoring half marks (but probably no more).

It is the duty of your Director of Studies to advise you in course selection so do ask for guidance.

The syllabus information given here is for guidance only and should not be considered definitive. Current timetables can be found at

For most of the courses listed below, a list of recommended books is given. These are roughly in order of usefulness, and lecturers have indicated by means of an asterisk those books which are most recommended for purchase by College libraries.

The Computer Laboratory Library aims to keep at least one copy of each of the course texts in “The Booklocker” (see