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Joint Report of the Council and the General Board on the establishment of a degree of Master of Mathematics and a degree of Master of Advanced Study

The COUNCIL and the GENERAL BOARD beg leave to report to the University as follows:

1. The regulations for the Mathematical Tripos have included a Part III (under various names) since the late 19th century. The examination is taken at the end of the fourth year of the course but is also open to candidates who have not taken a first degree in Cambridge. All candidates are awarded a Certificate of Advanced Study in Mathematics, which for Cambridge students is considered, for funding purposes, as a continuation of their undergraduate course. Of the intake of approximately 200 students onto the course about one third have completed the first three years of the Mathematical Tripos and the remainder come from all over the world.

2. The Council and the General Board have received a proposal from the Faculty Board of Mathematics that, following the example of the four-year integrated Masters' courses in the Chemical Engineering, Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, and Natural Sciences Triposes, the four-year course of the Mathematical Tripos should culminate in a new Master's Degree, the Master of Mathematics, abbreviated to M.Math. Public understanding of the achievements represented by higher education qualifications requires a transparent and consistent use of qualification titles; the central bodies note that a Master of Mathematics has become the standard qualification within the UK Mathematics community for four years' study of the subject, and that the title is recognized internationally. There are good reasons to use the same title in Cambridge as elsewhere for the four-year qualification.

3. The arrangement for the course would be analogous to the M.Sci. and M.Eng.; students taking the three-year course would qualify for the B.A. Degree as at present, while those taking the four-year course would qualify on successfully completing the fourth year for both the B.A. and the M.Math. The regulations for Part III of the Mathematical Tripos will be brought into line with those for the Chemical Engineering, Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, and Natural Sciences Triposes so that no student may be a candidate for the fourth year examination if he or she has already proceeded to the B.A. Degree.

4. The Faculty Board of Mathematics have also proposed that the Certificate awarded to students who come to Cambridge to take Part III of the Mathematical Tripos, not for honours, be replaced by a Master's qualification. In parallel, the Committee of Management for the Natural Sciences Tripos has proposed that Part III of the Tripos in Materials Science and Physics be made available to candidates from outside Cambridge, following the same model as Part III Mathematics. A number of the other Science Departments have indicated that they also intend to pursue this option in the future. The course will be an attractive option for students considering a research degree by deepening and extending knowledge to research-level. The Council and General Board have consulted the relevant Faculty Boards and Councils of the Schools and are satisfied that these proposed new Masters' courses would be valuable additions to Cambridge's provision. The modest rise expected will be within the planned increase in postgraduate numbers. The cohort of students taking Part III of the Mathematical Tripos is expected to remain constant.

5. The Council and General Board agree that there is a need to differentiate between taking Part III of a Tripos as the culmination of four years of study in Cambridge, and the one-year course. Notwithstanding concerns expressed by certain members of the Regent House about increasing numbers of Masters' degrees, the Council and General Board have agreed that the establishment of these new Masters' degrees is necessary to ensure that the titles accurately reflect the academic level, nature, and purpose of study. The title M.Phil. is not appropriate for these awards as this degree is recognized in the academic community at large and through the QAA's Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ) as normally reserved for qualifications awarded following extended Masters' courses that typically involve a substantial element of research or equivalent enquiry.1 After consulting the Faculty Boards and other authorities concerned, and the Senior Tutors' Committee, the Council and the General Board have agreed to propose the establishment of (i) a degree of Master of Mathematics and (ii) a degree of Master of Advanced Study for which the suggested abbreviation would be M.A.St. The latter would be awarded to students taking Part III Mathematics and certain Part III courses in the Natural Sciences Tripos not for honours.

6. The General Board have proposed general regulations for both these degrees as set out in Annex 1 to this Report. The requirements for the subjects Materials Science, Mathematics, and Physics for the M.A.St. are also set out in the draft special regulations in Annex 2; these are exactly the same as the requirements for Part III of the Tripos concerned. Consequential changes to the regulations for Part III of the Mathematical Tripos are set out in Annex 3.

Retrospectivity for the M.Math. and M.A.St. Degree

7. The Report currently before the University proposes moving to a position in which those taking Part III for honours obtain a B.A. with M.Math., while those taking it not for honours obtain a M.A.St. In view of the change, the Faculty Board of Mathematics are of the view that those who have taken Part III not for honours in its current form should be permitted to supplicate for the M.A.St. Degree following the precedent of the LL.M. and M.Eng. Degrees. Part III became available to non-Cambridge graduates as a stand alone Master's-style qualification beginning in the year 1961-62, following a Report of the Faculty Board of Mathematics published on 1 March 1961 (Reporter, 1960-61, p. 1103). With a view to parity of treatment, the Faculty Board have proposed that those who obtained honours at Part III from 1962 onwards be permitted to supplicate retrospectively for the M.Math. The Council have therefore agreed, subject to approval of the recommendations of this Report, to promote a Grace that would make it possible for those students who have attained the honours standard in Part III of the Mathematical Tripos from 1962 onwards to supplicate for one of the new degrees. The Council recommend that, as for the LL.M. and the M.Eng. Degree, because of the number of candidates who might supplicate for the degrees retrospectively such candidates should not be allowed to proceed at General Admission.

Financial implications

8. The proposals are consistent with arrangements for Home/EU student support. With some exceptions, undergraduate fee support and loans are not available to graduates on a second undergraduate course. However, provided Cambridge students do not graduate after Part II, and therefore take Part III as part of a single first degree, they remain eligible for undergraduate fee support and loans for their fourth year. Students from other institutions who will take the M.A.St. Degree as graduates will be covered by the support and University fee arrangements applicable to postgraduate study.

9. HEFCE funding is changing, but (with some exceptions) provided Home/EU students are not studying for a qualification which is at an equivalent or lower level to one already obtained, then the organization of the M.Math. and the M.A.St. Degree as proposed above should ensure that students remain fundable, even if additional student numbers do not lead to additional funding under HEFCE's funding model for teaching.

Amendment to Statute B

10. The Council and the General Board consider that, with the introduction of these new degrees, it would be timely to propose an amendment to Statute B which would remove reference to specific University degree titles from the Statute so that the University may establish new degrees without recourse to the Privy Council. They propose that a new schedule to the Statute be created that the University may amend by Grace. The Schedule would indicate which degrees were primary degrees, that is degrees to which persons may be admitted who do not already have a Cambridge degree.

11. The Council and the General Board recommend:

I. That the proposals for the introduction of the degrees of Master of Mathematics and Master of Advanced Studies in the University be approved.

II. That, subject to the approval of Her Majesty in Council, the Statutes of the University be amended as follows:

Statute B

Chapter III

DEGREES

By replacing this Chapter so as to read:

1. The University may admit to any of the several degrees listed in Schedule L a matriculated person who has done all that is required by the Statutes or Ordinances.2

2. Degrees shall rank in such order of precedence as may be determined by Ordinance and failing any Ordinance in such order as has been customary heretofore.

3. The University shall have power to add or remove a degree to or from the list of those specified in Schedule L and shall specify in the schedule which degrees are primary degrees.

4. Students may be admitted to a primary degree without having previously been admitted to any degree in the University. Save as otherwise provided in the Statutes no one shall be admitted to any degree other than the primary degree without having previously been admitted to a degree in the University.

5. Save as otherwise provided in the Statutes no one shall be admitted to any degree of the University unless he or she has complied with such conditions of residence as shall have been approved by Ordinance.

6. The University may prescribe by Ordinance conditions in which the status of the degree of Bachelor of Arts and of the degree of Master of Arts may be held or may be granted by the Council. The University may by Ordinance prescribe conditions under which on the recommendation of the Council persons may be granted admission to the complete degree of Master of Arts without fulfilment of the usual conditions.

7. The University may by Ordinance prescribe conditions under which

(a) a graduate of the University of Oxford or the University of Dublin (Trinity College) may be admitted by incorporation to any degree which in the opinion of the Council is equivalent to a degree to which he or she has been admitted by either of those Universities;
(b) a candidate for a degree who has kept a term or terms by residence at either of the said Universities may receive an allowance of not more than the same number of terms towards the terms required to be kept in this University.

8. Admission to a degree shall take place when a candidate is admitted to it in person at a Congregation of the Regent House; provided that the University may prescribe conditions under which a candidate may be admitted to a degree in absence.

9. If any person has resigned his or her membership of the University in accordance with the provisions of section 7 of Chapter I of this Statute, and if the Council has removed that person's name from the list of members of the University, any degree or degrees of the University to which the person concerned has been admitted shall be deemed to be cancelled forthwith, and shall be reinstated only by a decision of the Council which shall not be taken until a period of five years has elapsed from the date of cancellation.

SCHEDULE L

DEGREES CONFERRED BY THE UNIVERSITY

Primary degrees (Statute B, III, 3, 4)

Bachelor of Arts

Bachelor of Medicine

Bachelor of Music

Bachelor of Surgery

Bachelor of Theology for Ministry

Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine

Master of Advanced Study

Master of Business Administration

Master of Education

Master of Engineering

Master of Finance

Master of Law

Master of Letters

Master of Mathematics

Master of Philosophy

Master of Natural Sciences

Master of Research

Master of Science

Master of Studies

Doctor of Engineering

Doctor of Philosophy

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

The following degrees are not primary degrees:

Master of Arts

Master of Music

Master of Surgery

Doctor of Divinity

Doctor of Law

Doctor of Medicine

Doctor of Science and Doctors of Letters

Doctor of Music

Bachelor of Divinity

8 December 2008 ALISON RICHARD, Vice-Chancellor WILLIAM BROWN DAVID SIMON
 TONY BADGER S. J. COWLEY LIBA TAUB
 A. P. BAGSHAW DEBBIE LOWTHER JOAN M. WHITEHEAD
 W. BORTRICK D. W. B. MACDONALD RICHARD WILSON
 NIGEL BROWN F. MORRISSEY S. J. YOUNG

Dr Cowley declared a personal interest with respect to paragraph 7 and the retrospectivity for the M.Math. Degree.

12 November 2008 ALISON RICHARD, Vice-Chancellor TOM BLUNDELL RICHARD HUNTER
 A. P. BAGSHAW W. BORTRICK D. W. B. MACDONALD
 N. BAMPOS WILLIAM BROWN J. RALLISON
 GRAEME BARKER PHILIP FORD PATRICK SISSONS
 JOHN BELL RICHARD FRIEND I. H. WHITE

ANNEX 1

Master of Mathematics (M.Math.)

A student who has obtained honours in Part III of the Mathematical Tripos shall be entitled to proceed to the M.Math. Degree.

Master of Advanced Study

GENERAL REGULATIONS

1. The M.A.St. Degree shall be awarded on completion of a course of advanced study. A subject of such study, together with the programme aims, learning outcomes, and syllabus for the course, and the special regulations for the examination and any subsequent amendments thereof, shall be approved by the General Board on the recommendation of the Faculty Board or other body concerned, after consultation with the appropriate Degree Committee.

2. A candidate for the M.A.St. Degree must be approved by the Degree Committee concerned and shall comply with any special conditions that the Degree Committee may lay down in a particular case. The course shall extend over one academical year. A candidate shall be required to attend in all three terms of the year, beginning from the date announced by the Degree Committee for the start of lectures, classes, or other formal instruction.

3. The Faculty Board or other body concerned shall have power to issue supplementary regulations determining the scope and manner of assessment of the examination, and shall be empowered to amend such supplementary regulations from time to time as they may think fit, due care being taken that sufficient notice is given of any change.

4. The Faculty Board or other body concerned shall appoint such number of Examiners and Assessors as they shall deem sufficient to conduct the examination for the M.A.St. Degree and to report on the performance of a candidate. The Examiners and Assessors shall undertake such duties as the Faculty Board or other body may decide.

5. On completing the requisite number of terms a student who has satisfied the Examiners in the examination for the M.A.St. Degree shall be entitled to proceed to the degree.

6. A candidate who has failed to satisfy the Examiners shall not be eligible to take the examination for the degree again.

7. No student shall be a candidate for the M.A.St. Degree on more than one occasion or for the M.A.St. Degree and for another University examination in the same term.

8. For each subject, the names of the candidates who satisfy the Examiners shall appear in alphabetical order in a single class. In each class-list distinctive marks may be attached to the names of those candidates who in the opinion of the Examiners deserve special credit: the mark (d) being used to denote a distinguished performance, and the mark (m) a meritorious performance. The Chairman of Examiners shall communicate the marks of all candidates to the Registrary.

9. While following the course of study leading to the examination for the M.A.St. a student shall pay the appropriate University Composition Fee for the course.

10. A student who has taken the examination for the M.A.St. Degree shall not be entitled to count the period or any part of the period during which he or she has been a candidate for that examination towards a course of research for the degree of Ph.D., M.Sc., or M.Litt.

ANNEX 2

Master of Advanced Study

SPECIAL REGULATIONS

Materials Science

The examination in Materials Science for the M.A.St. Degree shall comprise written papers, and topics for an optional essay as set out in the regulations for the subject Materials Science and Metallurgy in Part III of the Natural Sciences Tripos. The conduct of the examination shall be governed for the regulations for that part, provided that a candidate shall be a candidate not for honours and the candidate's name shall not appear in the class-list for the Tripos.

Mathematics

The examination in Mathematics for the M.A.St. Degree shall comprise written papers, and topics for an optional essay as set out in the regulations for Part III of the Mathematical Tripos. The conduct of the examination shall be governed for the regulations for that part, provided that a candidate shall be a candidate not for honours and the candidate's name shall not appear in the class-list for the Tripos.

Physics

The examination in Physics for the M.A.St. Degree shall comprise written papers, and topics for an optional essay as set out in the regulations for the subject Experimental and Theoretical Physics in Part III of the Natural Sciences Tripos. The conduct of the examination shall be governed for the regulations for that part, provided that a candidate shall be a candidate not for honours and the candidate's name shall not appear in the class-list for the Tripos.

ANNEX 3

AMENDMENT TO THE REGULATIONS FOR PART III OF THE MATHEMATICAL TRIPOS

(Statutes and Ordinances, p. 351)

Part III

Regulations 20-25 replaced:

20. A student who has obtained honours in an Honours Examination taken not earlier than the fourth term after his or her first term of residence may be a candidate for honours in Part III, provided that he or she has kept seven terms and that twelve complete terms have not passed after his or her first term of residence, and provided also that he or she has not proceeded to the B.A. Degree.

21. No student shall be a candidate for Part III on more than one occasion, or for Part III and for another Honours Examination in the same term.

22. The names of the candidates who have obtained honours in the examination for Part III shall be arranged in alphabetical order in one class. Distinctive marks shall be attached to the names of those candidates who in the opinion of the Examiners deserve special credit. The mark (d) shall be used to denote a distinguished performance, and the mark (m) a meritorious performance.

1See QAA's Framework for Higher Education (FHEQ) on the naming of awards, in particular para. 71 (http://www.qaa.ac.uk/academicinfrastructure/FHEQ/EWNI08/default.asp).

2See also Statute T, 23 and 24.


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Cambridge University Reporter 10 December 2008
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