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MSc and PhD Course Structure


In Term 1 students take four taught modules:

    Plus a non-examinable module on Introduction to Computing, run in week zero - the week before term 1 starts.

    In Term 2 students take at least 3 modules totalling at least 48 CATS from the following lists:

    a) Purpose-made Options (particularly oriented to the Complexity Science MSc)

    b) Other Usual Options

    c) Unusual Options

    Students are invited to propose to take any other appropriate modules at masters level from the University of Warwick, subject to approval of the Director. A list of examples that students have taken in the past, plus some other suggestions, such as IM903-12 Complexity in the Social Sciences.

    Each of the C09xx modules comprise:

    • theory and principles, through lectures and/or (where good written text is available) study groups working to jointly understand directed reading;
    • consolidation by application, through classwork, both analytical and computational, with a large component of group work in which students are challenged to work as a team, dividing responsibility, communicating results, and sharing in the outcome.

    Key aspects of the classwork are problem-based learning and team/group work, which we view as an essential part of practising research.

    Embedded within the classwork is a systematic development of numerical and computational technique. The first modules promote simple computational experience using accessible packages such as Matlab, leading on in later modules to developing fully compiled code and issues of numerical algorithm and stability.

    Students do two successive 12-week miniprojects in each of term 3 and (in undergraduate-speak) the "summer vacation"

    Many miniprojects have some connection to our end-users associated with the centre, but in each case there is a member of staff on Campus contributing to (if not leading) the supervision. They generally comprise one week of prior reading, ten weeks of active research, and finally presentation of results in a Scientific Conference format: a web presentation and associated poster for miniproject one, and a formal report and oral talk for miniproject two [suggestion subject to permutation]. These projects should present students with an accessible challenge on which to demonstrate competence, plus the opportunity to contribute something more original.

    Choices of miniproject will not bind students' choice of PhD project, but they serve as a prospective taster (both individually and through group opinion).

    PhD projects are

    • supervised by two researchers, at least one a member of academic staff (the second supervisor might be an end-user off-campus); where both are on campus we would expect them to have complementary backgrounds where practical;
    • subject to six-monthly monitoring by the DTC;
    • subject to annual presentation of progress after each year culminating in a formal thesis seminar to the DTC;
    • examined according to the University's PhD regulations.

    PhD opportunities 2012

    Transferable Skills

    The DTC puts considerable weight on students being equipped to apply research-based, organisational and presentation skills in a broad range of contexts. In the MSc year this is within the four term-1 modules and in a Team Building Development session in Week Zero. For the PhD years there is a self-standing Transferable Skills Certificate. Both of these are being run in association with MOAC DTC . More information about this can be found here. and here.

    Later taught module options

    Students will be expected to take at least one further Masters level option from the wide range of interdisciplinary Masters Modules available at Warwick (such as from CSC, MOAC, WSB, MASDOC). Another possibility, available for credit this year, is the TCC modules (a videoconferenced series for PhD students in mathematics at a UK consortium).