Welcome to Year 3 by the Head of the School of Mathematics

Welcome to Year 3 by the Year 3 Organiser

Welcome to Year 3 by Pamela Docherty (Student Learning Advisor)

- People
- Course choice
- Exams
- Assessment breakdown
- Differences between Honours and Pre-Honours
- What happens if you fail Year 3?

The Year 3 Secretary is Noureen Ehsan (MTO 5211 JCMB, noureen.ehsan@ed.ac.uk)

The Year 3 Coordinator is Bruce Worton (4617 JCMB, Bruce.Worton@ed.ac.uk).

Your Year 3 student class reps are listed here: All Class Representatives and SSLC schedule

There are four 20-credit Year 3 Honours courses: Analysis (Semester 1), Differential Equations (S1), Algebra (S2) and Complex Variables (S2). These four courses are all compulsory for the single Honours Mathematics degrees. For joint degrees programmes you may have a choice between one or more of them - check the requirements for your degree programme on Path.

Your compulsory courses should appear automatically on your EUCLID record.

All other Year 3 Mathematics courses are 10 credits and run for a single Semester, and you can see them all on Path. We've written a guide to help you use Path to guide your subject choice in your Honours years.

Taking more than 120 credits in an Honours year requires a concession from College. This is only granted for students with a very strong record - usually grade A average, and usually a maximum of 20 extra credits. You can ask your Personal Tutor about this - they will advise Stuart King (School Curriculum Approval Officer) who will make the College application on your behalf. If you are accepted, you will have to choose which of your 120 credits will count towards your degree classification - this has to be done in advance of you taking any exams, unfortunately!

You can of course enrol on more than 120 credits while you are still making you your mind which courses to take - but you need to instruct your PT to withdraw you from any extra courses before Week 5. This does not require a College concession.

You should refer to DRPS for the information concerning whether a Year 3 course will have an exam in December or April-May.

Note that for the four core Honours Maths courses (*Algebra, Differential Equations, Analysis, Complex Variables*) the assessment is 20% coursework and 80% by examination.

You should refer to DRPS for the assessment information on other Year 3 courses.

Many students are nervous about starting their Honours years, but are not really sure what will be different. There are three main differences:

**You cannot resit exams**

You only have one chance at each exam in Honours years*, which can make the exam stress more intense! But this doesn't mean that you have to pass every course - you can fail up to 40 credits and still progress to Year 4 (your overall average also needs to be >=40%).

The **MMath degree **has an additional hurdle - you need to achieve >=60% average in your Year 3 to be permitted to stay on the MMath. Otherwise you will be transferred to a four-year Mathematics degree (usually BSc Mathematics but you may have some options depending on the courses you have taken).

*this is not necessarily the case if you have special circumstances which negatively affect your ability to study or sit the exam.

**Your grades now count towards your final degree classification**

The grade of every course you take from now on will now be used to calculate your degree classification. The precise calculation will depend on which degree programme you are on: for all 4-year School of Mathematics degrees it will be the average of your Year 3 and Year 4 marks, and for MMath it will be calculated on your Year 3, 4 and 5 averages with the weighting 20:40:40. If you are on a degree that is not owned by the School of Mathematics then you should check with your own School.

Note that even if you fail a course that mark will still count towards your degree classification.

**Some exams are 'closed-book'**

You will probably be used to bringing in notes and textbooks to your maths exams in Years 1 and 2. In Honours years it is a bit different - for some courses you can bring in a limited number of pages of notes (but not a textbook), and for some courses you can't bring anything. This doesn't mean that you should be learning or revising in a drastically different way though - the key is still to aim for deep understanding of the topics, not surface memorisation.

Although most people do make it through Year 3 successfully, it's important that you know what your options are in the event that you do not pass the progression requirements to enter Year 4.

The default scenario is that you will be transferred to a degree called the BSc Ordinary degree. This is a degree without Honours, which means you can resit courses. So, say you pass 60 credits in Year 3. That's not enough to progress to Year 4, so you'll be transferred to the Ordinary degree where you can resit exams (in August, but if necessary, the following year too) until you gain a total of 360 credits, the amount required for an Ordinary degree.

If you prefer, you can instead choose to leave with a qualification called the Undergraduate Diploma. Some students have successfully applied to other universities to enter year 3 of a maths degree, so they can graduate with Honours.

Last direct edit: **17:19, Saturday 16 September 2017**, by **Bruce Worton**.
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