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Assignment Description

Mathematics Level Three (Final Year) Project 2018/19 (MA3990) Background and Project Plan Grading Descriptors


Please apply each part of these descriptors to individual marking categories as appropriate.


Grade bandsA*| A (A+,A,A-) | B (B+,B,B-) | C (C+,C,C-) | D (D+,D,D-) | E (E+,E,E-) | F


A*  Approaching text-book quality introduction to the topic and project objectives; strong evidence of emerging mastery of the subject area(s); ambitious and approaching professional quality project plan. 

A         Clear, correct, and appropriate to the task; evidence of emerging mastery of the subject area(s); challenging, achievable, and fully justified project plan.

B         Somewhat flawed, but in all essentials clear, correct, and appropriate to the task; evidence of acquiring good working knowledge of the subject area(s); realistic and thought-through plan. 

C         Contains minor errors, omissions and/or irrelevancies and/or unclear sections, yet provides a largely coherent introduction to the subject area(s) and project objectives; evidence of acquiring substantive knowledge of the subject area(s); evidence of thoughtful approach to planning.

D         Provides a usable introduction despite substantial errors and/or omissions and/or irrelevancies and/or unclear sections; patchy evidence of basic knowledge of the subject area(s); superficial approach to planning.

E         Not appropriate to the task due to errors and/or irrelevancies and/or unclear or missing sections; threshold knowledge of the subject area cannot be inferred; vague and/or unrealistic plan.

F          Not acceptable.


Assignment Description

College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences

         Mathematics Level Three (Final Year) Project                   Department of Mathematics

Background and Project Plan Requirements and Submission Rules

Requirements: You need to submit a 10-page A4 document containing: 


(1)   mathematical and other relevant background information for your project,

(2)   a clear formulation of the project goals, and  (3) the draft work plan accompanied by a Gantt chart. 


This document should contain a clear account of the project’s background and motivation, a detailed statement of its objectives, and a work plan setting out how the objectives will be achieved. The document must clearly demonstrate your sound grasp of the background theories and techniques that are needed for successful implementation of the project plan. The work plan should be realistic and sensible, and must include a Gantt chart. 


The background should be written in a manner appropriate for a mathematics graduate who has not necessarily taken modules in the project’s topic area(s). In particular, it is important to reference prior results and information properly, so that readers unfamiliar with the subject know where to look for the statement of facts you claim to be true (for both mathematical and non-mathematical information and results). More detailed guidance on referencing is given in the Requirements Guide. The whole document must not exceed the maximum of 10 pages of word-processed text. Further typesetting rules are the same as those detailed in the Requirements Guide for the final submission, and must be adhered to.


The 10 page limit includes the 1-2 pages of the project plan and 1-page Gantt chart (required!), so the background part of the submission is limited by 7-8 pages. Note that sample projects available for browsing in the General Office contain Background and Draft Plan submissions as appendices. We also strongly advise you to consult the marking form posted on Blackboard Learn which will be used by the markers.


Each submission will be marked independently by your supervisor and another member of staff. They will discuss and agree on the grade and formulate written feedback. The agreed grade and the feedback will be provided to you by the end of the first term. The supervisor may give you further comments and suggestions on how the background can be improved and expanded for possible use in the final submission.


Submission deadline:              23:59 on Sunday 18 November 2018.


Submission rules: Electronic submission via Wiseflow.


The answers to some of the more frequently asked questions are as follows:


Q. How strict is the 10-page length limit? A. Very! All figures, diagrams, tables, references, etc. must fit into the limit. Appendices are allowed, but the combined length of the whole document including appendices cannot exceed 10 pages.


Q. Is it required to submit exactly 10 pages?

A. No, 10 pages is the upper limit on the length of your submission.


Q. Is it required to include the Gantt chart representation of your work plan? A. Yes.


Q. Is an acknowledgements section required?

A. No.


Q. Is a contents page required?


A. No.

Q. Is a list of references needed?

A. Yes!!! (see the marking form). The referencing requirements and standards are the same as for any other mathematical text (including the final project write-up). However, in light of the 10-page limit, your list of references need not be given on a separate page. Rather, the list of references can be given at the end of the last page of the text with an appropriate sub-heading (or, alternatively, references can be included as footnotes).


Q. Is a title page needed?

A. Title page is optional -- if included it does not count towards the limit. Alternatively, your name, supervisor's name and the project title can be given at the top of the first page.


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