General Information

The examinations are normally set by the lecturer for the course, checked by a second internal examiner and also by a Visiting (or External) Examiner (from outside the college). Student scripts are similarly marked by the two internal examiners, and the marking checked by the Visiting Examiner. Examination scripts are marked anonymously. Recommendations about the results of individual courses and degrees awarded are made by the Taught Postgraduate Courses in Mathematics Board of Examiners to the College Board, which makes the final decisions. The Taught Postgraduate Courses in Mathematics Board of Examiners includes the MSc internal Examiners and Visiting Examiners.

Extenuating Circumstances

If there are any circumstances which affect your performance, either during the period of study or during the exam period, and which you would like taken into account, you should discuss this with the MSc Tutor as early as possible. If the issue relates to an examination then you should inform the MSc Tutor no later than 7 days after the exam. Typical circumstances which might be taken into account are serious or prolonged illness, disability or bereavement. Documentation is normally required (e.g. doctor's note). Information will be kept confidential and special circumstances will be discussed by a small committee of examiners.

Missing exams due to illness or other unavoidable causes

If you miss an examination due to illness or some other unavoidable cause, please inform a member of staff, preferably the MSc Tutor, as soon as possible. The MSc Tutor should be given a doctor's note if the absence is due to illness, and any possible documentary evidence supporting absences due to other reasons.

Withdrawal from examinations

If you wish to apply to withdraw from some or all your examinations, you must do so before the end of the first week of the summer term. You will need to see the MSc Tutor, and fill in a form for approval by the Faculty Tutor. Withdrawal after this date is only permitted in exceptional circumstances, namely ill health supported by a medical certificate or the death of a near relative.

The examinations

The timetable for the examinations is usually published mid-March, and shortly afterwards you will be able to access your personal exam timetable through PORTICO. Before the exams start, please check your timetable for the dates, times and locations of your examinations. It is your responsibility to turn up to the right place at the right time with the right equipment (usually just pens, your personal exam timetable and your ID for a Mathematics examination). You will be provided with a candidate number through the post - please make sure that you have this number with you, as it must be entered on your script. The candidate number is a mixture of capital letters and digits, and should not be confused with your student number. Your seat number also has to be entered on the script (this will change for each exam). Please make sure that you read and follow instructions on the paper. It is important to write legibly. Calculators are not permitted in most Mathematics exams and where used elsewhere they must be of UCL standard type as sold in the UCL shop (these are unable to store characters). In some cases past papers will be available in the UCL Library Digital Collection.

Marking Criteria

Please click here to download the Marking Criteria.

Cheating and plagiarism

Cheating or attempts to cheat may lead to serious consequences, including the degree not being awarded. Unless you are explicitly informed otherwise, you are not allowed to take any written material into the examination - for example, you are not allowed to write formulae on your timetable, which you take into the examination. Please also see information on plagiarism on the UCL Current Students pages.


Once the provisional exam results are processed, the MSc tutor will contact students by email to arrange to discuss their performance. Students should therefore make sure that they can be contacted after the examinations are finished. This is particularly important for anyone who has failed examinations and may prefer not to proceed to the project component.
The Examiners’ Meeting to finalise the marks usually takes place in early October. The marks will then be entered on PORTICO for students to access.

Graduation ceremony

The graduation ceremony (for students who have completed their degree) normally takes place in early September (so the following year for MSc students). Arrangements for this are made by Student and Registry Services, and not the Department, and you should receive your application form for places from Student and Registry Services, which you must return by the specified date if you wish to attend. Transcripts are also provided by Student and Registry Services, and not the Department.


You can normally retake any examination you have failed or been absent from the following year (unless you have graduated). You must re-enter at the first possible opportunity (usually one year later). You cannot retake any examination you have passed.

Please note that students will normally be allowed only one retake of any failed examination.


If you are unhappy with your results or any aspect of your course in the first place please discuss your concerns with the MSc Tutor. If you then wish to pursue matters further, there are procedures for formal appeals. You should first contact the MSc Tutor or the MSc Programme Director, Dr Andrea Macrina. You should also consult the UCL current student pages on the Registry website. You may also contact the following:

Student and Registry Services

UCL Registrar: Ms Wendy J Appleby
Academic Registrar’s Office
UCL Registry
University College London
Gower Street
Tel: 020 7679 3203

MAPS Faculty Tutor: Dr Caroline Essex
MAPS Faculty Office
1st floor,
South Wing,
Gower Street
Email: c.essex AT ucl.ac.uk

UCL Students’ Union
The Rights and Advice Centre,
First Floor of the Bloomsbury Theatre,
15 Gordon Street,
Tel: 020 7679 2998