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Maths Tripos Part III

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TSR's new app is coming! Sign up here to try it first >> 17-10-2016
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    I am a third year MPhys student at Southampton on a first. I am looking with a friend at the prospects of us both successfully getting on the Part III course. We have done some searching and emailing but seem to only get the usual must have at least a first requirement. I'm hoping someone who has gone through this already (doing the MASt) might be able to give some more information to these questions:

    * Is the overall percentage average considered when applying or the
    fact that a first class degree is obtained just considered?
    * Do the types of modules taken count for anything? For example,
    we have tailored our physics degree to more mathematical modules.
    *Are the percentage marks for individual modules taken throughout the degree? e.g. My friend does well all round and I have very mixed scores in modules.
    * Will the masters be considered more favourable over a bachelor? (or less since we are applying for a second masters here).
    *Is there any other factors considered other than the degree?
    e.g. My friend is doing some GR project in the summer with a Harvard lecturer, which has to count for something. I have had less relevant work at a plasma physics department, at a fusion reactor, and at a satellite company in Harwell.
    *What is the application process like? (references, interviews, etc).

    Any help or information is really appreciated as we are pretty clueless on what the best steps to get on this course are.

    One of my friends has got a place on the part III for this coming September. His undergrad degree is in maths with physics (a 75/25 split). His condition was to get an average of 82% which he got. Besides that he got various awards from the maths department and a publication on fuzzy logic. He also manged to get a scholarship from Cambridge to cover fees.

    Not sure if any of this helps but there you go.


    I just finished my Part III exams a week ago. I graduated from Southampton with a BSc in Physics. To answer your questions:

    I think the minimum requirements on their website to even apply is a 1st class, so I assume they look for people with quite high firsts, around 80% though I know of people who have been accepted with lower grades.

    In my undergrad I did tailor my degree towards more math modules that were relevant towards theoretical physics - and let me tell you that knowing more maths really pays off on this course. Also, make sure you do a BSc/MPhys project in theoretical physics or whatever is close to what you plan to undertake in Part III, I think it looks good on the personal statement and gives you a referee who can write about your potential in the area.

    I'm not sure if individual marks are looked at our not, but best to try and do well across the board and I think it probably does help if you score highly in modules related to what you want to concentrate in during Part III.

    Again, I don't know how interested Cambridge is on extracurricular things, but and internship and summer research can't hurt your chances.

    The application process is simple - fill out the form and provides references and a personal statement, there won't be an interview.

    Just a couple of extra notes/tips: The course will be much harder than anything offered at Southampton, there were no 'easy' modules - all of them required a lot of work to get through and understand. This is reflected in the high level of the students attending the program. I highly recommend if you are successful in the application to make sure you brush up on some basic Group theory, Differential geometry and Complex analysis, I wish I did prior to coming.

    If you have any other questions, feel free to ask and good luck!
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