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Currently there are four topics to choose from: history of modern geometry; advances in approximation theory; variational methods applied to eigenvalue problems; algebraic graph theory.

You will be guided by study notes, books, research articles and original sources (or English translations where necessary), which are provided. You’ll need to master the appropriate mathematics and ultimately present your work in the form of a final dissertation.

You will learn in this Dissertation in Mathematics course at The Open University UK  

Successful study of this module should enhance your skills in understanding complex mathematical texts, working on open-ended problems and communicating mathematical ideas clearly.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Part-time
  • Credits
    30 alternative credits
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
  • More information Go to the programme website

Programme Structure

You can choose from four topics:

  • History of modern geometry

This topic covers the history of geometry in the nineteenth century. It follows the history of projective geometry and the discovery of non-Euclidean geometry from the 1820s and 1830s. 

  • Advances in approximation theory

This topic extends the material in Approximation theory  to the study of splines and piecewise polynomials, and their possible application to the approximate solution of differential equations. 

  • Variational methods applied to eigenvalue problems

This topic extends the theory developed in Calculus of variations and advanced calculus to deal with some types of linear partial differential equations. 

  • Algebraic graph theory

Algebraic graph theory is a branch of mathematics that studies graphs and other models of discrete structures by a combined power of spectral methods of linear algebra; group theory (covered in part in Further pure mathematics; and algebra over finite fields.

English Language Requirements

You need the following IELTS score:

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

General Requirements

This module is a dissertation and assumes a high level of mathematical maturity.

To study this module you must:

  • declare the MSc in Mathematics (or another qualification towards which the module can count) as your qualification intention
  • have successfully completed at least four other modules in the MSc in Mathematics.

The Advances in approximation theory’ topic builds on the material in Advanced mathematical methods and Approximation theory. Normally, you should have completed both these modules to be accepted to study this topic.


Check the programme website for information about funding options.

Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

Dissertation in Mathematics
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