Information on Assessment within the MSc by Research in Pervasive Parallelism.

The MSc by Research in Pervasive Parallelism is administered by the School's MSc Board of Examiners, governed by the University's Postgraduate (Research) Assessment Regulations.  The correspondence between numerical scores, grades and their interpretation in terms of the MSc(R) is given below. 

Score Grade Interpretation
> = 70 A Excellent 
60-69 B Very Good
50-59 C Good
40-49 D Satisfactory for Diploma but inadequate for MSc
<40 E Unsatisfactory


To be awarded the MSc by Research in Pervasive Parallelism students must

  • Achieve a weighted average mark across all components of at least 50%, and
  • Pass the MSc by Research Thesis with at least 50%


To be awarded a Diploma students must

  • Achieve a weighted average mark across all components of at least 40%, and
  • Pass the MSc by Research Thesis with at least 40%


Your overall mark is decided at a Board of Examiners meeting. The Board has the freedom to aggregate marks in any way but normally each course is given weighting proportional to its points value. The Board of Examiners can award distinctions to students who have performed exceptionally well (close to or above 70) across both courses and thesis. Similarly, a merit can be awarded for performance above 60. The Board may take mitigating circumstances (e.g. illness) into account so it is vital that you communicate these to your Personal Tutor, along with substantiating evidence (e.g. a medical certificate), if you believe that your performance has been impaired. If you are ill on or around the date of an examination then you must obtain a medical certificate from a doctor as soon as you are fit enough to do so. 

Depending upon your course choice, written examinations take place in December and/or during the first weeks of the summer. The exam diet can spread over up to five weeks so be careful to check when your exams take place before arranging any absences from Edinburgh. There is usually one examination paper per course and each paper typically lasts two hours, although a small number of courses are examined by coursework only (for example, the 20 point Pervasive Parallelism course itself). Each paper is normally set by the lecturer responsible for each course and is vetted by an External Examiner and appropriate members of the Board of Examiners. Questions may be set on any aspect of the lectures or coursework.

Assessment of the MSc by Research Thesis is described on the DRPS course page. After MSc(R) thesis submission in mid-August, CDT students will present their MSc(R) thesis work and future research plans, supported by a short written document, to a PhD progression panel comprising their supervisors and/or other members selected by the Director of the CDT. This panel will approve or refuse progression to the three-year PhD phase. This decision is independent of success or failure in the MSc(R) itself.