Undergraduate Teaching 2022-23

Part IIB modules

Part IIB modules

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Part IIB is based around a flexible modular scheme, in which strong specialisation is possible.  About 75 modules are available, from which you choose eight. Most opt for four in each of the Michaelmas and Lent terms, but this is not a requirement.  If you do wish to take an unbalanced selection, it is usually preferable to undertake the greater share in Michaelmas (e.g. 5:3), since past experience shows that project pressure tends to be higher in the Lent term.  The decision is also influenced by the coursework load of your modules. You are advised to discuss your choice with your director of studies, particularly if it is not a balanced selection of 4 in each term.

Each module has 16 timetabled slots, in the Michaelmas or Lent term (with the exception of a small number of vacation modules).  Exam-only use all 16, including examples classes; this is reduced to 12-14 slots for 25% coursework modules. Coursework modules use as many of the 16 slots as are appropriate to cover the course, including coursework briefing. All module examinations are held in the first three weeks of the Easter term.

Modules with Coursework

NB. There are no supervisions for Part IIB modules, only examples classes.

Coursework arrangements will usually be explained in the first lecture. Students may be required to sign up for experiments etc during the second lecture to be assured of a place.

Part IIB module coursework is marked anonymously, as far as this is practical. Coursework candidate numbers (CCN's) can be found on COMET.  Students need to complete a coversheet and submit all coursework to the relevant Group Administrator.  Marksheets will only show the CCN, and marked work will be returned via the Group Administrators.


  • The default hand-in time for all coursework deadlines in 4pm on the given date.
  • You need to know your CCN (available on COMET) – new this year is that this will be the same as your exam candidate number.
  • The examiners or staff in charge of coursework may, at their discretion, interview candidates in connection with any element of coursework.


You are reminded that you must keep safe all your Part IIB coursework as you must submit it for scrutiny by the examiners at the end of the Easter term.

You should:

  • collect all your coursework (from wherever you handed it in to for marking, unless you’ve been told otherwise by the Module Leader), and
  • hand in all marked coursework (complete with the feedback sheets where possible).  If you will have a problem attending on the above dates or times, please the Teaching Office to discuss.

A coversheet will be issued that contains details of the procedure for coursework submission to External Examiners. The coversheet includes a declaration, which you must sign, that all coursework submitted is your own work. You will also be reminded of the importance of this declaration when you confirm your exam entries.

You must read the advice on cooperation and cheating and (if you have not done so already) will be required to complete a consent form for the possible use of the Turnitin text matching software (which checks electronic coursework submissions for plagiarism).


Module assessment is of three types:

  • 100% exam;
  • 75% exam + 25% coursework;
  • 100% coursework. 

All Part IIB exams are of 1.5 hours duration and are held at the start of the Easter term. Dates for specific modules will be posted online during the Lent term.

See the information about marking & classing criteria for information about how Part IIB is classed.


The Faculty Board's list of modules & sets is published in May for the following academic year and is subdivided into Groups A to G, I and M, as in Part IIA, with the addition of Group R.  The number of modules in each of Groups A-G will normally be not less than six and not more than ten, although the number and the topics covered will vary slightly from year to year.

Please note that you must complete two management modules (E modules, 4I1 or optionally 4D16 for those pursuing the civil engineering area) during Part II. If you did not take two management modules in Part IIA you will be required to select one in IIB.

Note that the modules available may vary slightly from year to year.

Group A

Energy, fluid mechanics and turbomachinery

Group B

Electrical engineering

Group C

Mechanics, materials and design

Group D

Civil engineering

Group E

Management and manufacturing

Group F

Information engineering

Group G


Group I

Imported modules

These modules are offered by other Departments or other courses within CUED.

Group M

Multidisciplinary modules

This group includes the mathematical modules, and foreign language modules (which lead on from language skills developed in the Part IIA Easter term language projects).

Group R

Research modules (available to students who have been classed with a First at Part IIA of the Tripos)

These modules are of interest principally to those wishing to pursue a career in research.

Rules and restrictions

Engineering Areas

Guidance on module choices for students wishing to qualify in particular engineering areas can be found here. There are also conditions specific to professional institutions accreditation.

Modules may be further restricted as indicated in the ‘Special Conditions’ section at the top of the syllabus;

Timetable arrangements and sets

Please refer to the Faculty Board list of modules and sets for the definitive list .

Dissertation option

Regulations for the Engineering Tripos (S&O, pg327) permit a student to propose a dissertation of between 4,000 and 5,000 words in place of one module. Approval for a dissertation will not be given lightly; however a student may be granted permission to submit a dissertation on a subject in which he/she has a particular interest, but which is allied, rather than central, to the field of a module.

More information on this is available on the 4X1 moodle page: https://www.vle.cam.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=124461

Students who are interested in taking the dissertation option should:

  • identify a member of staff who can assess the dissertation and offer some mentoring and advice about the suitability of the subject (the Teaching Office can assist with identifying a mentor if necessary);
  • seek approval from the Director of Undergraduate Education before the Michaelmas COMET deadline, so that they can choose another Michaelmas Term module if their proposal is not approved;
  • send a statement (about 600 words) giving the title and a short synopsis of the scope of the dissertation to the Secretary of the Faculty Board  by Wednesday of week 2 of the Michaelmas term, together with a note of their seven other modules.  The statement should be signed by the Director of Undergraduate Education and the proposed dissertation assessor to indicate their support;
  • comply with the word count and notes on referencing and formatting stipulated in regulation 29 for the Tripos;
  • expect to commit the same amount of time to their dissertation as for any other Part IIB module.

The Faculty Board will decide whether to approve the student’s proposal at its second meeting of the Michaelmas term (Monday of week 5).

[Note: completed dissertations must be submitted for marking via the 4X1 Moodle site by 4pm wednesday of week 1 of the Easter Term]

Language modules

Students who wish to take a language module in Part IIB must make a binding commitment to take 4M1 French, 4M2 German, 4M3 Spanish or 4M4 Japanese when they enter their preferences in COMET towards the end of the Easter term.

When COMET closes on the the last day of Full Term in June all language module selections will be locked. It will not be possible to change them either at the start of the Michaelmas term or at the start of the Lent term.

Ballots and special conditions

For modules where a ballot is normally needed, this information should be available to students on syllabuses and other documents. A ballot will be administered using COMET on the first day of lecture of the corresponding term.

The following modules are known to have limited places. Please consult their syllabus page for more information.

  • Module 4A4 (Aircraft stability and control)
  • Module 4I1 (Strategic valuation)

If numbers are particularly high for any module, the need for a ballot will be announced at the first timetabled period.

Module selection on COMET

You are required to log on to COMET to make a provisional selection of your Part IIB modules in the last two weeks of the preceding Easter Term. You will be able to make changes to your selection at the start of the Michaelmas term (and further changes to Lent modules until January), except for 4M9 and any language options.

Your selection must be finalised each term by midnight on Wednesday of week one. Shortly after each deadline, you will confirm your selection for that term as a binding exam entry that may not subsequently be changed or discounted (i.e. after the Michaelmas deadline you will not then be able to discount any module for which you were entered in the Michaelmas Term).

Modules are offered subject to demand. If the numbers for any module are very low it may be withdrawn or given as a directed reading module rather than as a taught course.

Although you are not required to finalise your choice of modules straight away it is important, if at all possible, to attend the first timetabled period of any module of interest since it is then that the leader will give a general description of its content.

COMET will notify you if your module choices are invalid or do not fit into your chosen engineering area, in which case you must revise your selection. 

Module administration

Queries about particular IIB modules should be addressed to the module leader in the first instance (as detailed in the syllabus). 

Last updated on 19/01/2023 15:58