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Faculty of Mathematics


The MPhil in Mathematics is an 11 month full-time programme and involves minimal formal teaching: students are integrated into the research culture of the Department of Pure Mathematics & Mathematical Statistics (DPMMS), or the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP), as appropriate. They may attend the Departments’ programmes of research seminars and other graduate courses, but most research training is overseen by their research supervisor, and, where appropriate, within a research group. Examination is by thesis and an oral examination.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the programme, students will have:

  • acquired a comprehensive understanding of techniques, and a thorough knowledge of the literature, applicable to their own research;
  • demonstrated originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in their field;
  • shown abilities in the critical evaluation of current research and research techniques and methodologies;
  • demonstrated some self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and acted autonomously in the planning and implementation of research.

Entrance Requirements

The usual minimum entry requirement is a first class honours degree, awarded after a four-year course in physics, mathematics or engineering, or a three-year degree together with a one-year postgraduate course on advanced mathematics and theoretical physics. Part III (MMath/MASt) of the Mathematical Tripos provides such a course. Note however that entry is competitive and a higher level of preparation may be required.

How to Apply

Places on this course are very limited. Most candidates for this degree are holders of one- or two-year scholarships (particularly international scholarships, for example Churchill and Marshall) who:

  • either do not wish to take a taught course,
  • or, in the case of a two-year scholarship, only want to take a taught course in their first year,

and instead wish to undertake a course of research for a year and write a short thesis. Applicants considering this course are strongly recommended to also consider the taught Masters courses offered by the Faculty of Mathematics:

All applications must be made via the Applicant Portal. Anyone wishing to apply for this course must also make informal contact with the Graduate Office in the Faculty of Mathematics ( and with potential supervisors in the Faculty of Mathematics prior to making such an application. Applicants should clearly state in the relevant field of the application form the name(s) of those member(s) of academic staff with whom they wish to work, and provide a clear indication of the areas or topics in which they intend to undertake research.

The application deadline is 30 June for entry in Michaelmas term.

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