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Faculty of Mathematics


Part III is the jewel in the crown of our course. It goes back to 1769, when it was known as 'The Smith’s Prize Examination', and is recognised as a world-leading taught Master’s course in mathematics and one of the best ways of preparing for graduate work in mathematics or theoretical physics.

Part III is a uniquely exciting and varied mathematics course

In recent times Part III has developed to offer around 80 different courses (you would normally choose between six and eight) and more than 100 possible topics for the optional dissertation in which students have to review recent research in an area of their choice. Courses on offer span the whole range of Mathematics and its applications, Theoretical Physics and Probability and Statistics, and aim to introduce students to the latest developments in the field, in preparation for research.

Cambridge mathematics undergraduates who wish stay on to do Part III, currently around 90, are joined by other Cambridge students who have done physics, and by around 170 students from other universities in the UK and the rest of the world. With students from many different backgrounds, you will have the opportunity to experience high level mathematics within a truly rich environment.

You will be taught by some of the world’s best mathematicians

Topics are at the cutting edge of mathematical research, and often taught by the people who introduced them or who have made the greatest strides in recent research in the field. Examples include:

  • String Theory, by the theoretical physicist whose work foreshadowed M-Theory;
  • The Unified Method for Boundary Value Problems, by the mathematician who first introduced it;
  • Geometric Group Theory;
  • Advanced Financial Models;
  • Algebraic Number Theory;
  • Quantum Information Theory;
  • Origin and Evolution of Galaxies; 
  • Analysis of Operators;
  • Black Holes; 
  • Computability and Logic
  • Fluid Dynamics of Climate;
  • Algebraic Topology;
  • Biostatistics.

You can find a full list of available courses here.

You will have excellent career prospects

Most students taking Part III go on to further research, either in Cambridge or in leading universities elsewhere in the UK and overseas. Those who do not are snapped up by employers in a wide variety of fields, from the financial sector to industry, GCHQ, other parts of the public sector and many more. The rigour and breadth of the course are widely known and much appreciated. So enjoy the Maths in the knowledge that it will also be great for your career!