School of Mathematics

How to apply for a PhD

PhD Student Applications

PhD Applications

The postgraduate research degree offered at the School of Mathematics is the PhD.  The PhD programme is three years in length with an additional year to write up and submit your thesis should it be needed. However, please note if you are offered a fully funded place, you will receive four years of funding (stipend and all fees). The students admitted typically have an MSc degree, or 1st class honours degree (or its international equivalent). From the start of their studies, they are assigned a main supervisor with whom they work closely throughout their degree programme and a second supervisor who provides additional help and pastoral support. Applications are invited for PhD studies for September each year. Occasionally students are admitted at other times of the year by special arrangement.  To request the possibility of admission at another time of the year, please email the Graduate School with further details of your request. 

All applications received by 22 January 2024 will receive full consideration for funding. Later applications will be considered until all positions are filled.

If you are applying for EDCS or the China Scholarship, please ensure you check the relevant application deadline. These scholarships do require a separate application. The deadline for EDCS applications is 19 February 2024.

We accept applications from students who have secured external funding at all times of the year - Please make this clear on your application, and if you are in contact with a potential supervisor.


How to Apply

Step 1: Meet our entry requirements

Our minimum entry requirements are a 1st class Honours degree (or its international equivalent) OR a 2:1 Honours degree (or its international equivalent) plus a Masters degree (or its international equivalent) in a relevant subject. Typically, candidates have a good understanding of the field they propose to study, and some research experience.

Students applying for a research degree should identify their research interests and determine in which research group they wish to carry out their work. They are encouraged to contact staff members prior to their application in order to identify possible research projects and supervisors. However, it is not essential for you to have secured a supervisor before submitting your application. You can note proposed supervisor(s) on your appliction form.

Non-UK candidates may be required to provide a evidence of proficiency in the English language. For full details on English language requirements, please see this page. Applicants must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of their English language ability:

  • an undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI list of majority English speaking countries

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 6.0 in each component
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 92 with at least 20 in each section
  • PTE(A): total 61 with at least 56 in each of the Communicative Skills scores
  • CAE and CPE: total 176 with at least 169 in each paper
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components

Degrees taught and assessed in English must be no more than 3.5 years old at the date of the beginning of your degree programme. English language test certificates must be no more than 2 years old at the beginning of your degree programme, or 3.5 years for CAE & CPE.


Step 2: Apply online

Make an online application to the appropriate PhD programme(s) (see below) . You will be asked to upload documents at the start of the application process. 

The documentation that we require you to upload to your application is:

  • Interim or final transcript(s) - (depending on what stage you are at in your studies) of your Undergraduate Degree, and Masters Degree, if applicable.
  • Final degree certificate(s) - for your Undergraduate Degree, and Masters Degree, if applicable.
  • Two academic references to be provided directly by referees. Enter their names and email addresses in the required areas, and an automated email will be forwarded to them requesting a reference upload. We will not accept references uploaded by applicants.
  • A CV - You can upload this in the place of a research proposal, which is not required for your application.
  • English Language Test Certificate (where applicable) - please see here

Where you are asked for your project proposal, you may ignore that request, the School of Mathematics does not require a research proposal. Although the EUCLID application system will request that you upload one, you can just ignore this request. The reason that you will be asked for one is that the system applies to all Schools throughout the University and some Schools do require a research proposal. In the place of a research proposal, please upload an up to date CV. There is no need to upload any certificates for the degree you are currently studying (if you have not been issued one) - instead, official interim transcripts will be required.

Official translations of any documents not in written English are required. 

On the application form, where it asks for funding information - please enter 'School of Mathematics'. Each application will automatically be considered for one of our scholarships. Please indicate any other potential source of funding you have, have applied for or are intending to apply for (see Step 3).  If you have secured external funding, please provide evidence of the funding along with your application.


Step 3: Funding

Please review and apply for all applicable sources of funding noted on the What funding is available for your PhD page.


Please apply via the research pages below: