Mathematics postgraduate students in a lecture

Our PhD programme is designed to allow students to transition smoothly from course-based study towards independent research.

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Programme overview

The standard route of our PhD programme is full time (3-4 years). PhD research may also be done on a part time basis in exceptional cases (5-6 years). Upon admission, part-time PhD students should commit to attending the College (typically one day per week) and meeting their supervisor regularly (once or twice a month).


Students need to complete the following ‘milestones’ to demonstrate that their work is progressing well:

  • Within 3 months of starting:
     a short research plan , summarising the problem they have been set, and their proposed plan to work on it.
  • Within 9 months of starting (18 months for part-time): 
    Submit a report summarising the first year’s work, including courses taken. There is a short oral examination to assess this.
  • Between 18 and 24 months of starting (36-48 months for part-time):
    Submit a report describing progress so far, and a work plan for completing the thesis. Assessed with a short oral examination.

Please visit the PhD Progression Milestones guidelines for a complete picture of the programme.


In the first two years students should satisfy 100 hours of postgraduate courses in their research topic and related areas. These courses can be workshops, conferences and/or postgraduate lectures in many areas of Mathematics, including:

  • The MAGIC group, a partnership of 20 UK universities