Research course

Mathematics and Statistics

Open University · Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Entry requirements

PhD: Entry requirements vary according to the research topic and/or specific studentships. The normal minimum entrance requirement is an upper second class honours degree or masters degree, relevant to the proposed area of study, from a recognised higher education institution in the UK. You should also have experience of academic research in the previous four years, normally in the form of either a masters degree in research methods, an undergraduate degree with a research element in the final year, or work-related experience with evidence through research reports. If you have a qualification from outside the UK, or you are not sure if you meet the entry requirements, please contact us by email before applying.

MPhil: Applicants should normally hold, or be expecting to obtain, a bachelors degree with at least first or upper-second class honours, or an equivalent qualification. However, entry requirements differ between academic areas, and sometimes a taught masters degree is also required. The research topic pages (in the menu on the right of our Research areas page) give details of specific entry requirements, and provide contact details to discuss your suitability for the MPhil with a member of academic staff.

Applied mathematics; History of mathematics; Mathematics education; Pure mathematics; Statistics.

Months of entry


Course content

The School of Mathematics and Statistics has an active research programme covering a wide range of topics in the mathematical sciences, with weekly seminars, and several workshops and conferences throughout the year. It is home to a number of research fellows, visiting researchers and full- and part-time research students.

Research in the school centres on the following groups:

Some members of the school have research interests that span more than one of these topics.

The main period for PhD student recruitment in the school is between January and May (for study commencing in October), although opportunities occasionally arise at other times of the year. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply for projects specified by potential supervisors, rather than propose their own. These projects and all other information about the annual recruitment process can be found on the school’s website.

Situated in the middle of the OU campus in Milton Keynes, the school provides a friendly and flexible working environment for all of its staff and students, and holds a Bronze Athena SWAN award. It particularly welcomes applications from women: the school ensures that every female PhD student is allocated a female member of staff as a point of contact, and organises networking events for female academic staff and PhD students.

Key facts

  • In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), 75 per cent of the outputs submitted by the OU to the mathematical sciences subpanel were assessed as world leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*)
  • Researchers include Whiteman Memorial Prize, Maxwell Medal and two Whitehead Prize winners
  • Opportunity to be part of national and international collaborations
  • Funded full-time studentships available
  • Office accommodation and facilities at Walton Hall campus (for full-time students)

Fees and funding

Please see The Open University website

Qualification and course duration


part time
24 months
full time
15 months


part time
72 months
full time
48 months

Course contact details

Research Director, Department of Mathematics and Statistics
+44 (0)1908 655552