Research course

Pure Mathematics

Open University · Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent), ideally with a significant project component indicating aptitude for mathematical research

Months of entry


Course content

The Pure Mathematics Group in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics is highly respected and has world-renowned researchers in the areas of analysis and geometry, and combinatorics.

Analysis is the study of sets, functions and limiting processes; geometry is the study of shape, position and space. The Open University is currently home to the largest research group in complex analysis in the UK. Researchers in the group are particularly active in complex analysis, complex iteration theory, continued fraction theory, dynamical systems, geometric measure theory and toric topology.

Combinatorics is the mathematics of discrete structures, such as graphs, permutations or designs. Researchers in the group have particular interests in graph theory, permutation patterns, combinatorial designs and the theory of symmetric maps on surfaces.

Potential supervisors
  • Dr Silvia Barbina
  • Dr Robert Brignall
  • Dr Katie Chicot
  • Dr Ben Mestel
  • Dr Toby O'Neil
  • Dr Kathleen Quinn
  • Professor Phil Rippon
  • Dr Ian Short
  • Professor Jozef Širáň
  • Professor Gwyneth Stallard
  • Dr Bridget Webb
  • Dr Gareth Williams

Department specialisms

Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply for one of the research projects listed on the Department of Mathematics and Statistics’ PhD recruitment page.The themes listed below indicate general areas where research projects may be available. Analysis and geometry Complex dynamics: the structure of the escaping set and dimensions of Julia sets of transcendental entire functions Complex analysis: the boundary behaviour of analytic and subharmonic functions Continued fraction theory Hyperbolic geometry in complex analysis Fractal geometry: the structure of sets and measures in Euclidean spaces Applied analysis: renormalization theory and nonlinear dynamical systems Toric topology Combinatorics Graph theory: well-quasi-ordering; degree-diameter problem and cages Combinatorial designs, including their automorphisms and embeddings Pattern avoiding permutations; enumeration and connections with graph theory Theory of symmetric maps on surfaces

Fees and funding

Please see The Open University website for more information.

Qualification and course duration


distance learning
variable months
full time
36 months
part time
72 months


part time
24 months
distance learning
variable months
full time
15 months

Course contact details

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