Research course


University of Bristol · Department of Mathematics
PhDMSc by research

Entry requirements

An upper second-class honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject. Funded places will be subject to higher entry requirements.

Months of entry

January, December, November, October, September, August, July, June, May, April, March, February

Course content

The School of Mathematics is one of the largest schools in the Faculty of Science, with about 95 members of academic staff, 45 research assistants and 70 postgraduate students. Our staff and students are engaged in research across a wide range of areas in applied mathematics, probability, pure mathematics and statistics. We are proud of our world-class reputation for research excellence and our commitment to provide the highest-quality training for our postgraduate students.

World-class research

The school’s successes have been formally recognised in the latest Research Excellence Framework (2014), in which 87 per cent of the school’s research was rated as world-leading or internationally excellent. These outstanding results place us in an elite group of UK mathematics departments, along with Cambridge, Imperial, Oxford and Warwick. Eight members of the school hold the prestigious position of being a Fellow of the Royal Society, which means they are among the most eminent scientists, engineers and technologists from the UK and the Commonwealth. In recent years the quality of our research has attracted a number of distinguished prizes and substantial external grants.

Our postgraduates

The success of our school is based on attracting not only the best available staff, but also by recruiting the best possible postgraduate students. The school offers cutting-edge PhD and taught Master's programmes, and we welcome applications from national and international students all year round. Postgraduate students in Bristol enjoy a friendly and stimulating environment. During your programme you will have the opportunity to develop your mathematical skills, collaborate with leading researchers and apply your expertise across a range of academic disciplines.

Our partnerships

The school has collaborative research programmes with other departments, such as biological sciences, chemistry, earth sciences, engineering mathematics, aerospace engineering, electrical and electronic engineering, computer science, physics and medical sciences. It is involved with University research centres in behavioural biology, complexity sciences, environmental and geophysical flows, and nanoscience and quantum information. It has strong links to the Centres for Doctoral Training inCommunications and Quantum Engineering.

The school also has well-established connections with a number of external research institutions, such as Hewlett-Packard, QinetiQ, Unilever, Barclays Bank, Toshiba and National Air Traffic Services.

The Heilbronn Institute for Mathematical Research is an exciting partnership between the University of Bristol and the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). Established in 2005, the Heilbronn Institute brings together high-calibre mathematicians to conduct research across several areas of interest, including number theory, quantum information and computational statistics. In collaboration with the school, it organises an annual conference and several workshops and weekly seminars, which further enhances the research environment for our postgraduate students.

Information for international students

For English language requirements, please see the 'Contact web' link below.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

UK/EU students may be eligible to apply for EPSRC funding for PhD study. To be considered for EPSRC funding, applications should be submitted before Monday 9 January 2017.

Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.

Qualification and course duration


full time
48 months

MSc by research

full time
12 months
part time
24 months

Course contact details

Postgraduate Student Administrator
0117 928 8658