Research course

Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics

University of Cambridge · Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics

Entry requirements

Applicants for this course should have achieved a UK First class Honours Degree.

If your degree is not from the UK, please check International Qualifications to find the equivalent in your country.

The usual minimum entry requirement is a first-class honours degree, awarded after a four-year course in physics, mathematics or engineering, or a three-year degree together with a one-year postgraduate course on advanced mathematics and theoretical physics. Cambridge Part III (MMath/MASt) is such a course. Note, however, that entry is competitive and a higher level of preparation may be required for research in some subject areas.

Months of entry

January, April, October

Course content

This is a three to four-year research programme culminating in submission and examination of a thesis containing substantial original work. PhD students carry out their research under the guidance of a supervisor, and research projects are available from a wide range of subjects studied within the Department. Students admitted for a PhD will normally have completed preparatory study at a level comparable to the Cambridge Part III (MMath/MASt) course. A significant number of our PhD students secure post-doctoral positions at institutions around the world and become leading researchers in their fields.


Many students in DAMTP are admitted after taking the Cambridge Part III (MMath/MASt) course and others will have completed a comparable Master-level course. Some may already have carried out a small-scale research project. All of our students, therefore, begin their PhD work with a good grasp of advanced material, on which they can build as their research progresses.

Research Areas

Research in DAMTP can be divided into the following broad areas: Applied and Computational Analysis, Astrophysics, Geophysics, Fluid and Solid Mechanics, Mathematical Biology, Quantum Information, Soft and Quantum Matter, High Energy Physics, and General Relativity and Cosmology. The boundaries between such areas are not rigid, however, and many members of staff will contribute to more than one area (this is regarded as a key factor in the continuing success of DAMTP). There are active seminar programmes across all subject areas, attendance at which is an important part of PhD student training.

PhD Supervision

Each PhD student in DAMTP has a supervisor who is responsible for guiding their research and monitoring their progress. Each student is admitted to work within a particular subject area, and often with a specific supervisor. Some students will work in close collaboration with their supervisor, or as part of a larger research group, while others may work more independently (with their supervisor's approval). Collaborative projects may involve other researchers or groups outside Cambridge, in the UK or worldwide.

Information for international students

Language Requirement

IELTS (Academic)

Element Score

Listening 7.0

Writing 7.0

Reading 6.5

Speaking 7.0

Total 7.0

TOEFL Internet Score

Element Score

Listening 25

Writing 25

Reading 25

Speaking 25

Total 100


Score: Grade A & B (overall score of 193, with no element lower than 185 plus a Language Centre assessment)


Score: Grade A, B, or C (with at least 200 with no element lower than 185).

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    full time
    36-48 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    48-84 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details