Find a programme
Awards available PhD, MSc by research
Programme length PhD: Three to four years full-time, or part-time equivalent
MSc by research: One year full-time, or part-time equivalent
Location of programme Clifton campus
Part-time study available Yes
Open to international students Yes
Start date Usually September, but flexible if funding allows.

Programme overview

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 in Communications 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.

Fees for 2017/18

Full-time fees


Part-time fees are charged on a pro rata basis

Fees quoted are provisional, per annum and subject to annual increase.

Alumni scholarship

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a ten per cent reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni scholarship.

Funding for 2017/18

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.

Entry requirements

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

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Application method Online application form
English language requirements Profile F
Further information about English language requirements
Admissions statement Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Research groups

There is a wide range of research conducted in the school, spanning many of the conventional boundaries between disciplines. Potential applicants are encouraged to consult the school's website for detailed accounts of the research themes, but broadly there are three subject groups:

In applied mathematics, research is concentrated in the areas of complexity, statistical mechanics, fluid dynamics, materials science, PDEs, variational problems and applications, numerical methods, nonlinear dynamics, quantum chaos, quantum computation and quantum information theory and random matrix theory

The main research areas within probability and statistics are applied probability, scaling limits, statistical physics, Bayesian modelling and analysis, Monte Carlo computation, multiscale methods, nonparametric regression, optimisation under uncertainty, statistical bioinformatics, statistical signal processing and time series analysis.

In pure mathematics, research is formed around the general topics of algebra, analysis, combinatorics, ergodic theory, dynamical systems, logic and set theory, and number theory.


Graduates have gone on to on to work in industry, finance, consultancy and academia, including post-doctoral positions and lectureships.

Staff profiles

Applied Mathematics

Dr Isaac Chenchiah, (Senior Lecturer), Applications of non-convex calculus of variations and partial differential equations; growth of biological materials; solid mechanics and materials science; statics and dynamics of microstructures and phase transitions in solids.

Professor Carl Dettmann, (Professor), Nonlinear dynamics and mathematical physics.

Professor Jens Eggers, (Professor), Complex fluids; hydrodynamics; statistical mechanics.

Dr Tamara Grava, (Senior Lecturer), Long time behaviour of solutions to Hamiltonian PDEs; normal matrix models; study of solutions to Hamiltonian PDEs near critical points.

Professor Andrew Hogg, (Professor), Geophysical and environmental fluid mechanics; granular flows.

Professor Jonathan Keating, (Henry Overton Wills Professor of Mathematics), Number theory; quantum chaos; random matrix theory.

Professor Richard Kerswell, (Professor), Geophysical and astrophysical fluid dynamics; granular and non-Newtonian flows; nonlinear fluid mechanics (stability, transition to turbulence, turbulence).

Professor Noah Linden, (Professor, Head of School), Foundations of statistical mechanics; quantum information theory and quantum computation; quantum mechanics; quantum nonlocality.

Professor Tanniemola Liverpool, (Professor), Biological physics; systems biology; theoretical soft matter physics.

Professor Francesco Mezzadri, (Professor), Random matrix theory; semiclassical mechanics of chaotic systems.

Dr Ashley Montanaro, Fourier analysis of boolean functions; Quantum computation, quantum algorithms and computational complexity, quantum query and communication complexity, and quantum walks

Dr Sebastian Muller, (Senior Lecturer), Quantum chaos and condensed-matter theory.

Dr Richard Porter, (Senior Lecturer), Wave motion in fluids and elastic solids and the interaction of waves with structures.

Professor Jonathan Robbins, (Professor), Material science; quantum chaos.

Dr Roman Schubert, (Lecturer), Quantum dynamics of chemical reactions; wave propagation and dynamical systems.

Dr Martin Sieber, (Reader), Microlasers; quantum chaos and random matrix theory; semiclassical approximations in quantum systems.

Dr Valeriy Slastikov, (Senior Lecturer), Applied analysis, calculus of variations and nonlinear partial differential equations; liquid crystals and micromagnetics; materials science.

Dr Nina Snaith, (Reader), Random matrix and number theory.

Dr Yves Tourigny, (Senior Lecturer), Disordered systems, particularly the study of the energy levels of Schroedinger operators with a random potential; topics at the intersection of mathematical physics and probability theory.

Dr Karoline Wiesner, (Senior Lecturer), Quantum computational mechanics.

Professor Stephen Wiggins, (Professor), Dynamical systems and applications.

Probability and Statistics

Professor Christophe Andrieu, (Professor), Signal processing.

Dr Marton Balazs, (Senior Lecturer), Interacting systems; stochastic processes.

Professor Mark Beaumont, (Professor), Bayesian modelling and analysis; Monte Carlo computation; statistical bioinformatics.

Dr Haeron Cho, High-dimensional statistical inference; multiscale modelling; time series analysis.

Professor Sean Collins, (Professor), Applications in behavioural biology and in queuing networks; Markov decision processes; stochastic optimisation, game theory and reinforcement learning.

Dr Vanessa Didelez, (Reader), Bayesian modelling and analysis; optimisation under uncertainty.

Dr Ayalvadi Ganesh, (Reader), Applied probability; Bayesian modelling and analysis; optimisation under uncertainty.

Dr Oliver Johnson, (Reader), Data compression; entropy theory; probabilistic limit theorems.

Dr Arne Kovac, (Senior Lecturer), Nonparametric regression and image analysis.

Professor Guy Nason, (Professor), Time series analysis; wavelets.

Professor Jonathan Rougier, (Professor), Bayesian modelling and analysis.

Dr Vladislav Tadic, (Senior Lecturer), Monte Carlo computation; optimisation under uncertainty; statistical signal processing..

Professor Balint Toth, (Chair in Probability), Limit theorems; probability theory; random walks; randomness in space and time.; statistical physics (classical and quantum); stochastic processes.

Dr Nick Whiteley, (Lecturer), Bayesian modelling and analysis; Monte Carlo computation; statistical signal processing; time series.

Professor Simon Wood, (Professor)

Dr Feng Yu, (Senior Lecturer), Applied probability; behavioural biology; statistical signal processing.

Pure Mathematics

Dr Andrew Booker, (Reader), Analytic and algorithmic number theory.

Professor Tim Browning, (Professor), Analytic number theory; diophantine geometry.

Dr Tim Burness, (Senior Lecturer), Group theory; representation theory and combinatorics.

Professor Brian Conrey, (Professor), Analytic theory of L-functions.; group theory; number theory.

Professor Tim Dokchitser, (Heilbronn Chair in Algebraic/Arithmetic Geometry), Arithmetic geometry and algebraic number theory.

Dr Kentaro Fujimoto, (Lecturer), Logic; set theory.

Professor Alexander Gorodnik, (Professor), Ergodic theory and dynamical systems; number theory.

Dr Thomas Jordan, (Senior Lecturer), Ergodic theory and dynamical systems.

Dr John Mackay, (Lecturer), Geometric group theory and analysis on metric spaces.

Professor Jens Marklof, (Professor), Number theory, quantum chaos, ergodic theory, dynamical systems.

Dr Yuri Netrusov, (Senior Lecturer), Functional spaces; partial differential equations; spectral theory.

Professor Jeremy Rickard, (Professor), Homological algebra; representation theory of finite-dimensional algebras.

Dr Misha Rudnev, (Senior Lecturer), Geometric and arithmetic combinatorics; harmonic analysis.

Dr Abhishek Saha, (Lecturer), Automorphic forms; number theory.

Professor Corinna Ulcigrai, (Professor), Ergodic theory and Teichmueller dynamics.

Professor Michiel van den Berg, (Professor), Partial differential equations; spectral geometry.

Dr Lynne Walling, Automorphic forms; quadratic forms and their connections with automorphic forms.

Professor Philip Welch, (Professor), Fine structure and core models; set theory; theories of truth and mathematical models in philosophy.

Dr Julia Wolf, (Heilbronn Reader in Combinatorics and Number Theory), Additive combinatorics.

Professor Trevor Wooley, (Professor), Number theory.

How to apply
Application deadline:

We welcome applications at any time of year. However, to be considered for school funding, applications should be submitted before Monday 9 January 2017.

International students

Find out more about becoming a student at Bristol, and the support we offer to international students.

I chose Bristol because of its outstanding academic reputation. It's reassuring to be taught by people who truly love their subject - their passion becomes contagious.


REF 2014 results

  • 43% of research is world-leading (4 star)
  • 44% of research is internationally excellent (3 star)
  • 12% of research is recognised internationally (2 star)
  • 1% of research is recognised nationally (1 star)

Results are from the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality, conducted by HEFCE. More about REF 2014 results.

Bristol Doctoral College

The Bristol Doctoral College facilitates and supports doctoral training and researcher development across the University.

Get in touch

Postgraduate Student Administrator Phone: +44 (0) 117 928 8658 Email:

School of Mathematics
University of Bristol
University Walk
Bristol BS8 1TW


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