MathematicsFind a programme
|Run by||Faculty of Science|
|Awards available||PhD, MSc by research|
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||
Part time study requires attendance on relevant taught courses during the first two years.
|Start date||Usually September 2021, but flexible if funding allows.|
The School of Mathematics is one of the largest schools in the Faculty of Science, with about 140 members of academic staff and research assistants and 70 postgraduate students. Our staff and students are engaged in research across a wide range of areas in applied mathematics, probability and dynamical systems, mathematical physics, 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.
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. According to the Times Higher Education analysis of these results, Bristol is in the top five UK mathematics departments, along with Cambridge, Imperial, Oxford and Warwick. In recent years the quality of our research has attracted a number of distinguished prizes and substantial external grants.
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.
The Centre for Doctoral Training in Computational Statistics and Data Science (COMPASS) is a four-year PhD programme hosted by our Institute for Statistical Science. A team of world-leading experts from across the University of Bristol, together with external partners from industry and government, train COMPASS students in statistical and computational techniques of data science.
The Heilbronn Institute for Mathematical Research is an exciting partnership between the University of Bristol and the Government Communications Headquarters. 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.
The school has collaborative research programmes with other departments, such as biological sciences, chemistry, computer science, earth sciences, engineering, medical sciences, physics and philosophy. It is involved with University's Jean Golding Institute for Data Science and Data-intensive Research, the Cabot Institute for the Environment, the Bristol Quantum Information Institute, the Bristol Composites Institute, and the Bristol BioDesign Institute.
The school also has well-established connections with a number of external research institutions, such as LV (Liverpool Victoria Insurance), GCHQ, GSK, Wessex Water, Malvern Panalytical, Shell, EDF, ONS Office for National Statistics, AWE Atomic Weapons Establishment, plus a number of small and medium enterprises in the Bristol area who are building capabilities in data science and associated skills.
Fees for 2021/22
We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2021/22 are as follows:
- UK: full-time
- UK: part-time
- Overseas (including EU): full-time
- Channel Islands/Isle of Man: full-time
Bench fees: For postgraduate research students who are not funded by UK Research Councils or (specific) UK charities, it is usual to charge a bench fee. A bench fee covers the costs of laboratory consumables, specialist equipment and other relevant costs (e.g. training) for the duration of the programme. The bench fee charged can vary considerably depending on the nature of the programme being undertaken. Details of specific bench fee charges can be provided on request and will made clear in the offer letter sent to applicants.
Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to a five per cent increase in fees each year. Find out more about tuition fees.
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 2021/22
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 6 January 2021.
The school provides financial support for PhD students from a number of sources, including Heilbronn Institute, research councils, industry and scholarships. For further details, see the School of Mathematics website.
Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.
A first-class or upper second-class honours degree (or international equivalent) in mathematics or a closely related subject, or a relevant master's qualification. Places funded by the school may be subject to higher entry requirements.
See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.
English language requirements
If English is not your first language, you need to meet this profile level:
Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.
Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.
The priorities of the school's research efforts are:
- execution of internationally recognised world-class mathematical and statistical research, resulting in key publications and presentations;
- research training of graduate students who show the highest potential;
- research development and career progression of post-doctoral research workers;
- interaction with external groups both within academia and beyond;
- commercialising opportunities combining research and enterprise.
A wide range of research is 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 five research institutes:
Within the Institute for Applied Mathematics, research is concentrated in the areas of
- Applied Mathematics
- Dynamical Systems and Statistical Mechanics
- Fluid Dynamics
- Fluids and Materials
- Materials Science
- Scientific Computing
- Complex Systems
The Institute for Mathematical Physics concentrates on mathematical physics research themes:
The Institute for Probability, Analysis and Dynamics research themes are intricately intertwined:
- Analysis and Partial Differential Equations
- Applied Probability
- Behavioural Biology
- Dynamical Systems and Statistical Mechanics
- Ergodic Theory and Dynamical Systems
- Scaling Limits
- Statistical Physics
The Institute for Pure Mathematics is concerned with discovering, understanding and explaining abstract mathematical structures within the research themes of:
- Group Theory
- Mathematical Logic and Set Theory
- Number Theory
- Representation Theory
- Set Theory and Logic
The Institute for Statistical Science explores the whole spectrum of modern statistics under the research themes:
- Bayesian Modelling and Analysis
- Monte Carlo Computation
- Multiscale Methods
- Nonparametric Regression
- Optimisation Under Uncertainty
- Statistical Bioinformatics
- Statistical Signal Processing
- Time Series
The Institute of Statistical Science hosts the Centre for Doctoral Training in Computational Statistics and Data Science.
Members of the school collaborate with colleagues from a variety of disciplines at Bristol, including physics, social sciences, biology and medicine, as well as with external organisations, such as Hewlett Packard, QinetiQ, Unilever, Barclays Bank, the Government Communications Headquarters and National Air Traffic Services.
Graduates have gone on to on to work in industry, finance, consultancy and academia, including post-doctoral positions and lectureships.
Institute for Applied Mathematics
Institute for Mathematical Physics
Institute for Probability, Analysis and Dynamics
Institute for Pure Mathematics
Institute for Statistical Science
We welcome applications at any time of year. However, to receive full consideration for school funding, applications should be submitted before 6 January 2021.
Open days and visits
Find out how to attend one of our upcoming online events.
Get in touch
Postgraduate Research Admissions Team Phone: +44 (0) 117 42 84906 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
School of Mathematics
Bristol BS8 1UG
School website: School of Mathematics
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REF 2014 results
- Mathematical Sciences:
- 43% of research is world-leading (4*)
- 44% of research is internationally excellent (3*)
- 12% of research is recognised internationally (2*)
- 1% of research is recognised nationally (1*)
Results are from the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality, conducted by HEFCE. More about REF 2014 results.