From geometry, partial differential equations to fluid dynamics, meteorology, statistics and modelling in the life sciences, mathematics at Surrey offers an extraordinary range of research opportunities that lie at the heart of the critical scientific questions of our age.
Our staff are at the forefront of their field, and offer support for innovative research programmes in a lively, inspiring and intellectually stimulating environment. Our research cuts a broad swathe through both pure and applied areas of mathematics, and we’re unique in the strong emphasis we place on research at the interface between pure and applied mathematics.
As well as developing new cutting-edge mathematics, our research also involves innovative applications in areas such as wave energy, drug development, ecology, biological systems, theoretical and experimental physics, climate change and meteorology, and crime forecasting and prevention.
We work closely with other academics, industries and research groups, ranging from internal collaborations with the Surrey Sleep Centre, the 5G Innovation Centre, and the School of Veterinary Medicine to partnerships with other institutions from around the globe. Our national and international collaborators include Harvard, Princeton, MIT, Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial, and the ETH Zurich as well as leading businesses such as AstraZenica, Offshore Wave Energy Limited, and government agencies such as the Animal & Plant Health Agency.
We’re part of the MAGIC network, which provides a large selection of PhD courses in pure and applied mathematics, so you will be able to explore these fields during your time with us. We’re also a host department for the SCENARIO NERC Doctoral Training Partnership.
Our PhD in Mathematics will give you extensive training for a career as a professional mathematician, ready for a future in academia, industry, or government.
You’ll work closely with one or two supervisors, who you will meet on a frequent basis to discuss your research and your career development. They will oversee your progress and offer advice throughout your PhD studies.
During your first few months of your PhD you’ll enrol and attend a series of induction events, and work with your supervisor to design a personal development plan which you’ll update throughout your PhD.
You’ll complete a number of taught modules, including assessments, to broaden your mathematical knowledge. Most of these will be completed in your first year, with some completed in your second year. These are a mix of MAGIC taught courses, courses from the London Taught Course Centre, courses from the Academy for PhD Training in Statistics or our own masters-level modules. You’ll also get training in department research seminars aimed at both staff and PhD students. On average, you’ll be attending approximately one or two research seminars a week.
In your second year, you’ll complete a PhD confirmation report and pass an internal viva examination. You’ll present your research in your research group seminar, and design a research poster. You’ll usually start working on your first research paper together with your supervisors in your second year.
The last year or two of your PhD is all about advancing your research and completing your thesis. You’ll have regular meetings with your supervisor, who will work closely with you to help you manage your writing and critically reflect on the research you’ve done. Often, you’ll write and submit more research papers in this time too.
We encourage PhD students to take part in research summer and winter schools, and present your work at national and international conferences. We can support your travel to these events.
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You’ll be assessed in the first 15 months of your PhD through a confirmation report and a viva with two internal examiners. Your PhD overall will be assessed through your thesis and a viva, normally with one internal and one external examiner. You’ll also do short take-home examinations for online MAGIC courses and the assessments for MSc modules, if you take any.
There are additional costs that you can expect to incur when studying at Surrey. Find out more.
Surrey’s postgraduate research code of practice sets out the University's policy and procedural framework relating to research degrees.
The code defines a set of standard procedures and specific responsibilities covering the academic supervision, administration and assessment of research degrees for all faculties within the University.
Download the code of practice for research degrees (PDF).