Accessibility statement

PhD and MPhil

The Department of Mathematics at York offers the opportunity to study for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), as well as the degree of Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in Mathematics, in a thriving research environment. You should first have a look at our research, where you will find for each area a list of staff members and their research supervision interests, from which you can click through to individual staff pages. You may like to make email contact to discuss a possible project, but many students come to us with no definite project or supervisor - feel free to apply anyway.

Prospective students

Prospective students

If you would like to be considered for a place on one of our research degrees (PhD, PhD (with Foundation Phase), MPhil or MSc by Research), please apply online. We cannot accept a CV or any other documentation in place of a formal application. The University of York application form asks you to provide a "Research proposal". You do not need to provide a formal research proposal, but please feel free to include a short statement (one page maximum) on the area(s) of mathematics in which you wish to work. Please also complete the personal statement section of the application form, telling us about why you want to undertake a research degree.  Don't forget to tell us about any relevant experience you have, such as a summer project or a topic that you have researched on your own, even if it didn't form part of your previous degree(s).

No applicant is offered a place without an interview (either face-to-face or by Zoom or other video-conferencing platform). If your first language is not English, you should be fluent enough to speak confidently about your intended area of research and discuss your mathematical background and interests with a panel of academics.

The Department of Mathematics supports the principles laid out in the London Mathematical Society Good Practice Scheme. We value diversity and aim to create an inclusive community where everyone is treated with dignity and respect regardless of individual characteristics such as age, gender, disability, religion or ethnicity. 

The Department is firmly committed to women's progression in mathematics and holds the Bronze Award of the Athena SWAN programme for women in science. Several of our academic and research staff are women, along with about 40% of our students. Our female graduates work in fields as diverse as medical statistics, defence and the financial industry, and for employers such as BAE Systems and Microsoft. York is a great place for a woman to study and graduate in mathematics.

Learn more about the study of finance at York.

Funding and Fees


A general overview of funding possibilities for postgraduate study, including Studentships offered by the Department of Mathematics, is available here. Additionally, the University of York offers a number of scholarships for research students to which specific deadlines apply.

Any studentships which are related to specific research projects will be advertised on our Vacancies page.


Click here for more information about Tuition Fees.


Applying for a Place

Applying for a place

You can apply for these courses using our online application system.  If you've not already done so, please read the application guidance first so that you understand the various steps in the application process. Then click the "Apply Now" button for the course for which you wish to apply.

Apply now -  PhD 

Apply now - PhD with Foundation Phase  

Apply now - MPhil 

Whilst research courses can be started at different points in the year, it is preferable for students to start their courses at the beginning of October (and be in York for the start of the Autumn term) so that they can take a full part in induction and orientation activities. For more information about University Term dates click here.

Applicants who have their own funding should submit their applications approximately six months before their intended start date wherever possible.

Before applying, please look at the lists of 'Academic Staff' in each of our research groups to see if there is a prospective supervisor working in an area which relates to your own research interests. If no-one is working in such an area, it is unlikely that we would be able to offer you a place. You are welcome to email a prospective supervisor informally to find out more about their research or to ask if they might be considering taking on a Postgraduate Researcher. Not all potential supervisors are able to take on new Postgraduate Researchers every year.  All potential Postgraduate Researchers need to apply and be interviewed before a formal offer of supervision can be made.

If you wish to be considered for EPSRC or departmental funding, you should note that:

  • funding is generally only available for students starting their courses in October
  • Further information is on the funding page

Prospective students who may be able to fund their studies from their own (or family) funds or scholarships external to the University of York are welcome to apply at any time.

If you are applying for an external scholarship which requires prior agreement from a supervisor, please apply for a place at the University of York as far in advance of the scholarship deadline as possible.  A potential supervisor cannot agree to supervise you unless you have applied, been interviewed and received a formal offer of a place at York.



Apply now

The PhD is a research degree by thesis. The normal period of enrolment is three years. After that, students may have an additional period of up to 12 months in which to complete and submit their thesis. Extensions beyond this may only be granted in exceptional circumstances.

The first two terms of study normally include the equivalent of six 10 hour graduate level courses taken from the programme of study provided by the EPSRC-funded MAGIC consortium graduate school (lectures by video link between 20 UK mathematics departments).

Students' progress is monitored and supported by a Thesis Advisory Panel, usually consisting of a minimum of three academic members of staff, including supervisor(s). Thesis Advisory Panels for full-time students usually meet twice a year (usually once a year for part-time students). Further information on the role of Thesis Advisory Panels and on formal reviews of progress can be found in the Policy on Research Degrees.

PhD (with Foundation Phase)

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The PhD (with Foundation Phase) runs over four years and may be suitable for applicants who require more extensive masters-level initial training before they embark on a PhD research project.

The first two terms comprise an integrated portfolio of lecture and reading courses (equivalent to 80 hours of MAGIC courses) and a project report. The taught component is aimed at broadening and deepening the student's general mathematical knowledge in an appropriate range of specialist areas. Approximately half of the taught courses will be chosen to be relevant to the student's broad prospective research area and will normally include a directed learning module or reading course, worth the equivalent of two 10 hour MAGIC courses. The reading course will be chosen to provide a foundation for the student's study project. The study project report will be around 30-40 pages in length. In order to progress to the research phase of the PhD, students will have to pass all components.  Students who continue to the PhD will submit their thesis by the end of their fourth year of registration.


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The MPhil is also a research degree by thesis, the minimum period of study being two years.  The thesis must be submitted before the end of the third year of study.  Extensions beyond this may only be granted in exceptional circumstances.

Students who may be interested in studying for a research degree over one year should refer to the course page for the MSc (by Research) in Mathematics.

Continued registration on any course is conditional upon satisfactory academic progress and attendance.


Throughout the course of study every research each student will have a supervisor (sometimes, a student may have two supervisors) who will guide their work. In addition, progress is monitored by the student's Thesis Advisory Panel in two meetings each year.

Applications for part-time registration will be considered on an individual basis.  None of our Postgraduate Research degrees in Mathematics are available by distance learning.

Admissions Criteria

Admissions criteria

General academic requirements

Applicants for admission to graduate research degrees in Mathematics should have or expect to have a good honours degree (equivalent of 2.i or higher) in Mathematics, or a good honours degree in which Mathematics has formed a substantial part of the course.

English language requirements

If you're a non-native English speaking applicant you must provide evidence of your English language ability before you can start your course. We must be able to verify your test within two years of completion, but you may have completed the test up to two and a half years prior to the start date of your course, and prior study in an English speaking country is acceptable if graduation was within seven years of the course start date.


Contact details

For general enquiries please contact our Graduate Administrator on:
Tel: +44 1904 323097
If you are interesting in a project in one of the areas below please contact the appropriate admissions tutor.

Admissions Tutors

Algebra: Victoria Gould

Geometry & Analysis: Graeme Wilkin

Mathematical Physics (except Quantum Information): Eli Hawkins

Math Biology & Chemistry: Mitya Pushkin

Quantum Information: Matt Pusey

Number Theory: Evgeniy Zorin 

Mathematical Finance & Stochastic Analysis: Zdzislaw Brzezniak

Statistics: Wenyang Zhang