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Run by Faculty of Science
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
Part time study requires attendance on relevant taught courses during the first two years.
Start date Usually September 2022, but flexible if funding allows.

Programme overview

Join a University ranked in the UK top five for Maths research (THE analysis of REF 2021) with an excellent reputation for teaching and learning.

The School of Mathematics has more than doubled in size in the last decade, with approximately 130 academic staff and 70 postgrads. We are engaged in research across many areas in pure and applied mathematics, and statistical science. We possess intellectual, educational, and material resources to provide the highest quality training for our postgrads.

View some of the PhD projects offered by our academics for 2022/23 academic year.


According to the Times Higher Education analysis of the last Research Excellence Framework, Bristol, Cambridge, Imperial, Oxford and Warwick are the five top UK Maths departments. Our academic staff are among the world's best in their areas and have won distinguished prizes and fellowships, and major grants.


The level of our postgraduate supervision is in line with our research merits. We aim at recruiting top-notch postgraduates, welcoming applications from the UK and overseas. You will learn cutting-edge mathematical skills, engage in worldwide collaborations, and be a part of a friendly and stimulating community.

Our partnerships

The Centre for Doctoral Training in Computational Statistics and Data Science is a four-year PhD programme hosted by our Institute for Statistical Science. It provides training in statistics and data science by a cohort of academic staff from Bristol and industry/Government partners.

The Heilbronn Institute for Mathematical Research is a partnership between the University and GCHQ. It prioritises research in Discrete Mathematics in a broad sense, including number theory, combinatorics, quantum information and computational statistics, offering studentships and running a variety of workshops and seminars.

We run collaborative programmes with the University of Bristol departments of Biological, Computer, Earth, and Medical Sciences, Chemistry, Engineering, and Philosophy, plus many other internal/external collaborations.

We welcome applications from all members of our community and are particularly encouraging those from diverse groups, such as members of the LGBT+ and BAME communities, to join us.

Fees for 2022/23

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2022/23 are as follows:

UK: full-time
UK : part-time
Overseas: 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 (eg 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.

Following the recent changes to fee assessment regulation, Channel Islands and Isle of Man students will no longer be charged a separate tuition fee. From the 2021/22 academic year they will be charged the same fees as Home students.

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.

Alumni discount

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a 25% reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni discount.

Funding for 2022/23

UK, EU, and Overseas 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 2022

The school provides financial support for PhD students from a number of sources, including the 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.

Entry requirements

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:
Profile F
Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Admissions statement

Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Admissions statement

Research groups

Research priorities

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.

Research institutes

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:

Institute for Applied Mathematics

Institute for Mathematical Physics 

Institute for Probability, Analysis and Dynamics 

Institute for Pure Mathematics 

Institute for Statistical Science 

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.

Staff profiles

Details on research areas, research project and staff profiles

Research projects and staff profiles

Apply now

Find out how to apply

Application deadline

We welcome applications at any time of year. However, to receive full consideration for school funding, applications should be submitted before 6 January 2022.

Open days and visits

Watch on-demand recordings from November's virtual open week.

Get in touch

Postgraduate Research Admissions Team Phone: +44 (0) 117 42 84906 Email:

School of Mathematics
Fry Building
Woodland Road
Bristol BS8 1UG
School website: School of Mathematics

International students

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

Bristol Doctoral College

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

REF 2021 results

The University of Bristol is ranked fifth for research in the UK (Times Higher Education), with 94% of our research assessed as world-leading or internationally excellent.

Full REF 2021 results for the University of Bristol.


Important disclaimer information about our programmes.

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