Why Oxford?

Andrew Wiles Building

What makes Oxford special?

We are the best mathematical department in the country, as assessed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), with the largest number of staff submissions and the highest percentage of 4* research ("quality that is world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour").

Three Fields Medallists - Sir Michael Atiyah, Daniel Quillen, and Simon Donaldson - have all been professors at Oxford, and Sir Andrew Wiles is currently a Royal Society Research Professor. You can find out more about our research groups on the DPhil page.

As a student at Oxford you are a member of the University, the department, and one of 35 colleges. The University provides libraries (including the Bodleian which has over 11 million books), clubs and societies, and sports' facilities (although colleges also have sports' facilities and their own libraries). The University also provides support for students with disabilities through its Disability Advisory Service, provides bursaries and scholarships for students, and when you graduate your degree will be from the University of Oxford. 

Excellent facilities

Our new building features 6 lecture theatres, an undergraduate study room, and 6 classrooms. As a graduate student you will have access to the departmental library, and each college has its own, very well stocked, library so you’ll never be short of textbooks. The department has online subscriptions to over 900 mathematical journals via the Bodleian Library. Meals are offered in college, or you can get breakfast and lunch at the new cafeteria in the department. Graduates are also welcome to use the departmental kitchenettes.

If you're concerned about accessibility, please see our entry in the University Access Guide. This lists all of our lifts and disabled toilets, provides details of our hearing support system and the fact that no areas of the department are inaccessible. 


Depending on your college, you may be offered graduate accommodation either onsite or offsite for part of your studies. The University has five sites around the city offering accommodation for student parents and couples, and seven sites for single graduates. Many graduate students also spend some time living in privately rented accommodation, often shared with other students. The Graduate Accommodation Office, the Oxford University Students' Union, and the University of Oxford's Living Out Guide all provide information for prospective graduate applicants. Each college website will also provide information about graduate accommodation. 

World class academics

In the latest Research Excellence Framework assessment, 59% of our research was rated as 4* (the highest rating) - the next highest organisations were 45% and 44%. 

The department currently has 13 Fellows of the Royal Society and over 300 graduates and faculty united in their passion for their subject. Whether you're interested in analytic number theory, mathematical biology, or geometric group theory, the research opportunities and academic environment will enable you to reach your full potential. To find out more about the different research groups head to the DPhil page.

Great job prospects

Whether you wish to stay in academia or pursue a career in another area, the department and careers service are committed to furthering your prospects. The University of Oxford Careers Service provides internships, advice, and lifelong support for all graduates. In the latest report on destinations of leavers, 42% of postgraduate students in work or work and study continued in academia and higher education, and the average salary for leavers was £31,500. 

Student support

The collegiate system at Oxford provides excellent opportunities to socialise with other students studying a wide range of other subjects. The Middle Common Room (MCR) at most colleges will organise regular social events, and the small, friendly atmosphere at colleges means students make friends very quickly. All colleges have a Tutor for Graduates or a Senior Tutor, and your college may also assign you a college advisor who is responsible for your pastoral care.


The department is a lively community, with many events occurring in term and outside of term. As well as weekly seminars and colloquia, the Mathematical Institute runs two annual lectures (the Brooke Benjamin Lecture and the Alan Tayler Lecture) and a series of public lectures. Underlining our commitment to professional development, Fridays@4 is a series of skills seminars for graduate students and post-docs. The department also hosts national and international conferences - past events include the London Mathematical Society's 150th Anniversary Women in Maths conference, the 100th European Study Group with Industry, the Young Researchers in Mathematics Conference, and the 38th Conference on Stochastic Processes and their Applications. Regularly hosted events include the Clay Research Conference and PROMYS Europe.