Oxford runs thousands of free events and programmes every year. Some of them involve maths- read on for a selection!

Years 12-13

Problem Solving Matters

Problem Solving Matters: applications now open

This problem-solving course is for Year 12 students from state-funded schools, academies and colleges who are interested in applying for places at Oxford University, Imperial College, Durham University or Warwick University to study Mathematics.

Students applying for places to study Mathematics or Computer Science courses (including joint honours) at Oxford University and any Mathematics undergraduate course at Imperial College, London will be required to sit the Mathematics Admission Test (MAT) as one part of the admissions process. Students applying for Mathematics at Durham University or Warwick University may be required to sit the MAT or the Test of Mathematics for University Admission (TMUA).

This course is designed to prepare students for the way they will have to think to achieve success in the MAT, TMUA and other problem-solving mathematics examinations by developing their mathematical thinking and problem solving skills.

Applications for the 2020 course are now open. 

The course usually involves three face-to-face days, three summer assignments, and five online follow-up sessions. The face-to-face days are held in five venues around the country.

Due to the coronavirus, we are currently creating an online alternative for the first two study days. Further details of this will be posted when they are ready. We have as yet made no decision about the third study day in September/October, but we are monitoring the situation and will take this online also, if necessary.

Applications to the course will be prioritised according to socio-economic and educational disadvantage, and will close in June 2020. Applicants will be notified after this date if they are successful in gaining a place on the course. In the meantime, there are many excellent free online resources to help you develop problem solving skills. Please see the Maths Admissions Test page for links and resources.

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It All Adds Up

Date: 12, 14, 15 January 2021
Audience: Girls in Year 9 (day 1), Years 10-11 (day 2) and Years 12-13 (day 3)

It All Adds Up are three separate one day conferences for girls interested in maths. The days consist of a mix of workshops and lectures, aiming to inspire the attending students to continue with mathematics. The days are free to attend.


The UNIQ Spring and Summer schools are aimed at year 12 state school/college students who want to learn more about Oxford and the courses here. There are three UNIQ Spring/ Summer Schools on Mathematics. To apply you should be intending to study the full A level in Mathematics. Further Maths is useful, but not essential.

Students on the course have said they enjoyed learning about new areas and being able to apply this in independent situations, meeting other mathematicians, and how much more welcoming and accessible Oxford now seems.

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Philosophy Plus Science

Philosophy Plus

Date: 10 January 2020

Audience: Year 11 and Year 12 students

What is chaos? What is infinity? Can machines think? The links between Science and Philosophy are broad and deep, extending well beyond the obvious overlaps in logic, artificial intelligence, and ethics. This taster day provides an opportunity to find out more about how science and philosophy intertwine. See how Computer Science, Physics, and Mathematics all have one thing in common: Philosophy. This event is an opportunity for students who are considering applying for a joint degree in these subjects, and want to find out more.

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PROMYS Europe, a challenging six-week residential mathematics summer programme at the University of Oxford, UK, is designed to encourage mathematically ambitious students aged 16+ to explore the creative world of mathematics. Participants (who come from across Europe) tackle fundamental mathematical questions within a richly stimulating and supportive community of fellow first-year students, returning students, undergraduate counsellors, research mentors, faculty, and visiting mathematicians.  Past guest lecturers have included Professors Sir Andrew Wiles, Sir Roger Penrose, Ben Green and Simon Singh.

Applications open early in January and close mid-March.  PROMYS Europe is dedicated to the principle that no student should be unable to attend for financial reasons, and full and partial financial aid is available.  PROMYS Europe is a partnership of PROMYS, Wadham College and the Mathematical Institute at the University of Oxford, and the Clay Mathematics Institute.

Undergraduate Open Days

There are two Departmental Open Days for prospective undergraduates each year. The Mathematical Institute also runs a programme of talks during the three University Open Days.

Years 9-11

Royal Institution Masterclasses

The Royal Institution Science Lives Here logo

The Royal Institution coordinates enriching masterclasses for students across the UK. The mathematics masterclasses are designed to encourage, inspire and engage young people in the art and practice of mathematics. The highly interactive sessions introduce students to aspects or applications of maths which are not usually covered in the school curriculum. The age range varies from Primary Mathematics Masterclasses, Secondary Mathematics Masterclasses (Year 8 and above), Engineering Masterclasses (Year 9), and Computer Science Masterclasses.

The Mathematical Institute runs and hosts the Oxfordshire Royal Institution Mathematics Masterclasses (Years 9-11). Teachers at local state schools will receive a pack each October asking them to nominate students for the classes, which run on six Saturdays from January to March.

UKMT Team Maths Challenge

UKMT logo

The UKMT organises the Team Maths Challenge for pupils in Year 8 and Year 9 (and equivalent). A team consists of four pupils, and teams should have no more than two pupils from the upper age group. Regional Finals are held throughout the country (the Mathematical Institute hosts the Oxfordshire Regional Finals) and qualifying teams from the Regional Finals will be invited to compete at a one-day National Final held in London.

Oxford Pathways

Oxford Pathways logo

The Pathways Programme is an initiative coordinated by the Colleges of the University of Oxford, with support from the Sutton Trust, for year 10 to year 13 students. Although not solely maths-focused, the programme aims to provide information, advice and guidance on higher education and Oxford to academically able students, and staff members, in non-selective state schools with little history of student progression to Oxford. All of their events are free. Different events are run for different ages: Year 10 Taster Days,  Year 11 Investigating Options, and Year 12 Study Days.

It All Adds Up

Date: 12, 14, 15 January 2021
Audience: Girls in Year 9 (day 1), Years 10-11 (day 2) and Years 12-13 (day 3)

It All Adds Up are three separate one day conferences for girls interested in maths. The days consist of a mix of workshops and lectures, aiming to inspire the attending students to continue with mathematics. The days are free to attend.


Primary Science Day

Students making goo in the chemistry lab

Date: June
Audience: Year 5 and Year 6 students

The day aims to enrich their studies of maths and science through a range of short hands on workshops which will include Chemistry, Materials Science, Physics and Maths. The maths workshops are based on the Liverpool Maths Society FunMaths Roadshow materials. For more information please contact: .

Just Add Imagination

For parents and carers looking for science and maths-based activities to do with their young person, Oxford Sparks has developed a fantastic set of resources developed by students and academics at the University of Oxford. From designing the ultimate paper aeroplane to teaching a computer to doodle, each activity comes with a list of items needed, talking points, and further resources. Visit Just Add Information for more information.


Oxplore is an innovative new digital outreach portal from the University of Oxford. As the ‘Home of Big Questions’ it aims to engage those from 11 to 18 years with debates and ideas that go beyond what is covered in the school classroom. Big questions tackle complex ideas across a wide range of subjects and draw on the latest research undertaken at Oxford. Oxplore aims to raise aspirations, promote broad thinking and stimulate intellectual curiosity.

Oxford for Oxford

Museum club members at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History

Oxford for Oxford operates in partnership with key state schools in the Oxford city area. The project works to support pupil attainment and promote connections between teachers, students, families and the University. They currently run a Museum Club which brings together Year 5 pupils from seven local primary schools - Church Cowley St James, Orchard Meadow, Pegasus, Rose Hill, St John Fisher, Windale and Wood Farm - who spend two or three Saturdays per term visiting the Oxford University museums.

Oxford Mathematics Public Lectures

Below are listed upcoming public lectures and events at the Mathematical Institute. Click through into this section for a more detailed listing of all such events and also links to some public lectures online.


International Mathematical Union poster
From Oxford mathematicians to the Oxford Mathematics Alphabet we hope these posters will inspire you and your students and brighten up your classroom walls.

Oxford Mathematics Alphabet

The Oxford Mathematics Alphabet is an outreach project showcasing the amazing and wonderful research going on at the Mathematical Institute at the University of Oxford.