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").

As a student at Oxford you are a member of the University, the department, and one of 29 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. 

Mathematics teaching is shared by colleges (where you'll have tutorials) and the department (where you'll have lectures). Oxford’s collegiate system makes both study, and the day-to-day routine, a very different experience from other universities.


Most of the teaching of mathematics you'll experience at Oxford, especially in the first two years of a degree, is done in tutorials. These are hour long lessons in college between a tutor, who is usually a senior member of the college, and a small group of students (usually a pair). This form of teaching is very flexible and personalized, not only allowing you and the tutor time to discuss any particular difficulties you're having but also allowing you the opportunity to ask questions to a world expert in the subject (even if they're tangential to the topic at hand!). We find tutorials are particularly helpful for you as a first year mathematician, as many of our students naturally begin university from a wide range of backgrounds - not just having studied different A-level modules, but also the IB and other international qualifications.

College tutors closely follow your academic progress, guide you in your studies, discuss subject options and recommend textbooks, and are able to answer questions you have about Oxford generally. Colleges are much more than just halls of residence though, each being a organisation in its own right, and there will be other students studying mathematics (and other subjects) in college who, invariably, will prove a help when you study and with whom you will form friendships that last throughout university and beyond.

For more information about colleges see the colleges section in “How do I apply?”.

Did you know?

  • £72 million new building

  • 240 undergraduates admitted each year

  • 59% of research rated as 4* in the latest REF

  • 59 options in 4th year

  • 48 options in 3rd year

  • 21 Fellows of the Royal Society

  • 6 lecture theatres

  • 3 joint degrees

Disability Support

The Departmental Policy on Disability provides advice and contact details for further information on the support available, as well as providing information on the accessibility of the Andrew Wiles Building.

World class academics

As an undergraduate you’ll be lectured by the experts in your field and have paired tutorials with researchers at the cutting edge of mathematics. We want to show you what the unsolved problems are, spark your curiosity, and then give you the tools to challenge them.

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

Excellent facilities

Our new building features 6 lecture theatres, an undergraduate study room, and 6 classrooms. Each college has its own, very well stocked, library so you’ll never be short of textbooks. Meals are offered in college, or you can get breakfast and lunch at the new cafeteria in the department. 

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. 

Great job prospects

Networking opportunities

Oxford maths graduates are in high demand, and in the latest survey of our graduates the average salary was £31,300 six months after finishing the course, compared with the national average salary of £23,400 for those taking a similar course. Take a look at our careers pages to see where our graduates end up, how much they get paid, and what internship opportunities are available to you as a student at Oxford.

Student support

Unlike at other universities, the tutorial system at Oxford allows tutors to closely follow your progress. You’ll also be assigned a personal tutor at your college, who you can go to if you have problems or for advice. We want all of our students to do the best they possibly can, and we will support you in achieving that.

Find out more about what one of our students, Karyn, has to say about the course in the video above, but if you're interested in more in-depth course information go to our "Which Course?" page or come to one of our open days.

Don't just take our word for it...

"The tutors were very friendly and supportive. The teaching method seems great."
"I love the city and am even more impressed now I've seen the new Maths building."
"Loved the atmosphere in the department..."
"I knew Oxford as a place where bright people are gathered all together and this open day just reinforced that feeling of cleverness and educational spirit..."
"...the current undergrads love it, the lecturers are interesting, informative (and funny!) and the facilities are second-to-none."
"The day was a wonderful experience and put things into perspective. It made Oxford less of a far away top university, and more a place where people who loved what they did came together to study and teach."

Visitors to our May Open Days.

Further questions?

Visit us on an open day! We hold departmental open days in May, and there are University-wide open days in early July and mid-September.

If you have any questions about Oxford, try the University of Oxford undergraduate admissions.

We also have a Frequently Asked Questions section and, if you're a teacher, you can find out more about planning a visit on our Outreach pages.

You can also PDF icon download our prospectus.

Which Course?

See which of our four undergraduate degrees (Mathematics, Mathematics and Statistics, Mathematics and Philosophy, Mathematics and Computer Science) interests you the most.

How to Apply

A guide to the application process for applicants, as well as key dates.

Maths Admissions Test

Past papers, solutions, and information about how to register for the MAT.

Our Offer

A guide to the conditional offers made by our department for all undergraduate courses.