Broadening Training

All DPhil students are required to undertake 'broadening' training. (Note: CDT students should see their own course pages for details of their training programmes.)  Courses should be designed to broaden your knowledge and understanding of the Mathematical Sciences as a whole. They should, by definition, not be directly related to the topic of your dissertation. You must undertake broadening courses for 100 hours during your DPhil studies.  They should amount to the equivalent of 5 standard 16-hour lecture courses, which may be selected from the following

  • Taught Course Centre courses
  • Graduate lectures and advanced classes/courses as listed in the Mathematics Lecture Lists
  • Courses specific to any of the Mathematics MSc programmes (see also Mathematics Lecture Lists)
  • MMath (Part C) courses provided that the student has not already taken the course (or an equivalent elsewhere) (see also Mathematics Lecture Lists)
  • Courses offered by other departments, for example through the Division’s Researcher Training Programme, with prior approval from the DGS
  • LMS/EPSRC Summer Schools, Graduate Modelling Camps and similar, with the number of hours of lectures defining the amount of training
  • Other courses with approval from the DGS

The remainder of the 100 hours is to be made up via attendance at seminars and colloquia. Students who attend Part C courses may not attend the problem classes; they are encouraged to form informal groups to discuss the problem sets, and (when space permits) the Department will facilitat booking of rooms for this purpose. Students who mark for a part C course that they have not taken themselves may consider writing a mini-project on it at the same time. Assessment methods will vary from course to course. In general the summative outcome will be pass/fail, and any other feedback will be formative. Students offering a part C course must submit a short mini-project essay (or equivalent if appropriate, for example a documented computer program), along the lines of those for the MSc (MMSC) or the MSc (MCF). The topic should be chosen by the student in consultation with the lecturer and the final write-up, which should be in LaTeX, should normally be between 5 and 10 pages long. This format is also the default for other courses unless other arrangements exist (e.g. some TCC courses have assessed class work). By default

  • mini-projects must be handed in to the lecturer within 3 weeks of the end of the course
  • students must also hand in a form to record the mark; mini-projects should be marked and returned to the student, and this form returned to the Graduate Studies Assistant, by week 0 of the following term.

All doctoral students should be attending seminars, workshops and colloquia regularly, even if not in their specialist area. Students will be required to provide a list of such events attended, together with extended abstracts (one or two pages) of some of them.

Students who have studied for an undergraduate and postgraduate degree for a combined period of five years previous to starting the DPhil in Mathematics may apply to the DGS to have the broadening requirement reduced. In cases where exemptions are granted students will be exempt from a maximum of two of the required five courses. Please contact the DGS in the first instance by emailing the Graduate Studies Administrator

You will be required to have taken a minimum of 2, and may take 3, broadening courses before you transfer your status. Part of the transfer process will be a check that you have done this satisfactorily, and copies of the work submitted for assessment must be handed in with the transfer dissertation. By confirmation of status you should have completed the full 100 hours.  The assessors for transfer or confirmation of status may ask you questions (at a fairly general level) about the topics they have covered in their broadening training. 

We ask that students complete the broadening survey at the end of each term to provide feedback on the courses they have taken:

Broadening survey


PDF icon Broadening Form.pdf