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. If you started in or after October 2020 you must undertake 68 hours of broadening courses  during your DPhil studies. These should amount to the equivalent of 3 standard 16-hour lecture courses. If you started in 2019 or earlier you must undertake broadening courses for 100 hours of broadening.  These should amount to the equivalent of 5 standard 16-hour lecture courses. Courses 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 B and 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 68 hours and the 100 hours is to be made up via attendance at seminars and colloquia. Students who attend Part B and 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.

If your supervisor agrees you are also permitted to act as a TA in order to meet the broadening requirement. However, any teaching for broadening should be in addition to acting as a TA to meet the teaching requirement.

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 B or 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. Lecturers may choose to assess through the submission of problem sets or a presentation/viva. The form of assessment must be agreed directly with the lecturer at the start of the course. 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 with a 68 hour requirement will be exempt from a maximum of one of the required three courses and students with a 100 hour requirement will be exempt from a maximum of two of the required five courses. Please contact the DGS in the first instance by emailing the Deputy Head of  Academic Administration @email

For students starting in October 2020 you will be require to have taken a minimum of one, and may take 2, broadening courses before you transfer status. For students who started in October 2019 or earlier 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 68 hour or 100 hour requirement.  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

Broadening Form.pdf



Please contact us for feedback and comments about this page. Last updated on 14 Jun 2022 14:14.