MSc in Mathematical Modelling and Scientific Computing

Changes to Course for 2019-20

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, some changes have been made to the M.Sc. in Mathematical Modelling and Scientific Computing for the academic year 2019-20. Students will only complete two special topics and the examinations on the Hilary Term core course will be open book examinations. The examinations will take place three weeks later than originally planned and the deadlines at the beginning of Trinity Term will also be postponed by three weeks. These deadlines have been updated in the Diary of Important Events. A PDF icon letter to MMSC students has been circulated to all MMSC students detailing these changes. In addition to this, a second letter has been sent to all MMSC students detailing the PDF icon safety net policy which will be implemented this year to calculate students' final grades. Further information has also been provided by the University on open book examinations


Oxford's M.Sc. in Mathematical Modelling and Scientific Computing aims to train graduates with a strong mathematical background to develop and apply their skills to the solution of real problems. By the end of the course students should be able to formulate a well posed problem in mathematical terms from a possibly sketchy verbal description, carry out appropriate mathematical analysis, select or develop an appropriate numerical method, write a computer program which gives sensible answers to the problem, and present and interpret these results for a possible client. Particular emphasis is placed on the need for all these parts in the problem solving process, and on the fact that they frequently interact and cannot be carried out sequentially.


[MT, HT, TT = Michaelmas, Hilary, Trinity Term]

To complete this course a student must complete 13 units, counted as follows

  • Core courses (1 unit each): normally 24 lectures + classes + exam. There are four core courses: one on Mathematical Methods and one on Numerical Analysis in each of MT and HT. Each course will be assessed by a written examination in Week 0 of the following term. Every student must complete the core courses.
  • Special topics (1 unit each): normally 12-16 lectures + mini-project. There are about 25 special topics to choose from spread over all three terms. Each student must do at least one special topic in the area of Modelling (M) and one in the area of Computation (C).
  • Case Studies in Modelling and in Scientific Computing (1 unit each): normally 4 weeks of group work + oral presentation + report (HT). Each student must do at least one modelling case study and at least one scientific computing case study.
  • Dissertation (4 units): usually 40-50 pages, not necessarily containing original research to pass. Here is a PDF icon list of recent dissertation titles. Since there is another M.Sc. course in Mathematical and Computational Finance, students on the M.Sc. in Mathematical Modelling and Scientific Computing are not permitted to undertake a dissertation in the field of mathematical finance.

Students will normally accumulate 4 units for core courses + 3 units for special topics + 2 units for case studies + 4 units for dissertation.

In addition all students must attend:

General Information

The Course Director is Dr Kathryn Gillow. A supervisor will be appointed for each student who will discuss their progress with them and who can advise on what options are suitable.

The course lasts almost twelve months, from the beginning of October to the end of the following September. Although the lecture courses are given during the three University terms, the examinations will take place during the weeks preceding both Hilary and Trinity terms. Additionally, much other work is carried out in the vacations, and students should expect to spend most of the year in Oxford. There will be no time for long holidays.

For the academic year 2019-2020, the course will begin with a week of introductory material based at the Mathematical Institute, beginning at 9.30am on the morning of Monday 7th October 2019.

The dates of the University Full Terms for the Academic Year 2019-2020 are:

  • MT = Michaelmas Term 2019: Sunday, 13th October 2019 - Saturday, 7th December 2019
  • HT = Hilary Term 2020: Sunday, 19th January 2020 - Saturday, 14th March 2020
  • TT = Trinity Term 2020: Sunday, 26th April 2020 - Saturday, 20th June 2020

Here is the PDF icon Hilary Term 2020 timetable. The PDF icon Trinity Term 2019 timetable and PDF icon Michaelmas Term 2019 timetable are also available for information.

Course Details

Further Information and Links