MSc in Mathematical Sciences (OMMS)
The Oxford Masters in Mathematical Sciences (OMMS) provides a broad and flexible training in the mathematical sciences, and gives students with a keen interest in the mathematical sciences the chance to study a selection of our interesting and varied master’s level courses. Oxford has a world-class reputation in the Mathematical Sciences, and this Masters offers students the opportunity to join our current fourth year undergraduates and to work with an international group of peers, including other mathematical leaders of the future.
The Masters mainly draws on courses in mathematics and statistics: from number theory, geometry and algebra to genetics and mathematical physiology; from probability and mathematical geoscience to data mining and machine learning. Students will have the opportunity to choose from many courses, including three from the Department of Computer Science, tailoring the programme to their individual interests and requirements.
The course is run jointly by the Mathematical Institute and the Department of Statistics. Both departments have a strong sense of community with a multitude of social opportunities such as societies, open workspaces and networking at departmental lectures and seminars. To facilitate the integration of our students into the departments, OMMS students will be buddied with an undergraduate student who will be continuing onto the fourth year (also known as Part C).
The Masters course is a 9 month course running from the start of October through to the end of June. Students will be required to attend at least six units of courses, as well as writing a dissertation worth two units. Those wishing to extend themselves further might wish to take one or two additional units. Of the non-dissertation units, students may take courses from the Mathematical Institute and the Department of Statistics, and up to two units chosen from three offered by the Department of Computer Science. Performance on the Masters will be assessed by the dissertation, and depending on course choice, either written examinations or take home mini-projects.
One unit usually corresponds to a lecture course with 16 lectures which is supplemented by classes and problem sheets. Students are encouraged to work collaboratively in the classes to better develop their understanding of the course material.
The Masters offers a substantial opportunity for independent study and research in the form of a dissertation. The dissertation is undertaken under the guidance of a supervisor and will typically involve investigating and writing in a particular area of mathematical sciences, without the requirement (while not excluding the possibility) of obtaining original results. A dissertation gives students the opportunity to develop broader transferable skills in the processes of organising, communicating, and presenting their work, and will equip students well for further research or for a wide variety of other careers.
To get an idea of the subject options that might be offered to OMMS students in future years, take a look at the lists of courses available for the academic year 2021-22:
- Mathematical Institute courses;
- Department of Statistics courses;
- Department of Computer Science courses. (There are currently only three Computer Science courses available on OMMS: Automata, Logic and Games; Categories, Proofs and Processes; and Quantum Processes and Computation.)
[Note: this course is not suitable for students whose primary focus is on mathematical finance. These students should apply to the MSc in Mathematical and Computational Finance.]
How to Apply
The admissions process opens in September of the preceding year. Applications for the MSc should be made via the University's online graduate admissions form which you can link to from the University page about the MSc in Mathematical Sciences (click on the "How to apply" tab and then on the blue "apply" button at the bottom of the page). Prospective applicants are also encouraged to read the graduate application guide before applying.
The University page about the MSc in Mathematical Sciences provides information about deadlines for application to the course, the selection criteria, the fees for the course and the colleges which accept OMMS students. Applicants will be required to upload several different types of supporting documents as part of the application for the course, including a statement of purpose/personal statement (guidance available below).
When completing your application, you will be asked for your 'Proposed field and title of research project'. Please choose one preferred subject area from the following list, in order to give a broad indication of your academic area(s) of interest:
- Algebra, Geometry, Number Theory, Topology and Logic
- Analysis, Stochastic Analysis and Discrete Mathematics
- Applied Mathematics, Numerical Analysis and Computing
- Statistics, Probability, Data Science and Machine Learning.
This will allow us to allocate an appropriate supervisor/academic advisor to successful applicants. However, please note that this choice will in no way limit your options once you are on the course.
Students whose native language is not English or whose first language is English but are not nationals of the UK, Ireland or a majority English-speaking country recognised by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), will be required to demonstrate English language proficiency at the higher level or to request an English language test waiver. For more details see the University page about English language proficiency.
Female applicants to OMMS who are also interested in going on to a PhD in the areas of Geometry and Number Theory may also wish to consider applying for the Women in Geometry and Number Theory scheme (https://www.lsgnt-cdt.ac.uk/women) at the London School of Geometry and Number Theory (LSGNT). This is a deferred studentship, available to women who are considering the MSc in Mathematical Sciences in Oxford and a PhD in Geometry and Number Theory. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply simultaneously both to Oxford and to the LSGNT who plan to offer a deferred studentship to one to two women applicants who take up a place on OMMS.
Fees and Funding
If you are a student from the UK, you may be eligible for a loan for your masters degree. The amount you may borrow depends on which of the devolved nations you are ordinarily resident in, but for students in England these have a value of approximately £11,500 payable in three installments during the year. If you are from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you may also be eligible for student finance from the UK government if you have UK citizens' rights (i.e. if you have pre-settled or settled status or are an Irish citizen covered by the Common Travel Area arrangement). More information can be found on the on the University UK master's loans page.
Postgraduate Open Day
If you want to come and find out more about the course in person there is a postgraduate open day held each year. Additionally, the Mathematical Institute has a Virtual Open Day for its taught masters courses. The video was created for the 2018-2019 intake, but is still informative for prospective students of the course.