Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil)

What is a DPhil?

A DPhil is Oxford's name for a PhD - a higher research degree which allows you to make an original contribution to mathematics in the form of a thesis. A DPhil takes at least three years to complete, and around two thirds of our postgraduate leavers go on into academia (according to the latest destination data). During your DPhil, you will be supervised by at least one academic, although some students will have more than one supervisor (particularly if they are working across disciplines). Unlike CDT courses (and PhDs in other countries), you will begin to do research straight away and there is no prescribed taught component. However, you are very welcome to attend seminars and you can choose from a wide variety of taught courses and skills training to enhance your broader mathematical knowledge and develop your career. There may also be journal clubs or seminar series specific to your area of study. If you enjoy doing mathematics, and would like to be part of a lively and world-class research institute, then you should take a look at our research groups to see if they align with your own interests. 

All applications should be submitted online through the centralised university admissions system ( find out more about how to apply, see the application procedures page or go to the University of Oxford's graduate application guide.

For information about scholarships and funding, see the University of Oxford's fees, funding, and scholarship search.

Key Deadlines

Funding deadlines for students applying for EPSRC and Departmental awards


  • 17th November 2017
  • 19th January 2018
  • 9th March 2018

Please apply by the 19th January deadline if you would like to be considered for any centrally administered funds. Further information regarding these funds can be found at

Oxford Impacts

Frequently Asked Questions

A list of our most commonly asked questions as well as our standard answers regarding funding, applications, and graduate study at Oxford.

Research Groups


Research interests: group theory, representation theory and algebraic aspects of geometry.

Who's who in Algebra

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History of Mathematics

Research interests: history of algebra (19th and 20th century), history of modern algebra, and Soviet mathematics. 

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Mathematical Physics

Research interests: gauge and gravity theories (quantum field theories), string theory, twistor theory, Calabi-Yau manifolds, quantum computation and cryptography.

Who's who in Mathematical Physics

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Research interests: extremal combinatorics, graph theory, and combinatorial number theory.

Who's who in Combinatorics

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Research interests: analytic topology, geometric stability theory, and the model theory of p-adic fields and diophantine geometry.

Who's who in Logic

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Number Theory

Research interests: analytic number theory, arithmetic geometry, prime number distribution, and Diophantine geometry.

Who's who in Number Theory

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Functional Analysis

Descendants at Herrnhut 2013

Research interests: operator theory, including unbounded operators, and abstract differential equations.

Who's who in Functional Analysis

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Mathematical Biology

Research interests: cancer modelling, collective behaviour, gene regulatory networks, multiscale modelling, pattern formation, and sperm dynamics.

Who's who in Mathematical Biology

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Numerical Analysis

Research interests: complexity in optimisation, symmetric cone programming, numerical solutions of PDEs. 

Who's who in Numerical Analysis

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Research interests: algebraic geometry, geometric representation theory, and differential geometry.

Who's who in Geometry

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Mathematical & Computational Finance

Research interests: behavioural finance, financial big data, high dimensional numerical methods, stochastic analysis.

Who's who in Mathematical and Computational Finance

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Oxford Centre for Industrial and Applied Mathematics

Research interests: energy, industry, geoscience, networks, finance, methodologies.

Who's who in OCIAM

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Oxford Centre for Nonlinear Partial Differential Equations

Research interests: geometric analysis, inverse problems, nonlinear hyperbolic systems, specific PDE systems.

Who's who in OxPDE

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Stochastic Analysis

Research interests: rough path theory, Schramm-Loewner evolution, mathematical population genetics, financial mathematics, self-interacting random processes.

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Research interests: geometric group theory, 3-manifold topology and knot theory, K-theory, algebraic topology.

Who's who in Topology

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Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs)

Andrew Wiles Building
Find out about our two EPSRC funded Centres for Doctoral Training - one in Partial Differential Equations and the other in Industrially Focused Mathematical Modelling.