MSc by Research Mathematics

Duration Full time 1-2 years
Part time 2-3 years
Split Site available
  • Mathematics
LocationCornwall (Penryn), Exeter (Streatham)
Start date September, January or April


As a research student in Mathematics or Statistics you will join the Department of Mathematics within the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences. The Department brings together our internationally leading research in several areas of pure mathematics, applied mathematics and statistics, including number theory, arithmetic geometry, geophysical and astrophysical fluid dynamics, dynamical systems, control theory, statistical forecasting and uncertainty quantification. Our research has a strong focus on important applications in fields such as climate science, systems biomedicine, engineering, ecology, epidemiology and natural hazards.

An MbyRes is a still shorter degree that requires a thesis of up to 40,000 words and is ideal for people interested in pursuing a specific, shorter-term research project, perhaps while working.

Research areas

Applicants should hold, or expect to obtain before starting, an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in mathematics, statistics, or other relevant subject with a high level of mathematics. Undergraduate degree classifications should be equivalent to a First or strong Upper Second.

A summary of our main areas of research focus is provided here. For further details about our current research projects please explore our department research pages. The latest infomation about our PhD studentships can be found on our Postgraduate Research Opportunities page. Details on individual staff research interests and publications can be found on the departments staff profiles list.  

Pure mathematics

Our research centres on number theory, arithmetic geometry, analysis and dynamical systems.

Geophysical and astrophysical fluid 

Our research centres on theoretical fluid dynamics and numerical modelling with applications to atmospheres, oceans, magnetic fields and solar physics.

Systems, dynamics and control

Our research centres on control theory, dynamical systems and complex systems with applications to biology, medicine and engineering.

Mathematics and the environment

Our research centres on dynamical modelling, control theory and complexity science with applications to ecology, evolutionary dynamics, infectious diseases and renewable energy.

Climate dynamics

Our research centres on modelling the climate system and on quantifying and reducing uncertainties in climate projections.

Statistical science

Our research centres on stochastic modelling, forecasting and uncertainty quantification with applications to the environment, health and decision support.


The College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences has excellent teaching and research resources and has recently invested £2.8 million to provide new academic and social facilities. You will have access to our fully-equipped research centres, comprehensive laboratories and workshops and computer facilities including wireless networking in most areas.

The excellent computing facilities are based around a Unix/Linux system networked to the University computer system. We have our own supercomputing facility built around a Beowulf cluster which is used, for example, by students modelling astrophysical and geophysical fluid flows. The college has a brand new study area with core texts for courses, individual rooms for study groups to meet, and wireless connection for laptops and LCD TVs to display presentations.

The working environment for postgraduate students is friendly and welcoming: each research student has a desk in a shared or open plan office equipped with a networked computer terminal. We provide training in research methodology and in relevant computer software, bibliographical resourcing and mathematical word-processing. You will have access to state-of-the art facilities for remote collaboration and advanced PhD training via the APTS and MAGIC consortia.


Our graduates enter a wide variety of fields where their analytical skills are valued both in business and in the public sector. Our postgraduates benefit from strong links and active collaboration with external organisations such as the Met Office in Exeter; one of the UK’s major users of advanced mathematics and statistics.

We have an excellent reputation with graduate recruiters and our students compete very successfully in the employment market. In addition to the College’s Employability Officer, Career Zone gives access to a wealth of business contacts, support and training as well as the opportunity to meet potential employers at our regular Careers Fairs.

Postgraduate research students can access our Postgraduate Researchers' Programme, which covers a range of topics to help you complete a successful research degree and acts as a springboard for your research career.

Entry requirements 2017

Applicants should hold, or expect to obtain before starting, an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in mathematics, statistics, or other relevant subject with a high level of mathematics. Undergraduate degree classifications should be equivalent to a First or strong Upper Second.

Requirements for international students

If you are an international student, please visit our international equivalency pages to enable you to see if your existing academic qualifications meet our entry requirements.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

Overall score 6.0. No less than 6.0 in any section.


Overall score 87 with minimum scores of 21 for writing, 21 for listening, 22 for reading and 23 for speaking.

Pearson Test of English (Academic)

55 overall with no less than 55 in all communicative skills.

Other accepted tests

Information about other acceptable tests of linguistic ability can be found on our English language requirements page.

Pre-sessional English

Applicants with lower English language test scores may be able to take pre-sessional English at INTO University of Exeter prior to commencing their programme. See our English language requirements page for more information.

Finance: fees and funding

Fee information

Fees can normally be paid by two termly instalments and may be paid online. For further information about paying fees see our Student Fees pages.

Please click here for information about funding. 

Contact us

Postgraduate research admissions

Phone: +44 (0) 1392 722730