Admissions Criteria

The CDT in Mathematics of Random Systems welcomes applications from talented students with a strong mathematics background, especially in probability and analysis.

Applicants are expected to have

  • a first class/ honours degree in mathematics or a related discipline
  • research interests related to the scientific areas covered by the CDT.

Successful applicants will receive funding for the duration of their 4-year studentship.




Applicants meeting the selection criteria will be invited for an interview, either in person or online.

Applicants should normally have completed an undergraduate or Masters degree in mathematical sciences. We also welcome applications from top students in mathematical related subjects such as statistics, theoretical physics, computer science, engineering and natural sciences. Applicants are normally expected to be predicted or have achieved a first-class or honours degree (or equivalent international qualifications), in mathematics or a related discipline. The requirement for a first class degree with honours can be alternatively demonstrated by a strong degree at master's level. International applicants are welcome to apply.

Familiarity with probability, analysis, optimisation and partial differential equations will give you a good grounding for this course.

Our selection criteria are:

 - Academic excellence

 - Intellectual curiosity

 - Communication ability (all CDT students will be expected to have proficiency in English)

 - Motivation

 - Ability to work in a group


If you have further questions please contact

It is possible to apply to both Oxford and Imperial and your application will be considered for both institutions.

It is possible to apply to both Oxford and Imperial in the same year. To do this you must submit an application to both institutions separately.

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  • Applications to Oxford University are done through the online portal:
  • Do not worry about listing the funding you are applying for. We will automatically consider CDT applicants for all the different types of CDT funding. We will also accept students with funding from other sources.
  • Under 'College' select: "I have no College Preference"
  • Your statement of purpose should be between 1-2 pages in length and written in English. It will be assessed for the following criteria:
    • Your motivation for applying to the CDT.  
    • Your relevant experience and education.
    • The specific areas that interest you.

Interviews and Selection

Interviews for shortlisted candidates will take place within 4-6 weeks of application closing dates, and shortlisted candidates will be informed at least a week before their interviews. The interviews can take place face-to-face, by telephone, or online.

Shortlisted candidates will have one 30 minute interview with Oxford staff and will involve technical questions. These questions will cover a range of relevant mathematical topics and candidates will need to work through these with the interviewers. There will also be questions about why the candidate wishes to join the CDT and an opportunity for candidates to ask questions. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interviews. There may be opportunities on interview days to meet with current Oxford Mathematics Students.

Do I need to contact potential supervisors before applying?

No, this is not necessary. CDT students choose their research project and supervisor by the end of their first term. If you do have a supervisor in mind you would like to work with you are welcome to contact them if you wish.

If my application is successful I will need accommodation in Oxford, how would I arrange this?

Oxford offers a wide range of accommodation options to graduate students, both privately and within the University, to suit a variety of needs and living arrangements. Many colleges are able to offer accommodation to their graduate students for all or part of their course, you can apply for this when you are offered a college place. The Graduate Accommodation Office lets and manages rooms, flats and houses in and around Oxford city centre, on sites owned by the University, to full-time graduate students. To find further information on graduate student properties, contact details for the team and how to apply for accommodation, visit the Graduate Accommodation Office website. You can apply to the Graduate office before your application receives a decision.

What is an Oxford college?

Every Oxford University student is associated with a college. The collegiate system is at the heart of the University's success, giving students and academics the benefits of belonging to both a large, internationally renowned institution and to a smaller, multidisciplinary, academic college community. Membership of an Oxford college, as well as a department, can add a whole new dimension to your experience of graduate study. More information on the college system can be found at:

imp 130820 campus1 lib 007 136480

Entry Requirements

Masters qualification + (2:1) good upper-second honours (see country index for equivalence) Bachelor's degree in Mathematics, Physics or other related subjects

Or (2:1) good upper-second honours in a 4-year undergraduate degree with integrated master's

English language requirement

All Imperial applicants must also show that they have a sufficient level of written and spoken English to meet the demands of our challenging academic environment. Find out more about our English language requirements for postgraduate study.

We can process your application more quickly if you upload scanned copies of the academic transcripts and certificates for the higher education qualifications you already hold when you apply. If you receive an offer we may ask you to provide evidence of your previous qualifications as part of the conditions of your offer. Where this applies you must send the original physical documents by post.


You will need to provide the names of two people who can provide an academic reference in support of your application. An academic reference could be from, for example

    Your personal tutor
    Your thesis supervisor
    Your line manager in a research group

One academic and one relevant professional reference may be acceptable - contact the relevant Admissions team for confirmation before you apply.

Application fee

There is no application fee for Doctoral courses


Applicants meeting the selection criteria will be invited for an interview, either in person or via Skype. Successful applicants will receive funding for the duration of their 4-year studentship.