There are two Mathematics degrees, the three-year BA and the four-year MMath. You will not be asked to choose between the degrees until your third year.
The first year consists of core courses in pure and applied mathematics (including an introduction to statistics). The core part of the degree is completed in the first term of the second year, introducing complex analysis and ideas from topology. Options also start in the second year – five long options and three short options are taken – with the third and fourth years offering a still wider variety of courses, with some options from outside mathematics. The fourth year will, naturally, be more challenging, when some of the courses offered will be shared with students reading for graduate degrees or require study by means of guided reading.
A typical weekly timetable
In the first two years, you will attend eight to ten lectures a week, with one or two tutorials and one or two classes within your college. In your third and fourth years, when you specialise, you may have fewer lectures, combined with classes.
In your first year, you will also have classes to develop computing skills, using mathematical packages to solve problems related to your studies. Later, there is practical work associated with options in numerical analysis and statistics.
1st year
Courses
Compulsory first year includes:
Algebra
Analysis
Probability and statistics
Geometry and dynamics
Multivariate calculus and mathematical models
Assessment
First University examinations:
Five compulsory papers
2nd year
Courses
Compulsory core of Algebra, Complex analysis, Metric spaces, Differential equations
Selection from topics including Algebra; Number theory; Analysis; Applied analysis; Geometry; Topology; Fluid dynamics; Probability; Statistics; Numerical analysis; Discrete mathematics; Special relativity; Quantum theory
Assessment
Final University examinations, Part A: Two core papers and six optional papers
3rd and 4th years
Courses
Large variety, which may vary from year to year, ranging across: Algebra; Analysis; Applied analysis; Geometry; Topology; Logic; Number theory; Applied probability; Statistics; Theoretical mechanics; Mathematical physics; Mathematical biology; Information theory; Mathematical finance; Actuarial mathematics; Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme; Dissertation; Mathematical philosophy; Computer Science options; History of Mathematics
Assessment
3rd year: Final University Examinations, Part B: Four papers or equivalent 4th year: Final University Examinations, Part C: Four papers or equivalent Classification on Parts A and B. Upper second required to progress to Part C. Separate classification on Part C
NEW MMathPhys Fourth year
From 2015/16, the Physics and Mathematics Departments in Oxford will jointly offer a new integrated masters level course in Mathematical and Theoretical Physics. Mathematics students will be able to apply for transfer to a fourth year studying entirely mathematical and theoretical physics, completing the degree with an MMathPhys. The course features research-level training in: Particle Physics, Condensed Matter Physics, Astrophysics, Plasma Physics and Continuous Media. For full details see www-thphys.physics.ox.ac.uk/MMathPhys.