This course brings together two of the most fundamental and widely applicable intellectual skills. Mathematical knowledge and the ability to use it is the most important means of tackling quantifiable problems, while philosophical training enhances the ability to analyse issues, question received assumptions, and clearly articulate understanding. The combination provides a powerful background from which to proceed to graduate study in either Mathematics or Philosophy or to pursue diverse careers. Historically, there have been strong links between Mathematics and Philosophy; logic, an important branch of both subjects, provides a natural bridge between the two, as does the philosophy of mathematics.
Mathematics and Philosophy at Oxford
The degree is constructed in the belief that the parallel study of these related disciplines can significantly enhance your understanding of each.
The Philosophy Faculty is the largest in the UK, and one of the largest in the world, with more than 70 full-time members, admitting more than 500 undergraduates annually to read the various degrees involving philosophy. Many faculty members have a worldwide reputation, and the faculty has the highest research ratings of any philosophy department in the UK. The Philosophy Library is among the best in the country. The large number of undergraduates and graduates reading philosophy with a variety of other disciplines affords the opportunity to participate in a diverse and lively philosophical community.
The Mathematics Department is also one of the largest and best in the UK and contains within it many world-class research groups. This is reflected in the wide choice of mathematics topics available to you, especially in the fourth year.
Recent graduates secured positions in diverse occupational areas such as software development, teaching, research, the public sector including the civil and diplomatic services, journalism, and financial and investment analysis both in the UK and abroad. A smaller group of graduates go on to further academic study.
Will, who graduated in 1999, works as a data analyst at the University of Michigan. He says: ‘My degree taught me to construct a rigorous and detailed argument, and also to adapt and defend it “live” in a tutorial setting. This is a crucial skill for jobs that require the analysis and presentation of complex data.’
Students interested in this course might also like to consider other Mathematics courses or Computer Science and Philosophy.