Industrially Focused Mathematical Modelling (EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training) | University of Oxford
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Industrially Focused Mathematical Modelling (EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training)

About the course

The ESPRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Industrially Focused Mathematical Modelling (InFoMM) trains cohorts of academically outstanding students in a broad range of techniques spanning mathematical modelling, analysis and computation in order to address the challenges that face modern companies. 

You will be actively engaged with the CDT's company partners through courses, events, mini projects and research projects.

The CDT provides the ideal staging ground if you are a mathematician, or mathematically-oriented scientist, who wants to expand your arsenal of mathematical techniques, improve team-working and communication skills and tackle real-world problems coming from industry.

This degree has two components. The first year programme comprises two blocks of material taught by academics punctuated by two Industrial Enrichment Programmes, delivered by the CDT's industrial partners. There is a 'light-touch' assessment of each of the academic courses in the first year. These are followed by two ten-week periods of research focused on well-defined company problems, at least one of which will be based at a company.

You will chose a project aligned with one of the CDT's partner companies for your main research topic, which will be carried out during years two to four. These projects will be supervised by Oxford academics and company representatives. You will spend around one month each year visiting the company. You will write a short dissertation during your second year which will be assessed to determine whether you can continue on the course.

The CDT's partner companies span many sectors and are interested in exploiting mathematics (including continuum mechanics, discrete methods, numerical techniques and data analytics) to address strategic company challenges. You will be actively engaged with the CDT's company partners through courses, events, mini-projects and research projects. 

You will gain (i) fluency in a wide range of advanced mathematical techniques, (ii) a breadth of modelling experience, and (iii) a set of team-working and communication skills much greater than through traditional doctoral studies. 

Graduate destinations

This is a new course. Alumni will be ideally placed to pursue careers either in industry or academia. There will be industry-led careers events for all CDT students near the end of the course.

Related courses

Multiple applications

In applying for this programme, you may submit further applications for up to two of the following associated programmes without paying an additional application fee.

You may only apply to one programme from Group B under this arrangement without paying further application fees.

Group A
Group B
Diamond Science and Technology (EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training)DPhil in Materials
Partial Differential Equations (EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training)DPhil in Mathematics
Science and Technology of Fusion Energy (EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training) 
Systems Approaches to Biomedical Science (EPSRC and MRC Centre for Doctoral Training) 

For instructions, see Applying for more than one course in the Application Guide.

Changes to the course

The University will seek to deliver this course in accordance with the description set out in this course page. However, there may be situations in which it is desirable or necessary for the University to make changes in course provision, either before or after registration. For further information, please see our page on changes to courses.

Entry requirements for entry in 2018-19

Within equal opportunities principles and legislation, applications will be assessed in the light of an applicant’s ability to meet the following entry requirements:

1. Academic ability

Proven and potential academic excellence

Applicants are normally expected to be predicted or have achieved a first-class undergraduate degree with honours (or equivalent international qualifications), as a minimum, in mathematics or a related numerate discipline. 

An MSc in mathematics or a related numerate discipline would also be considered an appropriate academic background.

For applicants with a degree from the USA, the minimum GPA sought is 3.7 out of 4.0.

If you hold non-UK qualifications and wish to check how your qualifications match these requirements, you can contact the National Recognition Information Centre for the United Kingdom (UK NARIC).

No Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or GMAT scores are sought.

Other appropriate indicators will include:

Supporting documents

You will be required to supply supporting documents with your application, including references and an official transcript. See 'How to apply' for instructions on the documents you will need and how these will be assessed.

Performance at interview(s)

Interviews are normally held as part of the admissions process.  

Around 50% of all applicants are shortlisted for interview and interviews usually take place within a month of each application deadline. If invited, you can expect to be interviewed at least twice by a team of two people, with each interview lasting around 30 minutes.

The interviews will include questions about your motivation for joining the CDT and you will be expected to tackle technical mathematical questions and to give a presentation for five minutes on an interesting piece of mathematics or project that you’ve done. The interviews could take place face-to-face, by telephone, or by Skype. 


Publications are not expected

Other qualifications, evidence of excellence and relevant experience

Research or working experience in applied mathematics may be an advantage. Preference may be given to those who have previously studied for a mathematics degree.

2. English language requirement

Applicants whose first language is not English are usually required to provide evidence of proficiency in English at the higher level required by the University.

3. Availability of supervision, teaching, facilities and places

The following factors will govern whether candidates can be offered places:

  • The ability of the Mathematical Institute to provide the appropriate supervision, research opportunities, teaching and facilities for your chosen area of work. 
  • Minimum and maximum limits to the numbers of students who may be admitted to Oxford's research and taught programmes.

The provision of supervision, where required, is subject to the following points:

  • The allocation of graduate supervision is the responsibility of the Mathematical Institute and it is not always possible to accommodate the preferences of incoming graduate students to work with a particular member of staff. 
  • Under exceptional circumstances a supervisor may be found outside the Mathematical Institute.

Where possible your academic supervisor will not change for the duration of your course. However, it may be necessary to assign a new academic supervisor during the course of study or before registration for reasons which might include sabbatical leave, maternity leave or change in employment.

4. Disability, health conditions and specific learning difficulties

Students are selected for admission without regard to gender, marital or civil partnership status, disability, race, nationality, ethnic origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, age or social background.

Decisions on admission are based solely on the individual academic merits of each candidate and the application of the entry requirements appropriate to the course.

Further information on how these matters are supported during the admissions process is available in our guidance for applicants with disabilities.

5. Assessors

All recommendations to admit a student involve the judgment of at least two members of academic staff with relevant experience and expertise, and additionally must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies or Admissions Committee (or equivalent departmental persons or bodies).

Admissions panels or committees will always include at least one member of academic staff who has undertaken appropriate training.

6. Other information

Whether you have yet secured funding is not taken into consideration in the decision to make an initial offer of a place, but please note that the initial offer of a place will not be confirmed until you have completed a Financial Declaration.


The InFoMM CDT is based within the Mathematical Institute. You will have access to:

  • dedicated InFoMM CDT CPU/GPU cluster
  • dual boot Linux/Windows laptop
  • IT support
  • electronic and paper journals and books
  • hot-desk office space during the first year and dedicated office space during years two to four - all desks are equipped with a computer
  • a large common room
  • extensive teaching space
  • on-site canteen
  • small laboratory.

You will become member of an appropriate Mathematical Institute Research Group during years two to four.

You will be required to attend the UK European Study Group with Industry each year, and will undertake industrial placements. There are opportunities for post-study extensions to carry out knowledge-transfer activities.


There are over 1,100 full graduate scholarships available across the University, and these cover your course and college fees and provide a grant for living costs. If you apply by the relevant January deadline and fulfil the eligibility criteria you will be automatically considered. Over two thirds of Oxford scholarships require nothing more than the standard course application. Use the Fees, funding and scholarship search to find out which scholarships you are eligible for and if they require an additional application, full details of which are provided.

The InFoMM CDT course can offer up to 12 fully funded studentships which cover all fees and provide a maintenance grant to support living expenses for four years. Up to four studentships will be available to applicants regardless of nationality. The remaining studentships are restricted to UK/EU nationals. We will automatically assign students to funding and no separate application for funding is required. The InFoMM CDT would also be pleased to receive applications from students who have their own funding.


Annual fees for entry in 2018-19

Fee status

Annual Course fees

College fees

Total annual fees

(including Islands)

The fees shown above are the annual tuition and college fees for this course for entry in the stated academic year; for courses lasting longer than one year, please be aware that fees will usually increase annually. For details, please see our guidance on likely increases to fees and charges.

Tuition and college fees are payable each year for the duration of your fee liability (your fee liability is the length of time for which you are required to pay tuition and college fees).

Following the period of fee liability, you may also be required to pay a University continuation charge and a college continuation charge. The University and college continuation charges are shown on the Continuation charges page.

For more information about tuition fees, college fees and fee liability, please see the Fees section of this website. EU applicants should refer to our dedicated webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

Additional information

There are no compulsory elements of this course that entail additional costs beyond fees (or, after fee liability ends, continuation charges) and living costs. However, please note that, depending on your choice of research topic and the research required to complete it, you may incur additional expenses, such as travel expenses, research expenses, and field trips. You will need to meet these additional costs, although you may be able to apply for small grants from your department and/or college to help you cover some of these expenses.

Living costs

In addition to your tuition and college fees, you will need to ensure that you have adequate funds to support your living costs for the duration of your course.

For the 2018-19 academic year, the range of likely living costs is between c. £1,015 and £1,555 for each month spent in Oxford. Full information, including a breakdown of likely living costs in Oxford for items such as food, accommodation and study costs, is available on our Living costs page.

How to apply

You are welcome to contact academics involved in the InFoMM CDT although it is not a necessary prerequisite to applying.

The set of documents you should send with your application to this course comprises the following:

Official transcript(s)

Your transcripts should give detailed information of the individual grades received in your university-level qualifications to date. You should only upload official documents issued by your institution and any transcript not in English should be accompanied by a certified translation.

More information about the transcript requirement is available in the Application Guide.


A CV/résumé is compulsory for all applications. Most applicants choose to submit a document of one to two pages highlighting their academic achievements and any relevant professional experience.

Statement of purpose/personal statement:
One to two pages

Your statement should be written in English and should explain:

  • your motivation for applying for the course at Oxford
  • your relevant experience and education
  • the specific areas that interest you
  • the companies in the partnership that you would like to work with.

This will be assessed for evidence of your motivation for applying to the proposed area of study and your relevant experience and education.

References/letters of recommendation:
Three overall, generally academic

Whilst you must register three referees, the department may start the assessment of your application if two of the three references are submitted by the course deadline and your application is otherwise complete. Please note that you may still be required to ensure your third referee supplies a reference for consideration.

References should generally be academic, though up to one professional reference is acceptable.
Your references will support your intellectual curiosity, academic excellence, communication ability, motivation and ability to work in a group.

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