How do I apply?
Unlike undergraduate courses which are done through UCAS, all postgraduate applications must be made directly to the university departments themselves. Simply contact the departments directly and ask for an application pack. When you return the forms, the departments will usually approach referees from your undergraduate course, particularly if your degree has not yet been awarded because you are still in the final year. You may be invited to visit the department. This is an excellent opportunity to find out in detail what is likely to be involved.
Where can I search for PhD courses?
If you are currently at a university, talk to the statistics staff there about postgraduate courses. They can help you identify a number of universities which are likely to offer research opportunities suited to you. Obtain information and prospectus’s from the university’s web site. Visit universities to find out what courses or research programmes are like and the people you could be working with.
To start you off on your search, here are some useful websites:
All applicants need a very good command of written and spoken English. Students whose first language is not English require a minimum score of IELTS 6.5 or TOEFL 570 (paper-based) or 230 (computer-based).
The entrance requirements are normally at least a second class honours degree in mathematics, computer science, or a mathematically related discipline, or an equivalent overseas qualification in a mathematical subject. If the course is an extension, your undergraduate degree will need to be in a mathematically related discipline.
Conversion courses are designed for people whose undergraduate degrees did not contain much mathematics or statistics. If your undergraduate degree contained little or no statistics, you might need to take extra units at or before the start of the MSc to bring you ‘up to speed’. All this can be discussed with your course director/admissions tutor to help you get the best from the course, and will be happy to answer any questions you have.
You would be expected to have a first or upper second class honours degree (or an equivalent overseas qualification) in a mathematical subject. In some research areas a background in physics, engineering or computer science is also acceptable. For PhD research programmes, it is not necessary to have an MSc degree (or an MPhil degree) first.
There are Graduate Training Programmes available which provides subsidised places on intensive residential courses aimed at first and second year PhD students. The courses are there to help strengthen participants’ theoretical understanding. Information on Graduate Training Programmes are offered by some universities through their own website.
For MPhil, you will be expected to have studied a substantial amount of statistics already within your undergraduate degree.
For mature students, universities often welcome such students because of their commitment and enthusiasm. If you are in this position, do not hesitate to contact universities that appear to be of interest and see if they can help.